Saturday, April 30, 2011

Any doubt about the Israeli-Saudi alliance?

"Israeli officials want a public commitment from Washington to protect the Saudi regime should it come under threat" (thanks Fadi)

PS Full text is here if you are not a subscriber.

I call on NATO

Aljazeera was interviewing a member of the lousy Libyan transitional council.  He was speaking from the studio on Doha.  Suddenly, he said: "I call on NATO to bomb", and then named a certain location.  He did not indicate whether he wanted fries with that.

Aljazeera's guests on Arab revolutions

Aljazeera was reporting this morning about some conference on Arab uprisings.  They interviewed--I kid you not--one of the staunch propagandists for Husni Mubarak.  He is now doubling as a spokesperson of the Arab uprisings.

In Maydan quarter in Damascus

Al-Akhbar reporter, Hasan `Illiq, reports from a mosque in Al-Maydar quarter in Damascus.

The new Saudi law on publishing

You have to read the full text of the new Saudi law (signed by Saudi King) regarding publishing and printing.  It is hilarious: someone should translate that. (thanks anonymous)

This is not a conspiracy anymore

"In late 2010, a paper released by the Foundation for Defence of Democracies (FDD) opined that the state department's efforts in this space have been ineffective in combating extremism in the Palestinian territories and that future efforts should include both a lack of disclosure and an increase in personnel. The FDD's paper also recommended the team become a source of intelligence.   Though there is no evidence that the FDD's paper effectively influenced the department of state's strategy, a more chilling approach is taking root.  The United States military has contracted with California-based company Ntrepid to develop software that would allow users to secretly manipulate conversations on social media sites." (thanks Omar)

Eye witness on Aljazeera

Aljazeera did not have to send correspondents to cover the royal wedding in London.  In fact, it relied on "Abu Muhammad, an eye witness from Syria" to report on the wedding for the network.  He was able to see the wedding from somewhere near Dayr Az-Zur.

Supporters of Libyan transitional Council: O NATO: please bomb us. We like you

"The strike Wednesday was at least the third reported friendly fire incident since North Atlantic Treaty Organization fighter jets began pounding forces loyal to Moammar Kadafi more than five weeks ago in a mission to protect Libyan civilians.  Leaders of the anti-Kadafi forces have labeled the incidents unfortunate accidents in a worthy cause, reflecting wide support in rebel ranks for the NATO strikes."

Saudi fear of Arab revolutions

Courageous Egyptian journalist, `Abdul-Halim Qandil, writes on Saudi fears of Arab revolutions.

Tommy Vietor

"“Our goal is to end the violence and create an opening for the Syrian people’s legitimate aspirations,” said a spokesman for the National Security Council, Tommy Vietor."  Someone has to ask Mr. Vietor: do the Saudi, Bahraini, Qatari, Moroccan, Jordanian, Omani, UAE, Kuwaiti, Iraqi, Palestinian, and Algerian people have legitimate aspirations? 

Harassment of reporters in Syria

Ghassan Sa`ud of Al-Akhbar talks about Syrian regime's harassment of him.

News on Syria

It is not easy to follow news on Syria. I do receive updates from Syrians: in Syria and abroad.  But I don't believe Syrian regime media and I don't believe Saudi and Qatari media on Syria.  (Of course, Western media are as unreliable.)  Look at this piece in New York Times:  "along with the resignations of nearly 300 low-level members of the Baath Party".  (No mention of official denials of the resignation--standards of professional journalism don't apply to countries that are enemies of the US).  This first appeared in Saudi and Qatari media and now it is fact.  The figure was first 30 and then suddenly jumped to 200, and now I see it is 300.  Just like that.  Hariri and Saudi media also have another trick.  They feed somebody like Robert Fisk or Nicholas Blanford some information or theory (hell, they fed Nicholas Blanford a whole book (which used to be given out for free by Hariri propaganda office) on Syrian responsibility for Hariri assassination--I now expect that he would be fed another book regarding Hizbullah's responsibility), and then they cite that same author as in: "and famous British reporter, Robert Fisk, said that."  We need a new name for this propaganda technique.

When New York Times debates Arab issues: case of Mark Landler

The other day, the New York Times published articles on the Arab-Israeli conflict and titled it as a debate.  To a person, they were all Zionists.  At the times, there are debates on Arab and Arab-Israeli issues, but Arabs are not invited.  To be sure, they have their token Arabs here and there, but they are only cited as "native informer" to confirm a view that was said earlier by a Zionist.  Look at this piece by Mark Landler, for example: he basically interviewed three experts: one of them works at WINEP, another founded WINEP and is now at the Saban Center, and the third is with Council of Foreign Relations.

