Wednesday, December 31, 2003

I heard this Iraqi intellectual make this point: He observed that Iraqi intellectuals are in a difficult position with the world: if they attack Saddam's rule, they are accused by some of serving the US occupation. If they attack US occupation, they are accused by others of supporting Saddam. They cannot win.
Christian missionaries are going to Iraq to "save Muslim souls". Will they also be welcomed with "flowers and sweets" as Makiya had predicted for the troops?
Heroine addicts for Bush: great boost for opium in Afghanistan.
US favorite dictator (Hillary Clinton recently heaped praised on him when she met him in Afghanistan) Hamid Karzai, insists that the new constitution will declare him as God, that he should be worshipped, but no more than 57 times a day, and that his name should be preceded by the glowing, shining, and hope for humanity, Mr. Hamid Karzai. Do you know that dictator Saddam, when he was on good terms with US, had most newspapers refer to him as Leader-Necessity.
Faith-based prisons.
US implicated in Iraq reconstruction scam.
This person asks: How to have a national ID card without threatening civil liberties. Easy: only issue cards for Arab Americans (some 51 percent of Americans agree with that "solution.")
Was it really US who got Saddam? If it helps Bush's reelection than YES.
Bush's deadline for a Palestinian state will pass unnoticed. "What is a Palestinian state," Bush asks Cheney. Cheney reminded Bush that Price is Right is on TV.
Israel wants to gag the famous nuclear whistleblower. Emos Alon wrote that he may have been abused to the point of losing his mind.
As for as we know, George W. Bush continues to consume large amounts of beef. His chef has even prepared a special beef ice-cream, and beef-smoothy.
Great victory for women in Isreal: female soldiers will now be allowed to kill as many Arabs as male soldiers.
You can only read this rubbish in the US press: concern over the rats that are bothering the Israeli solidiers in Hebron.
Is this not bigotry? World Zionist Organization is alarmed over Muslim population in Europe. (thanks to Qauil)

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

The list of most admired people by Americans is out. Now many of you will be upset (or happy) that George W. Bush is the most admired man. For me it is worse than that: when Bill Clinton was president, he also was most admired man by Americans. And first ladies (past and present) always make the list of most admired women. For me, it raises questions: why a ruling presidnet (whoever he/she may be). Why such lack of imagination? By the way, Mother Teresa was a regular on the list until her death. I want to see new original names on those lists. For the last year: Mr/Ms Potato Head was most admired by Angry Arab. Fee free to make recommendations.
Of course, it was expected that this website will attract the kind of jerks (and worse) that sometimes appear in the comments' section. One of them, signed gross comments signed by the name of my sister, and now he signs one with the name of one of my friends. He seems to pull the names from the acknowledgement section of my last book. Some good friends of mine urged me from the beginning not to do the website, and to stick to the emails that I used to send to a list for fear of hacking, which they thought was inevitable. I shall see, and hope that I will not be forced to turn off the comments' feature.
So Krista told me the other day that a small grocery store here in Modesto, California changed its name from Middle Eastern Market, to Eastern Market. I was quite furious. She suspected, rightly, that the name change indicated the desire of the owners to be less "controversial." And the Middle East is always controversial in the US, unless you are from pacifist Israel, and then you can brag about Israel, and people will genuinely ask you about Israel's "tough neighborhood" and Israel's "tough choices" and Israel's "tough enemies." . In India, they call the Middle East "West Asia," so are we now expected to go around saying that we are West Asians? So I drove to the store today. I was angry. I am sorry. I meant, Angry Arab was Angrier, as Angry Arab, praise be to him, is in a state of permanent anger, not to be confused with the Permanent Revolution of Leon Trotsky (who, when invited to address a crowd in the Bronx in NY when he visited US, began his speech with: "Workers and Peasants of the Bronx"). I entered the store, and the woman behind the counter could barely understand English, or Arabic, or Persian (not that my Persian is impeccable, please). So I kept asking her: Why did you change the name of the store? She kept nodding, and smiling, and saying: "Yes, yes. We changed the name." "Yes, the name changed."etc. Having reached no conclusion, I exited angrier than when I entered.
Yours Truly, Angry West Asian

Monday, December 29, 2003

Palestinians angry over the handing over of a Palestinian collaborator to Israel. Palestinian collaborators, long adored by US and Israel, are those Palestinians who point the cars and houses out for Israel to bomb. There was an article in New York Times weeks ago on Israeli methods of "recruitment" of collaborators. They often blackmail Palestinians with pictures (sometimes pictures of homosexual sex), or (mis)use members of their families, etc. Yet, US congress still thinks that Israel, NOT CYPRUS, is the only democracy in the Middle East.
Israel and Poland sign a missile deal. Bush hails step as victory for peace and harmony. (thanks Julie).
Iraq's reconstruction bottom line. (thanks Hani).
Is this a prelude to a US attack on Syria?
You should read this: it is exactly what a government-planted propaganda story looks like: intended to boost the credibility of the puppet council.
The slicing of Iraq.
Important: UK (and US) propaganda efforts on Iraq go back to the 1990s.
US lawmakers have found that US propaganda efforts towards Muslims have failed. Suprising, given the large number of bombs and rockets that were dropped over their heads. You would think that those Muslims would appreciate those tools of liberation.
It really angers Robert Fisk that officials in UK and US are now calling Libyan dictator statesman.
American soldiers are not allowed to quit. But that is not legit..
Reports indicate that George W. Bush is consuming large amounts of beef. But there is no evidence of any reduction in his mental powers.
How the new Iraqi "army" is being assembled. Question: "Do you like liberation?". Answer: "Yes. I love liberation." You are in.
I will be keeping you informed about the fabricator Iyad `Allawi (the member of the puppet council, who was a member of Saddam's intelligence apparatus and who--according to `Abbas, used to chase and kill Saddam's enemies in Europe). Apparently, the liar was caught in another lie again. Remember how yesterday I reported that he is telling Al-Hayat that Saddam is spilling the black beans, and has been reporting about millions, and intelligence, and weather conditions around Iraq? Today, the US military denied that Saddam has been talking, as was suggested by `Allawi. We should have an `Allawi Watch here. By the way, this fellow was in Lebanon last week reportedly on a "personal visit." If any of the readers in Beirut knows what he was doing, let me know.
An interesting article on Iraq's Hizbullah, not to be confused with Hizbullah of Lebanon, or Hizbullah of Saudi Arabia, or Hizbullah of Iran, or Hizbullah of Kuwait, or Hizbullah of Palestine, etc. Robert has been reporting from Iran and Iraq for the San Francisco Chronicle. I kid you not, SF Chronicle has better, and more sensitive, coverage of world affairs than New York Times and Washigton Post.
Israel has been shooting Palestinians like pidgeons on a daily basis. That did not alarm the New York Times. But now, the New York Times is furious: it is outraged that Israeli solidiers shot at an Israeli Jewish citizen.

Sunday, December 28, 2003

From the x-mass issue of the Economist, the best magazine there is: "WHAT is Islam's greatest gift to the world? The faith of the Koran, Muslims will promptly say—along, some would add, with the Arabic language. Yet it may be that the single most pervasive legacy of Islamic civilisation is not holy scripture, but the rather unholy art of distilling alcohol. Not only were Arabs the first to make spirits. The great trading civilisation of Islam spread the skill across the globe, and in its lands some of the world's finest alcoholic concoctions are still made to this day.
Although the delights of fermented drink were known to cavemen, the natural alcohol content of primitive wines and beers would not top 16%. Yet early China and Egypt both discovered techniques of distillation that might, if applied to such brews, have stiffened their potency. Later, Aristotle described a way of vaporising salt water into fresh, the Romans distilled turpentine from pine oil, and two Alexandrian ladies in the first centuries after Christ, Mary the Jewess and Hypatia, invented devices for separating liquids by heating them. Yet, oddly, nobody in the ancient world at this time seems to have exploited the different boiling-points of alcohol and water to concentrate weak wine into stronger spirits (though some historians assert that the Indians made a fortified beer this way, in or around 800BC).
An explanation may lie in the fact that alcohol, when distilled from fermented drinks, typically contains traces of poisonous methanol. Since methanol vaporises at a lower temperature than drinkable ethanol, the trick is to discard the first part of any distillation. Sadly, many prospective tipplers probably perished before the Arabs sorted out the technique. It is possible, too, that the bubbly science was set back some years by the Roman emperor Diocletian, who decreed the burning of alchemists' manuscripts in 296AD for fear their discoveries would debase his coinage.
The book-burning was not entirely successful. Medieval Arab science took up the work of the Greeks, as the word alchemy itself suggests. (It is the Arabic article al- added to the ancient Greek kimia, which referred to the magical science of the black land of Kemet, which is to say Egypt.) Precisely when and by whom the distillation of alcohol was perfected is not known.
Some suggest that Egyptian monks did the deed some time in the sixth century. Others credit the Armenians. There is no conclusive evidence for either theory. What is known is that by the ninth century Arab authors such as Jaber bin Hayyan, an Iraqi polymath best known for elaborating al-jabr or algebra, were describing “flammable vapours” at the mouths of heated wine vessels.
His contemporary, the legendary poet and lush Abu Nawas (who died in 815AD), was less prim. In one ode, versifying over a night of revelry in a Baghdad tavern, he called for increasingly strong drink, ending the session with a liquor that was “as hot between the ribs as a firebrand”. The description clearly hints at something punchier than mere wine....."