Royal Jordanian

Look at Royal Plus Registration Plus.  Click on the "title" tab above the name.  (thanks Dalia)

Libyan (rebel) victims of NATO bombings

Who will speak on behalf of the Libyan (rebel) victims of NATO bombings?  I noticed that Aljazeera does not speak about that.  It is not news for NATO voices in the Arab world.

Al-Akhbar's apology

Al-Akhbar published this apology in its op-ed page:


تأسف إدارة التحرير لأنّها اضطرّت، للمرّة الأولى منذ صدور «الأخبار»، إلى عدم نشر مقالة الزميل أسعد أبو خليل هذا السبت، التي حملت عنوان «حزب البعث: عمليّة الاحتضار الطويل».
للراغبين بالاطّلاع على النص، يمكن زيارة مدوّنة الزميل أبو خليل «العربيّ الغاضب»:"
The editorial management apologizes because it felt compelled to, for the first time since Al-Akhbar started, not publish the article by colleague As`ad AbuKhalil this Saturday which carried the title:  "Ba`th Party: The Process of Long Death."  For those who want to see the text, it is possible to visit the blog of the colleague AbuKhalil, Angry Arab."

Friday, April 29, 2011

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar (which won't be published in Al-Akhbar this Saturday)

This is my weekly article in Al-Akhbar which won't be published in Al-Akhbar this Saturday.  It is titled: "The Ba`th Party: The process of long death":

حزب البعث:
عمليّة الإحتضار الطويل
أسعد أبو خليل
غاب حزب البعث عن الإنتفاضة في سوريا, أو أنه غُيِّب لإمتصاص الغضب العارم.  تشعر ان النظام يخجل من إرتباطه بالحزب الذي لا يزال—نظريّاً--يقود الدولة والمجتمع (نحو المجهول؟)  غابت شعارات البعث السقيمة وغابت قياداته الهرمة والرسالة لم تخلِّد.  الخطاب السياسي السوري تراوح بين إخوان وليبراليّة من جهة وبين وعود بالقمع والإصلاح من قبل النظام (نكاد نطالب بالعودة إلى قانون الطوارئ لأن الدماء السوريّة سالت أكثر بعد رفع حالة الطوارئ—في حالة جدّ طارئة.) 
من ينكر أن حزب البعث العربي الإشتراكي لعب دوراً هامّاَ في الحياة السياسيّة المعاصرة في العالم العربي؟  من ينفي أن الكثير من مصطلحات الصياح والسباب العربي المعاصر مُستقاة من أدبيّات الحزب العريق؟  من يجهل الدور الذي لعبه الحزب في تاريخ الصراع العربي الإسرائيلي: ليس في البطولات على أرض المعركة وإنما في إحراج جمال عبد الناصر ودفعه دفعاً—بالإشتراك مع العرش الهاشمي—نحو التهلكة في حرب 1967—من دون نفي المسؤوليّة عن النظام الناصري.
كُتب الكثير في الصحافة والأكاديميا عن هذا الحزب, وصورته اليوم هي غير ما كانت عليه في الماضي غير البعيد.  من يتصوّر ان هناك في الجيل الجديد من ينضوي فعلاً طوعاً في صفوف هذا الحزب؟  هل من يظنّ أن هناك من شباب اليوم في لبنان مثلاً من يريد ان يهتدي بقيادة فايز شكر, على سبيل المثال؟  ثم, لماذا تدرّج النظامان البعثيّان في سوريا والعراق في الإبتعاد الأكيد عن عقيدة الحزب التي أصبحت مُحرجة لهم؟  ماذا حلّ بشعارات الوحدة والحريّة والإشتراكيّة؟  هل فقدت الحريّة جاذبيّة أم ان هناك طعما كريها للحزب ومناصريه عندما ينادون بالحريّة؟  وماذا كان زكي الأرسوزي أو ميشيل عفلق أو ياسين الحافظ سيقولون عن علي الديك أو محمّد حبش, مثلاً؟
ثم, لماذا تحوّل النظام البعثي في بلديْن إلى نموذج ناجح جداً للنظام التسلّطي؟  كيف نفسّر ذلك؟  هناك العديد من النظريّات, ولعلّ أكثرها سطحيّة هي نظريّة كنعان مكيّة في كتابه "جمهوريّة الخوف" عندما فطن إلى وجود جملة خطيرة وردت في كتاب لميشيل عفلق ونسب إليها كل الوحشيّة التي لحقت بالنظاميْن في سوريا والعراق.  إنتقلت بنية الحزب السريّة التآمريّة إلى حكم الدولة ففصّلتها على مقاسها.  والتناحر بين فرعيْ الحزب في البلديْن المتجاوريْن خلقا حالة مرضيّة من ال"بارانويا" المتطرّفة.  مؤامرات تحت الطاولة وفوقها, وقبل الأكل وبعده.  ردع التآمر—وبعضه حقيقي وبعضه مُختلق, وفقاً للظروف--شكّل هاجساً على كل ما عداه.
لن يُكتب الكثير عن هذا الحزب في المستقبل على الأرجح لأن الدراسات الأكاديميّة عن حزب البعث ستتحوّل—مثلها مثل الدراسات عن الأنظمة الشيوعيّة البائدة—إلى دراسات في الفكر والممارسة السياسيّة الإنقراضيّة.  لكن يجب ان نفهم دور وطبيعة هذا الحزب وعقيدته التي طبعت مرحلة سياسيّة بحالها في الوطن العربي.  كان المفكرون والصحافيّون من العالم العربي والعالم يتقاطرون إلى بيروت ليحظوا بجلسة واحدة مع الأستاذ في واحدة من مقاهي بيروت, أو لتفقّد مكاتب جريدة الحزب لتنسّم أخبار العالم العربي ومؤامراته المثيرة.  ويُقال أن الجلسة مع عفلق كانت دوماً مخيّبة للآمال: مُؤسّس الحزب الذي شغل الناس بأخباره وأعماله كان مُقلاًّ في الحديث ويفتقر إلى الكاريزماتيّة ومُكثراً في الشكوى والتبرّم.  لعل إتحاد عفلق بالحوراني كان إستعانة من الحالم بالكاريزما وبالشعبيّة والديناميكيّة.  "الأستاذ", كما كان يُعرف, لم يكن خطيباً مفوهاً وعانى لسنوات من ضربة عبد الناصر له دعائيّاً, عندما سرّب الأخير نصوص محادثات الوحدة (بعد إذاعتها) والتي صدمت الناس بضعف شخصيّة عفلق وتردّده أمام جمال عبد الناصر (راج بيع ذلك الكتاب الموجود على رف كل من إقتنى مكتبة بعد عام 1965.) 
لكن من الخطأ التقليل من سطوة وقدرة هذا الحزب على الحياة بعد عقود من إصدارات المراثي عنه.  هاكم (وهاكنّ) مُطاع الصفدي يكتب في عام 1964:  "واليوم, ولم يبق من حزب البعث بعد أن سقطت سلطته الفكريّة وسلطته السياسيّة, إلا سلطته العسكريّة, أو بالأحرى إلا سلطة "الجمعيّة السريّة" من العسكريّين الطائفيّين وراء قلاعهم وحصونهم, فإنه ينتظر معركة تصفيته الماديّة الأخيرة مع الثورة الشعبيّة, التي سوف تندلع بين يوم وآخر.  ومع ذلك, فإن البعث, الذي يطلق أنفاسه الأخيرة اليوم, يأبى ان يشيّع نفسه إلى لحده بسلام.  فهو يحيط زواله بضجة مصطنعة جديدة" (مطاع الصفدي, حزب البعث: مأساة المولد, مأساة النهاية", دار الآداب, 1964, ص. 425.)  لكن الحزب إستمرّ وتحوّلت ضجّته المصطنعة إلى ضجة حقيقيّة: من حديد ونار بوجه الشعب الذي وعد بتحريره وتوحيده, فما كان منه إلا أن كبّله وشرذمه.