Some of the latest countries to grant women suffrage are: Switzerland (1971), Iraq (1980), Namibia (1989), South Africa - black population (1994).
Some countries still do not have universal suffrage. Among them are Brunei Darussalam, Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.
Among the developing nations which have not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) are: Bahrain, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sultanate of Oman, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates.
The United States is the only industrialized nation that has not ratified CEDAW.For more, see
Not in the US press: Iyad `Allawi, the member of the Iraqi puppet council who used to work for Saddam's intelligence apparatus, and who chased and killed Saddam's enemies in Europe, according to `Abbas, and who is now a key client of US occupation in Iraq, speaks to Al-Hayat: he calls for a CLOSED trial of Saddam: he says Saddam may name "names and states." A hint of things to come.
The Palestinian right of return. Nobody can abrogate it.
Mass grave found in Algeria. You will not be hearing about it; the government responsible is a close ally of the US. US supports the right of its allies to burry in mass graves, provided they call the victims "terrorists."
Brazil will NOT allow inspections of its nuclear site. Bush says: It is ok. Brazil is not Muslim, nor Arab.
Even Iraqi singers at mad at US. But the good news remain good: US is NOT mad at US. That is all what counts.
IAEA chief says that Libya was not even close to making nuclear weapons. Upon hearing the alarming news, Bush orders the bombing of Libya, and the liberation of its people.
Evidence of Mad Cow disease found in different states. In other news, George W. Bush brags that he is still eating plenty of beef.
Need I say anything: An hour with N. Chomsky.
Dean is receiving lessons in foreign policy. Lesson no. 1: Don't you ever talk about "even-handed" US policy in the Middle East. Lesson no. 2: Do not ever worry about Israel WMDs, but worry a great deal about potential Arab weapons. Lesson 3: stay ignorant, and encourage the public to stay ignorant. Lesson 4: never, EVER express sympathy for Palestinian victims. Palestinians, unlike the Israelis, are never victims. Lesson no. 5: free, freedom, liberty, free, potato, liberty. Now, recite, and go to sleep.
A policy that is based on the longevity of P. Musharraf is hanging by a thread.
The Democrats keep ignoring the poor voters of the South, black and white.
Amos Elon on the very special relations between the US and Israel. The second part has an interesting treatment on US disregard of Israeli nuclear arsenal. For information on that, see the BBC report or even the MSNBC report. If that is not enough, read the report of the Federation of American Scientists. All that is less worrisome, of course, than the potential capabilities of the Arabs.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Make no mistake about it: Bush is emulating Saddam's rule in Iraq. Not in the US press (from AlHayat today): the US colonial administration has issued a royal decree in which it is stated that demonstrations in Iraq are banned unless they are authorized in advance by the colonial powers. Those who wish to demonstrate have to notify the US colonial power 24 hours in advance; demonstrators are to be prohibited from carrying sticks (of different kinds), and the demonstration cannot last for more than 15 minutes, I am not kidding. The pro-Saudi, pro-American paper added that this decree reminded Iraqis of Saddam's rule. In another lovely development, the coordinator of the Iraqi Democratic Human Rights organization, Hasan Sha`ban, announced that some 15,000 Iraqis have hitherto been arrested accused of resisting the US (and Micronesian) occupation. This number is only for the Abu Gharib Prison in Baghdad, and the number may double if you add prisoners in Basrah and elsewhere. What we used to chant when Saddam was in power still applies today: FREE IRAQ.
Iraq: quicksand and blood.
The enemy is getting tougher to defeat, says this Bin Laden expert.
US troops morale is low, obviously, despite the brave 2 hours trop by Bush.
This is the member of the puppet council who was a Saddam intelligence henchman, and who (acccording to my friend Abbas--just in case he sues me) used to chase and kill Saddam's opponents in Europe. He is now writing in the Washington Post, daring to speak in the name of all Iraqis. As a spokesperson for humanity, I say he has no right to speak in the name of Iraqis; he can speak in the name of Saddam's intelligence thugs.
I do not mean to disturb you, but there is a war going on in Afghanistan, long liberated by Bush.
When Israeli troops shoot an unarmed teen, the New York Times calls that a clash. Notice that New York Times always carries pictures of funerals of Israeli victims, and rarefly for Palestinian victims.
Bush keeps saying that he is making progress, but the pace of US casualties has accelerated according to Washington Post.
The lies of Tony Blair are refuted by none other than Paul Bremer.
French women are urging for a female president. US to follow in a century or two.
The world is pulling together for the devastated Iranian city of Bam. US government considers help: Bush offers to bomb the city to liberate the survivors.
US, belatedly, is now shelving all its gradiose plans for the remaking of Iraq, and the remaking of the Middle East. The countdown for US withdrawal from Iraq has begun. Mark my words (I mean, my pearls of wisdom).
For my readers in Saudi Arabia (and I know that I have frequent visitors from Saudi Arabia): your oppressive government just announced the arrest of more than 4000 people. In the Saudi (in)Justice System, where lovers are still stoned, you do not need trials or a process. Prince Nayif is God, Prosecution, Defense, and Executioner; all in one person.
You have to read Rober Fisk to expose the lies of the US occupation.
I have a flu, but am not too sick to be outraged. You know who bothers the Angry Arab? (Here you are all supposed to say, in unison: "Who, oh Angry Arab?"). Muslim American organizations. They really bother me. I am more likely to donate money to Tony Danza Fan Club, than to them. Since Sep. 11 they have gotten worse. First, they think that they can really out-smart the system: One Muslim-American leader was bragging in Florida in 2000 about how many Muslim votes he had brought for George W. Bush, and how George W. Bush is going to be great for Muslim and Arab rights. His name is Sami Al-`Aryan and he is now in jail on various charges of aiding terrorism. Of course, those Muslim organizations are so conservative socially that they are in tune with the social agenda of the Republican Party. And I hate how they feel that they have to offer daily apologies for any act by any Muslim anywhere around the world. Why? Not that one endorses such acts; but when you feel obligated to offer apologies for every act of violence by every kook or person who happens to be Muslim or Arab you are only reinforcing the suspicion. Arabs and Muslims in the US should insist that their citizenship is not conditional; that they should not be expected to issue a press release every time or any time a Muslim does anything anywhere. We do not expect Jewish Americans or Methodist Americans to account for the behavior of every Jewish person or every Methodist person; and by the same token, we should not expect Muslim groups to do that. It is crazy. And they love to invite White House officials to their conferences. (Here, this group invited a White House official, who happens to be of Middle East backgroud--most likely the only token one in the radius of the White House--to a panel on Iraq, and he told them what a wonderful job Bush is doing in that occupation. He also did not waste time to name all the countries of the "coalition" to deny that this is an American enterprise. I saw part of that on C-Span and he did not name Micronesia despite its heroic soldier in Iraq. You can watch the silly conference, especially if you are dying to hear that Islam is compatible with democracy and with women's rights.And with all what is going on in the world, especially in Iraq and Palestine, MPAC is busy issuing a press release saying that they: "strongly oppose the decision of the French government to ban Islamic headscarves from public schools as a major affront to freedom of religion and expression." Notice how they forgot to notice that the French ban did NOT single out Muslim headscarves. Also, they are dying for acceptance or approval by the US government, and would love to have their pictures taken with White House officials. James Zoghby of the Arab American Institute is the master of such silliness. If we Arab Americans are even interned in this country, James Zoghby will drive the buses taking us to camps, and then have his picture taken with the prison guards, and take it to UAE to ask for money for his group.