قد تكون معركة النظام السوري بوجه شعبه المعركة الأخيرة لحزب البعث.  الحزب إنتهى في العراق بضربة أميركيّة, لكن من المشكوك فيه ان يؤدّي إندحار القوّات الأميركيّة منه إلى إنبعاث البعث هناك.  ومن الملاحظ غياب إسم حزب البعث عن الخطاب السياسي للنظام في سوريا هذه الأيّام: وكأن النظام يريد من شعبه ان ينسى ان الحزب هو الحزب القائد (بالإضافة الى تلك الجبهة التي سخّرها خالد بكداش, مُؤلّف ومُلحِّن الماركسيّة الستالينيّة العربيّة, لخدمة النظام) مع ان الشعب يُطالب بتحرير الدولة من قيادة الحزب.  ماذا تعني قيادة الحزب للدولة والمجتمع في سوريا؟  يقودهما نحو ماذا؟  وكيف تجلّت تلك القيادة على مرّ العقود؟  وما هي إنجازات الحزب نحو المجتمع, حتى لا نسأل عن إنجازاته نحو الدولة وقد عاد عليها بالنفع الوفير؟
لم يفشل حزب البعث كلّياً في سوريا.  فبالإضافة إلى إجتراح وسائل تعذيب ناجحة وفعّالة عبر السنوات (في كل من سوريا والعراق مع الإعتراف بأن زنازين الأمير نايف هي أيضاً كانت ولا تزال فعّالة في إجتراح وسائل تعذيب على الاّ تتنافى مع شريعة الوهّابيّة السعوديّة) وتأثير بائد على شعارات المرحلة, فإنه تحوّل عنواناً لتسلّط منيع (إلى حين) في دولتيْن كانتا معروفتيْن بسرعة تغييرهما للأنظمة.  الحزب لم يكن حزباً بالمعنى الجماهيري في سوريا: العنصر الجماهيري أتى به أكرم الحوراني وضخ فيه بعضاً من التقدميّة, قبل ان يحاول ياسين الحافظ ان يضخّ ماركسيّة معربّة في عقيدة الحزب.  كيف حكم الحزب سوريا طيلة هذه السنوات والعقود ولم يكن عدد أعضاء الحزب يتعدّى ال400 في عام 1963 (وفق مقالة إيريك رولو عن البعث السوري في مقالة في "نيو لفت ريفيو" في عام 1967).  البعث توصّل إلى قناعة—وهو الحزب النخبوي—إنه سيعجز عن الإستحواذ على تأييد الناس ديمقراطيّاً, فدرّب نفسه على العمل السرّي التآمري, وبرع فيه أيما براعة.  هذه مزية هامّة للحزب: في فرعيْه.  بزّ كل خصومه في المؤامرات السريّة وفي العمل الدؤوب لقطع الطريق على المنظمّات ذات الشعبيّة الأكثر.  برع في إختراق المنظمة العسكريّة لعلمه بإستحالة نجاحه في الفوز الديمقراطي.  هذا يفسّر ضبابيّة موقف الحزب (الخطابي) من الديمقراطيّة, وعدائه الفعلي لها.  ما كان حزب البعث سيصل إلى السلطة عبر صندوق الإقتراع ولو عاش ميشيل عفلق لقرنيْن من الزمن.
تفرّق الحزب مبكّراً شيعا وفرقا وشللاً.  وإذا كان لينين قد وصف واحدا من حزبيْن شيوعيّيْن في بلد واحد بأنه بالضرورة إنتهازي, فإن حروب البعث بين مللها ونحلها كانت أفظع من حروبها ضد الآخرين.  أبلى فرعا حزب العبث في سوريا والعراق في الحرب بينهما أكثر من الحروب ضد إسرائيل.  ولم تكن تجربة الحزب مع السلطة لصالح الحزب: حكمت السلطة على الحزب بالإعدام البطيء.  الحزب الذي ترعرع في كنف المؤامرات السريّة واجه تجربة السلطة عبر الإستفادة من تجارب النظم القمعيّة في أوروبا الشرقيّة, وعقد إتفاقيّات معها.  هناك من درج (في الكتابات السياسيّة الصهيونيّة مثل لوري ميلروي وغيرها من الذين جهدوا لتبعئة الرأي العام الغربي وراء غزو العراق) على تشبيه حزب البعث بالحزب النازي.  المقارنة مع وجود قرائن عن تأثّر مبكّر لقادة في الحزب ببعض الكتابات النازيّة (مثل رواية عن إعجاب لعفلق في سن مبكّرة بكتاب لألفرد روزنبرغ) غير صالحة:  حزب البعث كان حزباً سريّا ولم يصل يوماً إلى الجماهيريّة, على غرار الحزب الفاشي في إيطاليا أو الحزب النازي.  لم يكن ما صُنّف ب "حزب الجماهير".  كما أن عقيدة الحزب وكتابات عفلق فيها أحلام قوميّة عامّة ولم تعدّ برناجماً واضحاً (مع ان عفلق عبّر في كتاباته عن فخر شوفيني بالعرق العربي حتى أصبح الإسلام نفسه إنتاجاَ عربيّاً خالصاً, وهو قرّع ماركس قائلاً: "الشيوعيّة هي وليدة الفكر الأوروبي والأوضاع الأوروبيّة الحديثة.  ولئن كان ماركس قد نفخ فيها من روحه اليهوديّة الناقمة", (ميشيل عفلق, "في سبيل البعث", ص. 71)).