Friday, December 26, 2003

US is occupying Iraq, and this Iraqi cleric (the influential Muqtada As-Sadr) calls for a boycott of French products because of the French ban on conspicuous religious symbols in state buildings and institutions (in the Arabic press, it is now referred to simply--and highly inaccurately--as the ban on the veil).
The cult of Mao. For the real Mao, I strongly recommend the book by his private physican:The Private Life of Chairman Mao, by Li Zhi-Sui.
This is the disgustingly racist headline from Lost Angeles Times: "12-Week Lull in Mideast Ends" Palestinians have been regularly killed by Israelis in the last 12 weeks, but only the killing of Israelis yesterday constituted an "end to the lull."
A fistful of dollars. US troops think that they can buy Iraqi forgiveness for their "errors" with $300.
Bush has managed to make the militants popular in Turkey.
Congratulate the heirs of Mussolini: Patriot Act II was signed.
Make no mistake about it: the occupiers in Iraq are dispensing with funds as they wish, without any role by Iraqis. But Bush keeps making his effort to create the biggest mess in the history of the Middle East.
Help for the exiled women of Afghanistan. I forgot, did Bush liberate the women of Afghanistan or the women of Iraq? Or did he liberate both? How long has Bush been in the business of liberating women? He must be a feminist, is he?
Zapatistas regroup.
I agree with this article, despite the pessimism and despair in the ranks of many US leftists and Arabs. The war in Iraq has in fact revealed the limitations and weaknesses of the US Empire. It may also have benefited those who are opposed to the US Empire that this great world power is led by..................GEORGE W BUSH. To have a competent and skilled leader at its helm would have been far scarier.
The mess is getting messier: Sunni religious leaders form a special Sunni council. Friday sermons in Sunni mosques yesterday were quite sectarian in saying that "Sunnis are at a disadvantage" because they alone have chosen to stand up to the occupation while Shi`ites and Kurds are cooperating with the occupation. Shi`ite speakers took offense as many consider their position (of peaceful resistance) to be one of non-cooperation, not to mention that many attacks on US and other "coalition" troops occur in Shi`ite areas. But US media only report occurrences in the so-called Sunni triangle. If they report otherwise, it may harm the propaganda image of the administration.
Israeli soldiers shoot two peace activists. Bush encourages Israel to shoot more peace activists; it is good for his "war on terrorism." But do not be alarmed: Israel will initiate a probe. Now, I know, Israel never seriously investigages the murder of innocent Palestinians by its soldiers, but I promise you that this investigation will be serious as one of the victims is an Israeli.
Sudanese Islamic fundamentalist leader, Hasan Turabi, remembers Bin Laden as an "entrepreneur". He almost sounded as if Bin Laden was a peace activist in the Sudan.
Some good news for women.
So much for the theory that (lousy general) Saddam is directing the resistance: a big offensive by the Iraqi resistance is launched.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

Excellent critique of the lousy Geneva Accord by my friend Joseph.
When told about the mad cow disease scare, Bush says: "Let the masses eat caviar." (By the way, Marie Antoinette never said what she is alleged to have said. That was a fabrication, probably by sexist historians).
CNN should be bought by the White House. CNN is reporting, with a straight face, that the lies in Bush's famous speech were the fault of fact checkers. They check facts, not lies and fabrications.
Americans are becoming more open-minded: increase in US public support for gays in the military, on the condition that they all serve in Tikrit.
A major discovery. Apparently Saddam is still directing the insurgency. Yes, he is in US custody. But apparently, he is sending messages to the insurgents from his prison cell through the lice in his hair. Who would have guessed.
You would think that I am making this up to amuse you. I am not. The Washington Post has yet another account of the "trove of intelligence" found on Saddam (in the pocket of his garb, I guess as it is unlikely to find anything more in that magical briefcase of his). And how silly: every other day, some silly American newspaper carries a story about how the US military FINALLY uncovered the true structure and organization of the insurgents. Every week or so, they seem to capture "the most important leader" behind the insurgency. Who are they fooling? The mess is much worse than the Washington Post would like to acknowledge. According to published press reports, the CIA estimates that some 50,000 Iraqis are involved in the resistance. And with the tough and bloody tactics of the US military, the number will only grow particularly when Iraqis do not fear the return of the horrors of Saddam's regime, and particularly when they feel embittered by the unpleasurable US occupation. This is like when Israel, almost weekly, announces the capture (or the murder--Israel does not capture, it kills, without trial of course--this is one country in the world that it would be better for human rights if it reinstates the death penalty. At least with the death penalty, you get a legal process and trial. Now, Israel brags to US that it does not have the death penalty, so it feels free to go around assassinating Palestinians with rockets and car bombs, on the basis of SUSPICIONS OR HUNCHES), --continue where I was with "capture"--of "a key Hamas master-terrorist," only to hear a week later that there is yet another Hamas "master-terrorist." Who are they fooling: themselves and the US press.
On protecting children from rape and racism.
You know that an American presidential candidate is taking himself seriously, and is taken seriously, when he starts telling voters how much he loves Jesus, and how influenced he is by Jesus. Howard Dean, who never spoke about religion before, now would like you to know that he is, you guessed right, very close to God and would love to pray in the White House. Yes, let us now anticipate with great eagerness a presidential contest between two men each wanting to prove his piety.
An interesting account by a right-wing Washington Times columnist of Arab theories of Saddam's past alliance with the US.
The French revolutionary Robespierre once observed that: "clerics are to virtue what charlatans are to medicine." Here is this Egyptian fundamentalist cleric, Yusuf Al-Qardawi: he rails and yells regularly, and yet if he is ever summoned by an Arab prince or a king, he rushes in a second to pay homage. (He once was humiliated at UAE airport and yet would not dare say a bad word about UAE ruler). He claims to be disturbed by the sufferings of the Palestinians, and yet says not a word about the Qatari friendship with Ariel Sharon. HE after all is very close to the corrupt Qatari prince. And here he is accusing the French government of hostility to Islam. I would take him more seriously if he speaks against the House of Saud and their intolerance and fanaticism.
Should we reconsider our views of the brutality of Israel? Have we been unfair to Israel? In a humanitarian gesture that will certainly change the public opinion of the Palestinian people, the Israeli state releases a Palestinian prisoner before his 13th birthday. (Oh, yes, Israel routinely holds children , women, and elderly in custody). It is also amazing that after daily Israeli killing of Palestinians for the last several weeks, the White House press spokesperon suddenly addressed the issue: he strongly condemned the Palestinian attack in Israel, and said NOT A WORD about Israeli killing of Palestinians. For him and his administration, Palestinian lives do not count.
America's beloved Pakistani dictator is increasingly unpopular. He survived two assassination attempts in two weeks, and American stubborn support for him may eventually help the militant fundamentalists in Pakistan.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

For those who care: a link to my interview earlier this week on Flashpoints. (Thanks to Nico. Nico, is not a rapper, but has his own blog.) Even George W. Bush has his own blog now; click HERE to read it.
Powerful pictures from Iraq by Nir Rosen. (thanks Nir).
Iran says that it will retaliate if attacked by Israel. Notice how the US press will make this an unprovoked Iranian threat, and will not mention that Israel was the first to issue the threat.
Christopher Hitchens is also caught in a lie. A big lie.
Paul Bremer, the colonial viceroy of Iraq, is certifiably a liar when he states that US did not harm the Iraqi infra-structure. (Usually, perhaps because both of my parents are lawyers, I add "allegedly", but not this time.)
US occupation versus the press in Iraq.
Class struggle 101. (The Holiday season always reminded me of class inequalities.)
Why do Americans favor tax policies that favor the wealthy?
Tony Judt is in trouble: he dared to call for a bi-national state.
Colin Powell, who will go down in history as the person who gave that speech, anthology of lies and fabrications really, at the UN would like you to know that Bush, has a vision for a "better world." It may be true, but the question remains: better for whom?
The law of war in the "war on terrorism".
The FOGS of war: what happened in the Iraqi museum, for example? But I wish the dead Iraqi civilians got the attention that the Sumerian relics received.
Are these leftist professors (including Edward W. Said and Henry Louis Gates) sexist? I think that they may be but her evidence is not compelling (not in the interview anyway.
Israel not only arrests and kills suspects, but it also gives itself the right to arrest (or kill) relatives of suspects. Notice that US occupation in Iraq is playing by Israel's playbook, as if Zionism has been a great success in the subjugation of a displaced people. Did you hear human rights organizations calling for the releaseof r the DAUGHTER and WIFE of `Izzat Ad-Duri for example? Even Usama Bin Laden's own brothers were allowed (by the House of Bush--their friends) to leave the US after Sep. 11.
Even the thuggish warlords of Afghanistan (US favorite allies) are fed up with the dictatorial ambitions of Hamid Karzai, America's favorite dictator-in-the-making.
Freedom of Speech at Baghdad High school.
"CARLSON: Well, actually, I didn't deal with a lot of soldiers... We stayed in a house in Baghdad and saw almost no soldiers... In the drive from Kuwait into Baghdad, I didn't see a single American soldier from the Kuwait border all the way until I got to the CNN bureau at the Palestine Hotel. Driving around Baghdad, which we did a lot every day, I didn't see any, none, not one American soldier. It was really striking... The green zone is essentially the neighborhood where Saddam Hussein kept his palaces, wide streets, lovely area... And it's essentially an American zone, heavily fortified, hard to get in, tanks around the perimeter, parts of it anyway, and many American soldiers there, and also the CPA... And that's...very different than the rest of Baghdad, which, again, there's not an obvious American presence. I saw one American flag, one, when I was there for the entire week. And it was at the Baghdad International Airport on the fourth floor in the bar. And that was it." From a CNN transcript. (thanks Nico).
Will's article on Sharon's ultimatum. Will is also a rapper.
Palestinians are in a state of despair.
The neo-con group that urged for years for a war on Iraq, now wants a war against Libya.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

An unclassified Pentagon report is leaked to the Center for American Progress. It does not conform with rosy press reports and rosy government briefings.
This is lovely. A senior US official assures Israel that the US will not change its policy on Israeli WMDs. What US policy? There is NO US policy on Israeli WMDs? Unless you call "pretending that they do not exist" a policy.
Washington Post is very proud that the US occupation is adjusting to local Iraqi culture.
In the best tradition of Italian fascism, Italian prime minister urges the US to engage in more wars.
Analysis of the famous friendship between Saddam Husayn and Donald Rumsfeld (not to be confused with Jack in the Box).
Make no mistake about it: Zionism is racism: Chinese workers in Israel were made to sign a pledge that they would not have sex with, or marry, Israelis.
This is a nightmarish pilgrimage in Iraq.
Yet another "new" theory as to why there are no Iraqi WMDS (in fact, Prime Minister Blair, or Bliar, keeps saying that we should wait; that they will be found): a) that US troops found the WMDs but while they were transporting them, they lost them somewhere in Iraq; b) that the WMDs have evaporated under the Iraqi sun; c) that the WMDs were not found becuase they were stored in buildings which had Arabic writings, and US troops cannot read Arabic; d) that Saddam thought that he had WMDs (because he was lied to by his staff) and if Saddam thought it, then Western government went along???????
While the Bush administration continues to make great progress in the "war on terrorism," anti-missiles batteries are deployed in US cities. And we are supposed to feel safer under Bush's command?
The White House's own Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board faults the White House on claims of Iraqi nuclear weapons.

Monday, December 22, 2003

We have the video: we have the video. Watch a video of the first meeting between Donald Rumsfeld, not to be confused with Billy Bob Rumsfeld, and Saddam Husayn. This first meeting started the solid friendship.
So the Egyptian Foreign Minister was roughed up by angry Palestinians today in Jerusalem. Make no mistake about it. This was an American idea: I mean the visit by the Egyptian foreign minister to Israel, was an American idea. The Egyptian government has been resisting American pressures to send the foreign minister for fear of angering Egyptian and Palestinian public opinion. But the Egyptian dictator (friend of the US) has lately been particularly subservient to the Americans because he wants US support for the succession of his son to the presidency of Egypt. I knew that foreign minister when he was Egyptian ambassador in DC: while I disagree totally and absolutely with the Egyptian government and the foreign minister, I must confess that I found him (I only met him a few times) to be a very nice and down-to-earth person. The angry Palestinian youths hit him with their shoes inside the mosque. This would not be the first assassination (attempt) by shoes. The Egyptian female Sultan, Shajarat Ad-Durr (d. 1259) led Egypt in the 13th century, and was so powerful that her enemies kept trying to kill her. Eventually, they sent concubines to the bath where she was relaxing, and hit her with their shoes (sandals made of wood) until she died.
Please do not critize the human rights violations in Uzbekistan: it is a friendly (albeit brutal) dictatorship.
A really good column by Norman Solomon. As I told him, he only missed one great quotation from NBC reporter David Bloom (when he was embedded with the troops): From New York Times, March 25, 2003: "The coverage of the Iraq war, especially on television, began in a glow of shared purpose. "I can tell you that these soldiers have been amazing to us," said David Bloom, an NBC News correspondent traveling with the Third Infantry. While pledging objectivity, he added, "They have done anything and everything that we could ask of them, and we in turn are trying to return the favor by doing anything and everything that they can ask of us."
Gen. Anthony Zinni has been wise. For that, he was pushed away by the White House, which initially sought his advise and expertise.
With fanatics like Wolfowitz (or McNamara): never express regret and never offer apologies.
What rules the White House? Greed or idoelogy? It certainly is not the lofty ideals that they keep invoking.
The mess that Bush made in the Mdidle East: by David Hirst.
Syria will now be pressured. It is important that we guarantee Israeli monopoly of WMDs in the Middle East. It is good for the cause of peace because Israel, in case you have not heard, is committed to pacifism.
Guilty of being Palestinian in Iraq.
A trove of documents: all what you wanted to know about Saddam's friendship with the US government. Will this come out during the trial? "What trial?", Bush asks Cheney.
Medical military evacuations from Iraq near 11,000
Angry Arab will be pontificating on Flashpoint this evening. Check your local listings (I think it is 5:00PM Pacific Time).

Sunday, December 21, 2003

The failures of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq. And this article appeared in Washington Times.
Americans support war in Iraq, 2-1. I know that people on the left in the US do not like polls. They rarely bring them good news.
In an interview with Time Magazine, Donald Rumsfeld, not to be confused with Will Farrell, says that US needs a bigger army and an Eastern breathing space.
A report on Sunni fears in Iraq. We should speak of Iraqi fears in Iraq.
In the UK press, they have noticed the FIFTH NUCLEAR POWER IN THE WORLD: Israel. Who, Bush asks Cheney?
Letters by US soldiers.
Very sad: AIDS activist murdered in a gang rape.
Lest we forget: everyday's tales of Saddam's cruelty.
I wish that Muslim groups would stop referring to the French secular reform as "banning of veils." French secularism does not target ONE religion, but all religions, which makes it fair and balanced (really fair and balanced, not like the slogan of FOX News).
Saddam's briefcase continues to produce valuable information and treasures for the US. Just yesterday, the US, after a careful search of the briefcase, found 400 million barrels of crude oil, 34 fighter jets, the scripts (in Arabic callipgraphy) for every episode of Seinfeld and ER, and 455 missiles. There have been reports that the body of Jimmy Hoffa was also in the briefcase, but those reports have not been confirmed yet.
A five-year-old Palestinian boy was shot by Israeli troops. In response, Bush, in an interview with an Israeli journalist, encouraged Israel to "get rid" of Arafat.
And to make the world safer, the US introduces more dangerous weapons in South Korea. I always worry when leaders promise you peace and security. When I was a kid, an innocent kid I should add, a lousy man was elected president of Lebanon (in 1970). He promised security and safety for the Lebanese, and said in his inaugural speech: "you now may sleep with your doors wide open." Under his watch, Lebanon entered its savage civil war which resulted in the death of some 100,000 Lebanese (mostly civilians).
American neo-conservatives are celebrating. And the Bush doctrine is now poudly brandished.
Reason and faith? or Reason versus faith?
Sad facts. That should become a permanent feature. Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to gay marriage. But they are quite open-minded about marriage with people from outer space.
If I were the US government, I would hire a propaganda Tsar to coordinate all the propaganda lies of the government in order to send a unified message. The incoherence and inconsistencies of US propaganda as of late are really bad for the image of this global empire. It looks like what I read in the Arabic press, I now read in the US press, but days later. Now they are reporting that the Kurds may in fact have captured Saddam, before surrendering him to the Americans to reap the propaganda benefits. And remember how we were earlier told that Saddam was cooperating from the beginning with US troops? (Say: Yes, we do remember, Oh, Angry Arab. Why do you ask?) Well, now Newsweek is reporting that, far from cooperating with his captors, Saddam spat on the soldiers, and had to be forcibly subdued before being taken away. What else will we learn next week? Do you see why Arabs sometimes--OK, often--resort to conspiracy theories? They have a congenital distrust of governments' propaganda. I also get upset when I hear Saddam's daughter speaking about her father's rights and his need for legal defense. Where were her concerns for the rule of law during daddy's brutal rule? And while I understand Amnestry International's defense for the principles of international law, I wish that they would devote their energies for the defence of prisoners in Iraq (especially whose who have not committed crimes and have not been charged with crimes) instead of worrying about Saddam's welfare. Saddam should be the LAST prisoner in the world that Amnesty International should worry about.
Latest breakdown of visitors to the website:

.net Network 8042 52.9
.com Commercial 3847 25.3
.edu USA Educational 1877 12.3
.uk United Kingdom 653 4.3
.lb Lebanon 140 0.9
.org Non-Profit Organizations 123 0.8
.us United States 106 0.7
.gov USA Government 75 0.5
.ca Canada 62 0.4
.de Germany 42 0.3
.il Israel 35 0.2
.fr France 27 0.2
.au Australia 21 0.1
.jp Japan 18 0.1
.nl Netherlands 17 0.1
.sa Saudi Arabia 15 < 0.1
.es Spain 12 < 0.1
.sg Singapore 9 < 0.1
.dk Denmark 9 < 0.1
.fi Finland 8 < 0.1
.se Sweden 7 < 0.1
.be Belgium 7 < 0.1
.ch Switzerland 6 < 0.1
.pl Poland 6 < 0.1
.is Iceland 5 < 0.1
.it Italy 5 < 0.1
.yu Yugoslavia 4 < 0.1
.mil USA Military 3 < 0.1
.ma Morocco 3 < 0.1
.my Malaysia 3 < 0.1
.qa Qatar 2 < 0.1
.lu Luxembourg 2 < 0.1
.no Norway 2 < 0.1
.sy Syria 2 < 0.1
.int International 2 < 0.1
.za South Africa 2 < 0.1
.hu Hungary 1 < 0.1
.ua Ukraine 1 < 0.1
.hk Hong Kong 1 < 0.1
.ie Ireland 1 < 0.1
.ph Philippines 1 < 0.1
.mx Mexico 1 < 0.1
.ae United Arab Emirates < 0.1
.cl Chile 1 < 0.1
.in India 1 < 0.1
.gr Greece 1 < 0.1
.tw Taiwan 1 < 0.1
Now skeptical stories about the story of Saddam's capture have arrived to the Western press: here is one, and here isanother. But what I do not understand is why some 52 % of Americans who say that they are more likely to vote for Bush due to the capture of Saddam think that Bush was behind the capture. Why is that? And another note on the new Arab dictatorship that the US will love and cuddle: Libya. A friend of mine was sent by the UN to do a study of Libyan economy. She goes to her hotel, and checks in. And when she goes to her room, she discovers--to her horror--that her room door has no lock whatever. She hurries downstairs, and reported to the front desk what she thought was an error. They told her: Of course, there are no locks on the door. How would we be able to enter your room if we have locks on the doors. For the entire month or so that she spent in Libya, she was afraid to take off her clothes. But do not badmouth the Libyan dictatorship: an ally of the US in the "war on terrorism."
Now on Saddam’s capture and the Arab press. Lebanese member of Saddam’s Regional Command of the Ba`th Party, `Abdul-Majid Ar-Rafi`i, adds his voice to the theories of Saddam’s capture. Ar-Rafi`i is a long-time ally of Saddam, and Saddam has rewarded him handsomely. So he gave a speech yesterday, in which he described Saddam as “an authentic Arab leader.” He also stated, nay asserted, that it is certain that Saddam “was fully sedated,” and that there was so many gases in the area that the cattle was sedated (he said asleep) for more than a day. And Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, a pro-Saudi and pro-US daily published in London, did its own investigation. You see: `Abdul-Bari `Atwan the editor of the London daily Al-Quds Al-`Arabi, and who is simultaneously sympathetic to Saddam and Bin Laden (he insists on calling him Shaykh Usamah Bin Laden), expressed his doubts over US accounts of the capture, and he made a reference to a palm tree in the picture of the hideout house because, he observed, a palm tree was bearing yellow palms. So he was implying that the picture was taken much earlier in the year. So Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat sent a team to the area and asked the local farmer and was told that it is not unusual to have the tree bearing yellow palms at this time of year because the trees were not pollinated. Finally, the pro-Saudi, pro-American daily, Al-Hayat, and it is also London-based, also named yet another person who was responsible for surrendering Saddam to the Americans. He was identified as a “Kh. N.”, and is a close relative of Saddam. Contradicting the US military, Al-Hayat is reporting that the man received the $25 million and may have been transferred outside of Iraq. And LBC-TV has just reported yet another story: that the person who turned Saddam in is from the Jabburi family. That his daughter was raped by the thuggish `Udayy Husayn, and he wanted revenge. The story rejects the US military account of "intelligence work" and maintains that the person turned Saddam in to a Kurdish party, which in turn turned him to the Americans. This may be more plausible an account given that the first news of Saddam's capture was announced by Kurdish leader Jalal Talbani.
The Libyan dictator (who is now respectfully referred to by Bush as “Col. Mu’ammar Al-Qadhdhafi) is now proving that he will do anything to please the US. He refuses to be out-performed by Saddam Husayn. He is now offering to go through a rectal exam on live TV, provided the event is hosted by Geraldo. Geraldo, who has been looking for Bin Laden in the mountains of Tora Bora, is mulling the offer.
Help me out here. A country that has troops in 156 countries; bases and troops in 63 countries; and has added 13 military bases and troops in seven more countries since Sep. 11, is an Empire or a soft NGO? I am not sure.
Honoring the Iraqi CIVILIAN dead.
Now, the primary victims of Saddam were the Iraqi people, followed by the Iranian people. But the esteemed New Yorker believes otherwise. They think that Israel is Saddam's primary victim, it seems. And here they interview the lousiest American journalist covering the Middle East (and there was tough competition for that honor, believe me), Jeffrey Goldberg (who served in the Israeli Army, according to Alexander Cockburn, and who went around the Middle East after Sep. 11 to prove his theory that Muslim engage in violence because they are eager to meet the virgins in heaven. When he arrived in Egypt, he interviewed Muntasar Az-Zayyat (a lawyer who is close to the fundamentalists), and the latter told him: "Mr. Goldberg. Muslims have sex on earth too, you know."
Victory for Pakistani women. (Please, do not liberate them; they can liberate themselves, and without throwing bombs over their heads).
As you know, I detest and abhor all forms of prejudice. So I, of course, abhor anti-Semitism. But I am bothered when Zionists invoke the new term: “New anti-Semitism.” First, prejudice is prejudice, and anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism, and it makes no moral or analytic sense to distinguish between old and new prejudice. Secondly, the new term is intended to equate all manifestations of anti-Zionism, or even opposition to Israel, with anti-Semitism. Thirdly, if one is to buy that bogus argument, and knowing that world opinion, outside of Israel and the US, (and probably Micronesia, but do not even bet on Micronesia for that one) is overwhelming opposed to Israeli actions and violence, does that mean that the entire world is overwhelmingly anti-Semitic? Now I am pessimistic about the human condition, but not that pessimistic.
Missing US-Iran history. And there is more information on secret visits to Baghdad in 1984 by Donald Rumsfeld, not to be confused with Reese Witherspoon.
Nora Tamimi accuses the US of helping Saddam in the assassination of her father (an opponent of Saddam). (thanks Marc).
A guide to nation building.
Audacity. Israel "welcomes" the Libyan decision to end its WMD's PROGRAMS. Israel, which has WMD WEAPONS and methods of delivery, is openly discussing bombing Iran. In other news, Bush plans to call Ariel Sharon a man of peace three times a day. Four times, if you press him.
Every state should declare laicite as "comme une valeur forte de la République", to quote the French president. And despite criticisms of the French propsal by Muslim groups in US, French Muslims seem to offer "little opposition" to the proposal.
The monster we--not me, YOU, make.
US favorite puppet in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, whose very name brings chuckles in the Middle East due to his utter dependence on US, may be weakened.
US troops in Iraq shoot at their own Iraqi police men, by mistake.
Former CIA analysts discuss propaganda and war.