كانت حقبة الحزب في عهد صلاح جديد لا تقلّ قمعيّة, لكن الحزب آنذاك ضم عقائديّين نزيهين أخذوا الثورة على محمل الجدّ ورفعوا شعار حرب التحرير الشعبيّة وتبنّو علمانيّة صارمة لم تعرفها سوريا قبلهم أو بعدهم, مع أنهم قمعوا التنظيمات الثوريّة الفلسطينيّة وزجّوا بجورج حبش (وياسين الحافظ) في السجن وتحمّلوا مسؤوليّة هزيمة 1967 الشنيعة مع عبد الناصر والملك حسين ويمكن أن نضيف الشقيري الذي ساهمت خطبه في رص صفوف جنود العدوّ ورفع مستوى حماسهم القتالي).  حملوا قضايا الطبقات الشعبيّة كما دلّل الرفيق عامر محسن في مقالة له قبل أكثر من أسبوع في "الأخبار", لكن الإصلاح الزراعي لم يصب إلا جزءا من الأراضي (كما ان الإصلاح الزراعي بدأ في عصر الوحدة القصيرة مع مصر ولم يتذكّر حزب البعث الفلاحين إلا بعد إندماج أكرم الحوراني بالحزب).  ويقول الباحث بول شو في دراسة نشرتها مجلّة "أراب ستديز كوارترلي" في عام 1984 أن إصلاحات البعث الإقتصاديّة لم تتوزّع بالتساوي على المناطق السوريّة (تحتاج الإحتجاجات في سوريا اليوم إلى دراسة من باب الإقتصاد السياسي لفهم نقمة الريف وتريّث المدينة):  خفّضت حكومة البعث السوريّة نسبة الأميّة بين العمّال (الذكور) في محافظة دمشق إلى 14 % في عام 1975 بينما كانت النسبة 50% في محافظتيْ دير الزور والحسكة والرقعة.   كما أن نطاق الإصلاح الزراعي في الجمهوريات العربيّة لم تكن جذريّة أبداً خلافاً للدعايّة الرجعيّة في الإعلام النفطي العربي: إذ ان دراسة "شو" أظهرت أن مجمل الأراضي المُوزّعة لم تتعدّ ال20% من مجمل الأراضي الزراعيّة في 5 من 8 من البلدان التي شملها البحث.  وفي ظل الحركة التصحيحيّة, إبتعد الهم البعثي عن الطبقات الفقيرة خصوصاً عندما خاض بشّار الأسد معركة "الإصلاح" وهي لا تعني أكثر من محاربة الفقراء, وإن حظيت بدعم ومباركة من الدول الغربيّة. 
عاش حزب البعث أكثر بكثير مما كان مقدّراً له.  لكن الفضل لم يكن يوماً يعود لرسالته غير الخالدة أو لوحدة لم يحقّق منها إلا مزيد من التشرذم والفرقة.  مرّ الحزب بتجارب مرّة وتحوّلت قيادة الحزب إلى فريق مُعاون للعائلة الحاكمة ولم يعد الجيل الجديد يعرف شيئاً عن ميشيل عفلق أو صلاح البيطار أو زكي الأرسوزي الذي عاش ناقماً على (ما اعتبره) سرقة عفلق والبيطار والتاريخ لإسهاماته المبكّرة في الفكر البعثي.  طبعاً, إن فرعي الحزب لم يكترثا بتثقيف الأعضاء بالتراث العقائدي للحزب.  تحوّلت العقيدة إلى خطب مطبوعة لقائد الدولة والمجتمع.  الكراريس القديمة لا يُعاد طبعها خشية ان يجد فيها العضو الجديد ما لا يروق للحكم من إستفاضة أدبيّة لعفلق عن الحريّة (كان جوزيف إلياس على حق في كتابه عن "عفلق الأديب": يجب على عفلق ان يُدرس كأديب, لا كمفكّر سياسي).  كتاب نجاح العطّار عن حافظ الأسط ("حافظ الأسد: القائد الذي صنع التاريخ" يظهر على أوّل صفحة في موقع حزب البعث على الإنترنت.)  لا تجد أثراً لعفلق أو البيطار أو الحوراني أو الأرسوزي.  الأب والإبن, فقط.
مشاهد ما يجري في سوريا توحي بالفصل الأخير من حياة حزب البعث.  لم يبق واحد من الزعماء التاريخيّين: مات معظمهم قتلاً وقلّة ماتت طبيعيّاً.  لم يعد هناك من منظّرين للحزبّ: هؤلاء ماتوا (أو قتلوا) هم أيضاً.  بقي المصفقّون والمدّاحون: هؤلاء الذين أعطوا أمثولة في الطاعة العمياء في مجلس الشعب السوري.  من ينظر إلى هؤلاء بإعجاب, ومن يريد ان يقتفي آثارهم؟  البعث فُرض على الدولة والمجتمع وأصبح بطاقة دخول وترقية وإنتساب (ينسى البعض أن عدد أعضاء الحزب الشيوعي السوفياتي وصل إلى نحو 18 مليون عضو قبل أنهيار الشيوعيّة بسنوات قليلة, مثلما يفاخر أحد نوّاب الحكم في سوريا بأن عدد أعضاء حزب البعث في درعا بلغ نحو 200,000 عضو).  كيف يتزاوج الحزب مع الديمقراطيّة وهو عالم بمآله؟  في لبنان, يدخل الحزب إلى الندوة النيابيّة بدفع من حركة أمل أو حزب الله أو الإثنيْن, وكفعل جميل نحو النظام السوري.  وعندما كان الحزب حزبان في لبنان, إنشغل الفرعان بحرب شعواء.  عندما تدخّل الجيش السوري في لبنان في عام 1976 لإجهاض محاولة ثوريّة, إنشغل حزب البعث السوري بتصفية الفرع العراقي (هكذا سقط الشاعر موسى شعيب, صاحب قصيدة "هيفاء تنتظر الباص على مفرق تل الزعتر").
كيف يمضي بشّار الأسد في إصلاحات ضروريّة وحيويّة وهو يعلم إنها تؤدّي بالنظام والحزب إلى الهاوية؟   كيف يُطالب حزب البعث بقيادة الدولة والمجتمع نحو الديمقراطيّة؟  من يشك في نتائج إنتخابات حرّة يتواجه فيها الحزب مع الإخوان المسلمين أو حتى مع من تبقّى من الناصريّين في الشام؟  ومن يعتقد ان حزب البعث سينهض من السرير لو لم تلتزم الدولة رسميّاً ودستوريّاً بقيادته للدولة والمجتمع على حدّ سواء؟  يكاد الجيل العربي الجديد ينسى تاريخ هذا الحزب: كيف جذب إليه ذات يوم نخبة من مثقفي العالم العربي, من المغرب والمشرق.  كان الجميل العربي المتعلّم ينجذب نحو هذا الحزب التي كانت وعوده بحجم أحلام جيل عربي بحاله.  بعض الأحلام تبخّرت امام تراكم من الهزائم والخيبات والإستسلامات الرسميّة والشعبيّة, ووعود الحزب تحجّمت بفعل تدمير النظام للحزب (أو بفعل تذويب الحزب في الدولة, أو تذويب الدولة والحزب في شخص الزعيم, كما يذوب المؤمن في الذات الإلهيّة عند الصوفيّين).  لم يكن سقوط الحزب عفويّاً في كل من سوريا والعراق: بل أن معرفة النظاميْن بشأن التنظيم الحزبي وبراعته التآمريّة جعل من الحزب مصدر خطر للنظام.  وليس من الصدفة ان أشرس حملات الإعتقالات والقمع والإعدامات في سوريا والعراق طالت قياديّين في بنية الحزبيْن.  هؤلاء كانوا على معرفة بوسائل الحزب للوصول إلى السلطة من خلال المؤسّسة العسكريّة أو الإستخباراتيّة. 
لن يُخرج الحزب النظام من أزمته, كما أن النظام يحتاج للقضاء على الحزب من أجل البقاء في السلطة.  أو أن النظام يحتاج إلى مزيد من القضاء على الحزب حفاظا على النظام.  لكن في ذلك خطورة للنظام (إن في سوريا أو في العراق أثناء حكم صدّام).  يصبح النظام من دون الحزب عارياً: حكم العائلة من دون تجميل أو من دون شعارات واقية.  والثقافة السياسيّة السائدة في نظم البعث تخشى من أخذ شعارات البعث نفسها على محمل الجدّ: التمجيد يجب ان يصبّ بإتجاه القائد الزعيم (القومي والقطري على حدّ سواء) وليس للأمة.  تخضع الأمة للزعيم وتتحوّل إلى أداة للتطويع.   الخيار هو في تغيير عقيدة الحزب وتغيير إسمه: تصبح الضبابيّة القوميّة ضبابيّة إصلاحيّة.  ووحدة العالم العربي تُستبدل بوحدة الشام فقط.    
لكن من الصعوبة أن تتوافق الإصلاحات, أو ما يُتوافق على تسميته ب"الإصلاحات" في سوريا, مع حزب البعث وقيادته.  مقرّات حزب البعث في سوريا أصبحت هدفا للمتظاهرين في بعض الأماكن, مثله مثل الحزب الحاكم في مصر واليمن وتونس (وليس في ليبيا, لأن الجماهير تحكم هناك, فيما تراقب عائلة القذّافي الوضع من بعيد).  أين تصب جام غضبك إذا ثرت في الجمهوريّات العربيّة؟  كما ان للحزب أسلوبا في الخطاب والخطابة السياسيّة كفيل بإستفزاز الناس والجماهير.  يخوض العضو البعثي غمار سنوات من التدريب على المزايدة وعلى الصياح القومي, لكن البعث تحوّل إلى حزب شديد القطريّة في كل من سوريا والعراق (أثناء عهد صدّام).  والذي يحاول تنسّم الأخبار في الأيّام الماضية من خلال الإعلام الرسمي السوري (طلباً لنوع من رأي آخر هجرته محطة "الجزيرة") يجد ان الخطاب السوري الرسمي خطاب قطري شوفيني يكاد ان يقلّد المناحي نفسها للشوفينيّة اللبنانيّة (التي كرّست كراهية للعنصر السوري والفلسطيني, والعربي بصورة عامّة).  الأغاني والمشاهد وعلي الديك تهدف إلى تمجيد أمة سوريّة, كما عمل صدّام حسين على تمجيد الأمة العراقيّة.  ولم يعد حزب البعث يعد بالحريّة, وإن أكثر الحديث عن الممانعة (وهي ليست أكثر من نسق معدّل للهرع العربي الرسمي للتوصّل إلى سلام مع إسرائيل, لكن بشروط أفضل قليلاً.)  جريدة "تشرين" توازي بين الحريّة وبين أمن الوطن, كما يعاقب القانون البعثي الرسمي على أي إضعاف "لروح الأمة".  لكن, من يعاقب حزب البعث على إضعافه الشديد ل"روح الأمة"؟ أم هو خارج المحاسبة كونه قائداً رسميّاً للدولة والمجتمع؟  ومن يحاسب علي الديك على صياحه؟  ألم يضعف "روح الأمة" التي تغنت بها رسالة الحزب التاريخيّة؟
عجّل مطاع الصفدي في إعلان وفاة حزب البعث في عام 1964.  أمتدّ العمر بالحزب لنحو خمسين عاماً بعد رثاء الصفدي.  قد تتأخّر عمليّة الإحتضار الأكيدة أو تطول, بناء على تطوّرات داخليّة أو خارجيّة (أو موضوعيّة أو ذاتيّة) لكن المسألة بالشهور او السنوات المعدودة.  قد تُكتب شاهدة قبر حزب البعث في مدينة درعا.  سيُسَجّل أن الكتابة تخضّبت بالدمّ (ومن دون قانون الطوارئ).  