Saturday, December 20, 2003

Arab press accounts of "what really happened" regarding Saddam's capture continue. The Iraqi newspaper Az-Zaman is the latest contribution. It is probably the best selling Arabic newspaper in Iraq today. It is edited by Sa`d Al-Bazzaz. He is now a media mogul, and is close to the American occupation. Al-Bazzaz will be starting a private satellite TV station, among other ventures he is planning. We need to remember that he was director of Iraqi TV UNDER SADDAM. This skilled journalist used his talents to help Saddam with the construction of his personality cult. He wrote a best-selling book after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1991, in which he faulted Kuwait for the invasion. He later broke with Saddam (over human rights he wants you to believe), and became close to the Jordanian and Gulf governments (who of course have the highest respect for human rights and democracy). In this account, the newspaper reports that a certain bodyguard of Saddam, by the name of Qusayy Rasul, was the one who was responsible. It maintains that Saddam asked him to fetch him some food (Pizza, KFC family meal, Subway 4444" sandwich, California Pizza Kitchen to go, among other items), and the fellow came back with the American troops 2 hours later. The fellow will not be receiving the hefty reward because he did not volunteer the information and because he had participated in attacks on US troops before.
You will now understand why Arabs laugh (or cry) when Bush speaks about human rights and democracy. The Libyan dictator has been trying his best to win back respectability in the eyes of US and UK. He paid more than $3 billion to the relatives of the innocent victims of Pan Am 103. Shame on the relatives of the victims: they used to say that they will not settle until the Libyan dictator (who is responsible for that crime) is brought to justice. They seem to have changed their minds once the millions arrived. And now Bush makes a statement about Libya's decision to surrender all of its WMDs. Notice that he does not call him "dictator" anymore. THAT IS A FIRST. So the criterion for the US is not about democracy or human rights. It is exclusively about the extent to which the leader is willing to submit to US dictates and will. So the Libyan leader will now be allowed to kill and oppress his people, provided he does what he is told by US.
The obscurantist clerics of the Islamic Al-Azhar University (a mere tool of the Egyptian government) have struck again. Taking time off their busy schedule of book banning, they now have ruled that it is impermissible to portray prayer by actors. You cannot accuse those clerics of not addressing the weighty issues of the Ummah.
A brave woman in Afghanistan lashes out against the thuggish warlords (US allies in the country, of course).
A very interesting debate between Tariq Ali and Christopher Hitchens on Democracy Now.
On the blunders (what a mild word) of Bush's foreign policy.
Military expected more attacks after Saddam's capture. The Iraqi Ba`thists may get more out of control, and the Bin Ladenites and other Sunni (and possibly Shi`ite) fundamentalists may feel less reluctant to align themselves with the Ba`thists (because Saddam personally was particularly hated by all the fundamentalists). So while Howard Dean says that we are not safer after Saddam's capture, we may, in fact, become far less safe as the mess of Iraq gets worse, and as the enemies of the US gravitate toward the Iraq scene. In fact, a website loyal to the Bin Ladenites, published yesterday a document about Iraq in which it praised the fall of the regime mainly for two reasons: 1) that it would bring a decline in the appeal of Arab nationalist (infidel) ideology; and 2) because it will provide an opportunity for their followers to face the Americans over there. Those of us who opposed this Iraq war we right all along. All our warnings will be proven to be correct.
Vigilante justice in Iraq may eventually trigger a Shi`ite-Sunni war in Iraq: but Bush continues to make progress.
US is worried about the "potential" nuclear weapons of the Arabs; but it has no problems with the ACTUAL Israel nuclear arsenal.
Data mining for the US government.
The story of a Lebanese who was arrested in Iraq by US troops.
Turn on your TV: the Pentagon will now be broadcasting to your local stations live. Is that not nice and kind?
Article by my friend `Abbas on the Kurdish question in Iraq today.
This is ridiculous. You can understand why Arabs do not take US declarations on human rights and democracy serious. So the State Department issued its annual report on religious freedoms around the world. Just compare the text about Saudi Arabia (by far, the most oppressive government as far as religious freedoms are concerned) with the section on Cuba.
The dubious link between Saddam and Muhammad `Ata: from the forged documents of the Iraqi National Congress reportedly.
The shooting of a schoolboy in Samarra' in Iraq by US troops. Inesgtigation by Robert Fisk, the best ME correspondent.
NPR does not know, nor does it recognzie, the reality of the Turkish genocide of Armenians.
So yesterday, as was reported in AANS (Angry Arab News Service), the White House spokesperson sounded critical of Sharon's speech and threats. Today, a senior US official (most likely Condaleesa Rice) briefed the press and expressed praise for Sharon's threats. The US government, the official said, was quite "pleased" with Sharon's threats. He was also encouraged to issue more threats to Arabs. In fact, the US government today considers Sharon's speech to be a very positive development. Why not?
How lame. Fouad Ajami citing the great mind of Hannah Arendt. But when he talks about Arendt's notion of "the banality of evil", and she was talking about Adolph Eichmann, it is as if he has not read her, or missed the point. She was talking about the Nazi evil at the rank of the bureacratic functionaries like Eichmann. She would never invoke the notion of Banality of Evil about Saddam: Saddam's evil was not ordinary or banal. Notice that Ajami also invokes the dreaded cliches of Raphael Patai's racist book the Arab Mind when he talks about the "shame culture" of the Arabs, as if there is no notion of shame in the West. Also notice that he expresses his admiration for Qatar and Kuwait: two polygamous and royal dictatorships. These are the only two Arab countries that invite Ajami.

Friday, December 19, 2003

Iraqi theories abound about Saddam's capture. I see less of a mystery. Saddam was always obsessed about HIS safely, HIS life, and HIS survival. He was only reckless with OTHER people's lives. A Jordanian newspaper Al-`Arab Al-Yawm identifies Saddam's security agent (who was also his relative) who surrendered him to the Americans. According to the paper, this Muhammad Ibrahim `Umar Al-Musallit, approached the Americans through a relative, and they made a plan that required the sedation of Saddam, before the arrival of the Americans. But the account does not seem credible because the paper also adds that Musallit may have been killed by his clan for his role in the capture of Saddam. It is unlikely that the Americans would let this valuable source go after his role. And the paper also names Khalid Al-Hamad of Tikrit as a possible source, which casts more doubt over their account. Jordanian press (like the Kuwaiti press in the 1980s) is notoriously and vulgarly pro-Saddam, and they may be scrambling to explain Saddam's surrender.
Refugees have yet to return to Iraq. But Bush keeps making progress in Iraq.
Hypocrisy. This right-wing Lebanese American (who is an MSNBC terrorism and Middle East and Islam analyst) was a deputy commander of the Lebanese Forces Christian Militia in Lebanon. The militia specialized in car bombs, and kidnappings, and indiscriminate shelling, not to mention the Sabra and Shatila massacres. Here he writes an article about Saddam Husayn and poses as an advocate for democracy and human rights. His militia (he does not tell you this) was aligned VERY closely WITH SADDAM HUSAYN (who gave it weapons and money) when he was a member of its command.
Very interesting analysis of Anti-Americanism by Pew director.
Israel muzzles the foreign press. It is high time that Americans realize that the only democracy in the Middle East is..................Cyprus.
Study finds poverty in Palestinian camps.
Public ferment in Saudi Arabia. And US lowers profile in Saudi Arabia. US diplomats are warned to not take any more pictures while sitting on King Fahd's lap.
The Justice Department has been less than hospitable of foreign journalists.
US comapines in Iraq and their ties to administration.
US warns Israel over unilateral moves. Israel was warned that any Israeli unilateral moves could lead to US bombing of Syria and Lebanon. And if Israel persists in its defiance, Syria and Lebanon may be occupied by US troops. (I am sorry; I meant to say liberate. US troops do not occupy foreign lands. They liberate them.)
The American weapons' expert who was in charge of finding Iraqi WMDs is leaving his job. It does not mean that he has not found the WMDs. He found tons of knives, sharp metal objects, and rifles; all of which could have posed a threat to Iraq's neighbors.
Oh, please. US chides France for the ban on the conspicuous religious manifestations in state buildings and institutions. I do not like how US and Islamic press refer to the French report as "ban of the veil." It is a ban on veils, skull caps, and big crosses. It is consisent. But the US lecturing to France on religious freedoms is akin to Israel giving lectures about self-determination for peoples. And this right-wing US senator also blasts France over the issue of secularism. Vive la tomate.
Who is tinkering with the White House website? Apprently, some political modifcations are made.
I still do not understand why US propaganda is planting those stories. This one claims that, among the many valuable information found in Saddam's briefcase, were documents revealing that US command in Iraq was infiltrated by Saddam's agents. If this was true, why would the US leak that information instead of proceeding to watch those agents? And how much did the US find in Saddam's briefcase? So far, we are told that the US found $750,000, tons of documents containing the name of every Iraqi citizen and his/her hobby; the phone books of 345 cities and villages around the world; 45500 watermelons; 44 sacks of potatoes; and the latest edition of Encyclopedia Britannica. All that was found in Saddam's magical briefcase. The state, any state, operates on the assumption that citizens are stupid. Bakunin was onto something.
Saddam's daughter Raghd is worried that her father may not get "a fair trial." What? There have not been "fair trials" in Iraq since 1968, when her daddy came to power.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