Egypt and other countries

"Before the assault, Ms. Logan said, she did not know about the levels of harassment and abuse that women in Egypt and other countries regularly experienced."  But about learning about the levels of harassment and abuse here in the US?

Zionists hoodlums will really freak out

"Egyptian officials, emboldened by the revolution and with an eye on coming elections, say that they are moving toward policies that more accurately reflect public opinion. In the process they are seeking to reclaim the influence over the region that waned as their country became a predictable ally of Washington and the Israelis in the years since the 1979 peace treaty with Israel...Egypt’s shifts are likely to alter the balance of power in the region, allowing Iran new access to a previously implacable foe and creating distance between itself and Israel, which has been watching the changes with some alarm. “We are troubled by some of the recent actions coming out of Egypt,” said one senior Israeli official, citing a “rapprochement between Iran and Egypt” as well as “an upgrading of the relationship between Egypt and Hamas.”  “These developments could have strategic implications on Israel’s security,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the issues were still under discussion in diplomatic channels. “In the past Hamas was able to rearm when Egypt was making efforts to prevent that. How much more can they build their terrorist machine in Gaza if Egypt were to stop?”"

Help in information

I am posting this message that I received and would welcome any help from readers:
"We have never met, though I follow your blog like its my job. Thank you for all your work.
Do you happen to know who "Nasri Victor Malhamé - Lebanese businessman who is Chief Executive Officer of the Arab Bank branch in Switzerland" is? Here is the list of people participating in an event in Honduras that attempts to completely whitewash the June 2009 coup that expelled President Zelaya.
1) Uribe - former pres of Colombia
2) Carlos Slim - owns all telecomm companies in Mexico, one of the richest men on earth
3) Paul Romer - Stanford economics professor responsible for the "Charter Cities" idea that Honduras's government is seriously considering implementing
4) Francisco Sanchez - Under Secretary for International Trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
5) Nasri Victor Malhamé - Lebanese businessman who is Chief Executive Officer of the Arab Bank branch in Switzerland, but it is based in Jordan
6) Sheng-Chung Lin is currently the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of the Republic of China (Taiwan), and has held this position since October 2009.
7) Wang Zhiquan - President of the International Economic Cooperation Society of the People's Republic of China
The idea is to research both the featured speakers & the interests behind them, as well as the individual projects they are asking money for at the conference
If you can offer any suggestions/leads it would be much appreciated. I know you are very busy so I will understand if I dont get a response, just trying to connect some dots in the middle east with latin america!"