Bills tie area studies to "national security." But what is "national security"? And who defines "national security"? For Saddam, it was whatever kept him in power.
Justice Department finds evidence of Sep. 11 detainees. Videos show physical and verbal abuse. Is that not a good thing, Bush asks Cheney? Amused, Cheney took Bush to the movies and bought him popcorn. But he was furious when Bush spilled milkshake all over his clothes. (thanks Casey)
The right-wing Campus Watch website (which has been accused of censorship and intimidation) is not pleased with the Angry Arab. Scores of people signed a petition against the Geneva accords, and they single out four of the signatories for some reason. Of course, Angry Arab is very proud of his signature and would always speak out against the lousy Geneva accord.
These honest and transparent corporations are building Iraq.
The women of Iraq, who have been liberated by Bush, are now under siege.
Having exhaustively studied the Arab-Israeli conflict, and having read the literature of Zionism and Palestinian nationailsm, and having followed closely the developments of the conflict over the last century, the well-informed American public has reached the following conclusions: 40 % support Israel, and 15 % support the Arabs. And 70 % think that Israel is serious about peace. Fair and balanced is now a label for American political culture; not only FOX NEWS.
Long live Laicite: Chirac has come out in favor of the Stasi report. A law will be drafted to ban all conspicuous religious manifestations from public schools and buildings in France. He also came out against the idea of a Jewish and a Muslim holiday for France. I am with Chirac on this. I am no fan of his (he was really close to Saddam especially in the 1970s, and Saddam was once his guest in Paris), but on the defense of secularism, I am with him.
A reference to the racist remarks by Netanyahu on Israeli Arabs.
Let me give you a hint: all the reports in the US press about how much information the US has discovered from Saddam's gigantic briefcase, only tells me one thing: they have not found any information that is valuable. If they truly found intelligence information on him, would they be bragging about it, to alert the affected people before arresting them? So there is smart propaganda and there is stupid propaganda.
When the oppressive House of Saud be noticed: Now they ban the imports of female dolls. When will the cruelty and perversion of the Saudi royal family be exposed?
Saddam's arrest is apparently fueling the insurgency. And soldiers are deserting the new Afghan Army, just as soldiers have deserted the new Iraq Army. But do not worry. Bush continues to make progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, having liberated two countries. And now, the US will unveil a new fancy US propaganda TV (in Arabic) to win more Arab minds, hearts, livers, and intestines..
Would somebody please kindly tell Hans Blix to shut up. He now goes around asserting that Iraq does not have WMDs. Why did he not speak earlier? Thousands of Iraqi dead earlier?
Robert Fisk, the best ME correspondent, visits Saddam's hole.
Iraqi intelligence agent tells Jerusalem Post that Iraq had no WMDs. US immediately orders the man to go down into Saddam's hole, until he admits that he is wrong.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Saddam Husayn rewrote the history of Iraq to give himself the role of the hero. His re-writing of history continues from captivity, it seems. Pro-Saddam Ba`thists are reporting this in their newsgroups: that there was a 30 hour "battle" between Saddam and his fighters on the one hand, and US troops on the other side. According to this fantasy--I mean account--Saddam and "his" men were able to cost the enemy some 250 casualties, while the Saddam side suffered some 150. The same story continues to say that the Americans, having failed to subdue "heroic" Saddam, used various gases and weapons to paralyze the enemy. This account however does not explain why the reporters who visited the site did not see any evidence of it.
The Islamic University of AlAzhar (a tool of the Eygptian government, no more) has struck again: after a season of banning books, now the obscurantist clerics of that institution are declaring the infidelity of all Baha'is.(thanks to anonymous).
So yesterday, in an interview with ABC News, George W. Bush answered a question on WMDs (or lack thereof) in Iraq this way: "PRESIDENT BUSH: But what David Kay did discover was they had a weapons program, and had that, that — let me finish for a second. Now it's more extensive than, than missiles. Had that knowledge been examined by the United Nations or had David Kay's report been placed in front of the United Nations, he, he, Saddam Hussein, would have been in material breach of 1441, which meant it was a causis belli. And look, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a dangerous person, and there's no doubt we had a body of evidence proving that, and there is no doubt that the president must act, after 9/11, to make America a more secure country." (thanks Mona)
The campaign to win minds and hearts in Iraq continues.
Najih Muhammad Hasan Al-Fahham Al-A`raji, the dean of the Syndicate of Ashraf (those claimants of descent from Muhammad's family), announced today that Saddam Husayn will be expelled from the syndicate. As is well known, Saddam had concocted a bogus family tree to claim descent from the Prophet of Islam. Othere Arab leaders who claim descent from Muhammad include: King `Abdullah of Jordan, King Muhammad of Morocco, among others.
Not to be outdone: Sen. Joe Lieberman also gives a.....................................a MAJOR POLICY SPEECH.
Saddam in captivity: 15 years too late, by Robert Fisk, the best ME correspondent.
And then there is this site. The editor of this Arabic site (I do not know who he is, or what his politics are) sent me this item. First, I do complain that people in the Middle East and US Left sometimes go too far in their adherence to conspiracy theories. But it is equally foolish to believe that there are no conspiracies in this world, especially with Cheney running (or trying to run) the world. One has to be careful about which conspiracy theory has some foundation or evidence. There is a story that Saddam Husayn had been held prisoner by his own guards inside the hole. The story alleges that his guards negotiated his surrender for the reward. It also alleges that he was drugged (pointing out the footage when he was feeling his own face). The story also points out that Saddam looked as if he had not been showered in weeks. Al-Quds Al-`Arabi (a London daily which expresses simultaneous sympathy for Saddam AND Bin Laden) also expresses doubts about the story of his capture. But my worry is this: supporters of Saddam want to cast doubt on the story of his capture because they are embarrassed by his lack of resistance. So maybe it is healthy to express skepticism toward Bush'propaganda, and the propaganda of Saddam's supporters. As for the Truth: it has one address:
Women are being shut out of the bogus and empty constitutional conventional in Afghanistan. But who cares? Afghanistan and its women were liberated a while back with the help of some 22,400 bombs and missiles (25 % of which missed their targets, according to Central Command's figures by the end of March of 2002).
US troops shot 16 Iraqis. No need to worry though. Of course, every one of them is a terrorist. Would US troops shoot anybody if that person is not a terrorist? Would Israeli troops kill any Palestinian child if that child was not a terrorist? Of course, not.
Do you know what Sen. John Kerry did yesterday? Unbelievable. He....gave a MAJOR POLICY SPEECH on foreign policy.
Yes, the slaughter goes on in Iraq but the president's numbers are up.
This writer predicts a growing resistance in Iraq.
CIA is showing videos to Saddam. He is made to watch anti-Saddam demonstrations in Iraq, and scenes of torture by his henchmen. He asks instead if he can watch Legally Blonde II.
Full text. This is one of the declassified documents illustrating the extent of US alliance with Saddam Husayn during the Reagan administration. This was during the time when Donald Rumsfeld, not to be confused with Billy Bob Thornton, used to go for Milkshakes with Saddam. Those were the days...
This Senator was a Klansman in his youth. He now has more wisdom than the other 99 Senators. Here he warns about Bush's preemptive wars.
Majority of Palestinians oppose the Geneva accords. Good for them.
The US violates an international agreement on government procurement. Undeterred, Bush pledges to violate every international agreement that US had ever signed. The masses cheer, and urge Bush to run for a 3rd term.
Obituary of Palestinian poet and pioneer:Her name: Fadwa Tuqan.
Senators were told before the war in Iraq that Iraqi missiles couldhit East Coast US. The Senators, known for their wisdom, intelligence, and thoughtfulness, yelled out in unison: "GO TO WAR, NOW."
Dick Cheney wishes to scare Americans. He is warning about the threats of WMDs. When Cheney engages in such talks I reach for my nearest map, wondering where he plans to invade.
You can detect a propaganda item when you see it. The Washington Post (among other newspapers) is reporting that documents found with Saddam contain full details about the insurgents in Iraq. I doubt that very much, and feel these stories are planted by US government to send messages to insurgents and demoralize them. And where did Saddam keep all those documents when he was running around, unless--we are supposed to believe--he kept a very sophisticated filing system stuck in his intestines?
A village in Nicaragua is caught in the grip of Madness.

Tuesday, December 16, 2003

I swear: I wish I had the time to go through the newspapers and publications, to point out the lies and inconsistencies coming out from US official accounts. Take how Saddam's hole in the ground was found. The New York Times reported today that when the soldiers went to the house area, "one of the Special Operations soldiers noticed an edge of a fabric-backed rubber mat peeking through soil edging the concrete floor in the home's courtyard, tugged on it and swept the earth away to find a rectangular foam plug about 20 inches high and perhaps 3 feet long, topped with two looped ropes as handles. Lifting it, he found the hiding space." Now read the account of MSNBC, on the same issue: (how the hole in the ground was found): "An informant, a confidant of Hussein whom they had brought along on the operation, had led them to that farm on the Tigris River. Now he pointed them to the very spot where Hussein was hiding in an underground chamber, according to soldiers involved in his capture. " Does anybody know the name of the song by Bob Dylan which has in it the phrase: "stop lying, stop lying, stop lying."
Would you please tell the propagandists of the US government and the Iraqi puppet council to coordinate their propaganda, please! Puppet council member (and notorious convicted embezzler Ahmad Chalabi) has been going around saying that Saddam alas admitted that indeed he was leading the resistance. And yet, New York Times reports that Saddam told interrogators that he did not lead the resistance. The old Babylonian Talmud says: The punishment of the liar is that he is not believed, even when he tells the truth.
This touching picture was found framed near Saddam's bed in his hideout. It meant a lot to him. It is about two close friends, and their shared memories together.
An accurate article: that Muslims, Jews, and Christians all worship the same God. And I really like eggplants on my Pizza.
Saddam had a messy hideout, the Washington Post would like to tell you. He was reading Crime and Punishment. A great book, I must say. He had a book of dream interpretations. Saddam was extremely superstitious and sought the advise of soothsayers.
Supporters of Israel are worried about Howard Dean's stance on Israel. But no need to worry. In his MAJOR POLICY SPEECH today about foreign policy, he spoke about "unshakeable" US alliance with Israel.
Saddam's supporters may become more emboldened and more dangerous.
I am skeptical about conspiracy theories unless I have evidence. But conspiracies are real, make no mistake about it. I was sent this link regarding a theory that Saddam had been in custody before this dramatic capture. Some also find it suspicious that the Iraqi puppet council rushed through a bill for a war crime tribunal (tailored by US occupation powers) days before Saddam's capture.
Interesting story about fading joy in Iraq and rising anger at US after Saddam's capture.
Can you tell the US government propagandists and the propagandists of the Iraqi puppet council to coordinate their tunes and stories: in one day (and I swear from the same man, Muwaffaq Ar-Rubay`i) I head that Saddam in custody was "broken and destroyed" , and on other occasions we heard that he was "arrogant and defiant." Which is which, please. Guide the Perplexed NOW.
In fact, tbe Bush administration should be held more responsible for the pre-war lies: Saddam is reportedly denying he existence of WMDs. But who cares; Bush even dared to face the press today. And they asked him their usual profound questions: whether he high-fived his subordinates upon hearing the news.
Make no mistake about it: Guardian is predicting that resistance will grow. The biggest impact of Saddam's capture may be here on the ground of the US, and not in Iraq. Even the Washington Post agrees. Rober Fisk has another wise piece along the same lines. I have always thought that Iraqi Ba`thists OUT of power can be as lethal and as scary. With Saddam in US custoday, the Iraqi Ba`thists will even feel less restrained (by Saddam's calculations of power preservations). Arab media (and even Nightline) reported the appearance for the first time of armed gangs and demonstrators shooting at police. They are now appearing in full force in Ramadi and Falujah, among other places.
US goes after Arab weapons, and we pay for Israel to develop weapons that shoot corners, and do not forget our funding for the expensive Arrow missile. But then again, peaceful Israel is in need of its massive arsenal of WMDs, and conventional weapons.
How fickle the Democratic Party ideology is, and how wobbly are the feet of Democratic leaders. Now they are neverous about Saddam's arrest, that it may lead to the rise of pro-war candidates. They need Ralph Nader to come back and scare them.
Remember how I told you that people who run for office in US always label some speeches they make (or more accurately read, as they do not write their own speeches, but Theodore Roosevelt did) as "major policy speeches"? Say: "yes, we remember, oh, wise one, Angry Arab, or we remember, Oh, all-knowing Arab in our midst." OK: you know: major policy speech on China, major policy speech on Corn, etc. Today, three people aspiring to be presidents (Dean, Hillary, and Edwards) all gave MAJOR foreign policy speeches. I am thinking about giving a MAJOR policy speech tomorrow on best Pizza in Boston. What do you think?

Monday, December 15, 2003

Do you know that Saudi Arabia (or the House of Saud, I should say) arrested 8322 people in ONE WEEK. Is that not a record? They were accused of "paper violations." What are the chances of sending the 4th Infantry Division after King Fahd? Oh, I forgot: these are the "good" tyrants.
It is now official. The US government has announced that (as a humanitarian gesture) Saddam will be flown to the US, and he will be allowed to register as a Democrat and cast his first ballot in the New Hampshire primary. The White House denies any political exploitation of Saddam's capture (and they are furious that anybody would even consider thinking about that), and insists that Saddam's participation in the democratic New Hampshire primary was entirley Saddam's idea, and without any duress. The White House is also allowing Saddam to open an office for Iraqi Ba`thists for Howard Dean organization in New Hampshire. They also deny that this was Carl Rove's idea. In other news, Bush made a statement during the press conference today: Full text: "Saddam, freedom, liberty, Iraq, terrorism, freedom, Saddam's capture, liberty, free, veggie burger, democracy, potato, saddam, milkshake, freedom, Elton John, freedom, Saddam's capture, liberty, Somosa, freedom. Thank you all."
I shall be appearing with Dennis Kucinich this morning on KPFA after 7:00AM (Pacific Time). You can listen live but I am too lazy to get you the link.
Disgusting. There is already a reference by Israeli reporter (who is close to US and Israeli officials) of a "deal" to be struck between Saddam and the US government. I really really believe that they want a hasty and closed trial to avoid embarrassment for US officials who have had ties with Saddam. This means that we sill not be hearing about Saddam's friendship with Rumsfeld from the 1980s. Do you know that this trial plan (that was approved by the US puppet council in Iraq last week) would be the first war crime tribunal EVER without an international role? We should support the internationalization of the war crime tribunal to avoid its politicization by the US government. The deal under discussion will spare Saddam the dealth penalty in return for Saddam's services for US government? This Human Rights Watch dude makes the point that Saddam should be put on trial in an international court.
The other side of the American "liberation" of Iraq.
American press never misses an opportunity to bash Palestinians. Now they want to claim that the Palestinians were Saddam's staunch supporters. In reality, the Palestinians, due to their agony and ordeal, rally to the support of anybody who shouts slogans against the US. There was yesterday a call for a demonstration in support of Saddam in Gaza: do you know how many people showed up? 16 people. The US press will not point that out.