The king, according to Trotsky

""Naive minds think that the office of kingship lodges in the king himself, in his ermine cloak and his crown, in his flesh and bones. As a matter of fact, the office of kingship is an interrelation between people. The king is king only because the interests and prejudices of millions of people are refracted through his person. When the flood of development sweeps away these interrelations, then the king appears to be only a washed-out man with a flabby lower lip."" (thanks Babak)

Levels of sexual violence in Israel

"A number of Israeli male commenters have objected to my characterization of the high level of sexual violence against women in Israel. I promised I would provide some sources and statistics to support my claims. The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel presents findings for 2007 which indicate nearly 9,000 cases of reported sexual assault (of which one-third were rape). I presume this is the number of reports the Centers received and not the total number of all cases reported to the police or social workers. But it is still a good indication of the prevalence of the phenomenon in society. It should also be kept in mind that the vast majority of rapes and sexual violence are not reported to anyone by the victim, so we can assume that there are many more cases than those reported. Here are some figures (Hebrew) maintained by the Knesset." (thanks Victor)

sexual predators for peace with Israel

"Mohamed Basiouni, who served as Egyptian ambassador to Israel for over a decade, told Arab daily al-sharq al-Awsat Thursday that he was against cancelling the peace treaty with Israel and that those opposing the treaty probably hadn't read it."  So finally, Zionists/Wahhabis found an Egyptian who supports peace with Israel.  Of course, they never say that this Egyptian--like the serial rapist/former president of Israel--is a sexual predator who suffered sexual harassment cases and made the life of a belly dancer in Israel miserable, when he became obsessed with her while serving as ambassador in Israel.  (thanks Hussam)

Is there about the sinister role of Aljazeera anymore?

Watch John McCain praise Aljazeerah. (thanks Ahmet)

On Fida' Ad-Din Tarif Sayyid `Isa

The guy behind the Syrian revolution website. (thanks anonymous)

Dahlan, o Dahlan

""Palestin diplomatic representation press attache Madjed Mokbel told the El Watan daily he believed Fatah militant group strongman Mohamed Dahlan was behind the "assassination attempt."" (thanks Basil)

Return to Palestine

The people want a return to Palestine.  Return to Palestine is certain.  (thanks Rami)

Credibility of Mr. Petraeus

"In March, for example, Petraeus told a congressional hearing that the momentum achieved by the Taliban since 2005 "has been arrested in much of the country and reversed in a number of important areas."  A week earlier, Gen. Ronald Burgess, chief of the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency, had painted a far less rosy picture. He said intelligence analysts could see "no apparent degradation" in the Taliban's capacity to fight.  For its part, the CIA has warned that the Taliban still fields a capable fighting force and that tactical gains by U.S. forces since Obama approved the deployment of 30,000 additional troops has not added up to strategic progress in winning the war."

Ethan Bronner and other Zionist American reporters never coverage racism in Israel (perhaps because they subscribe to that racism)

"Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu slams the media for calling him a racist for signing the ‘rabbis’ letter’ that said Jews should not rent their homes to gentiles; rabbi says ‘thank God in Safed, land isn’t sold to foreigners.’ The rabbi of Safed who encouraged citizens to refuse to rent apartments to non-Jews won an award at an annual conference dealing with issues of the Land of Israel this week.  The conference, which was founded by the right-wing religious movement Komemiyut (independence), was officially called the “Land of the nation or land of all the nation’s citizens.”"

Dark future awaits Saudi Arabia

Prince Talal says that "dark future" awaits Saudi Arabia and warns of what will happen after the death of King `Abdullah.

The Myth of the Peaceful (Gene Sharp-inspired) Egyptian revolution

Comrade Hossam responds to such lazy theories about the Egyptian revolution:  "Suez was dubbed as Egypt’s Sidi Bouzid during the 18 day uprising. The city witnessed some of the bloodiest crackdowns by the police, and also some of the fiercest resistance by the protesters. In the video above, shot on the Friday of Anger, January 28, the revolutionaries in Suez after storming the police stations and confiscating the rifles, are using them to fight back the police.   One of the biggest myths invented by the media, tied to this whole Gene Sharp business: the Egyptian revolution was “peaceful.” I’m afraid it wasn’t. The revolution (like any other revolution) witnessed violence by the security forces that led to the killing of at least 846 protesters.  But the people did not sit silent and take this violence with smiles and flowers. We fought back. We fought back the police and Mubarak’s thugs with rocks, Molotov cocktails, sticks, swords and knives. The police stations which were stormed almost in every single neighborhood on the Friday of Anger–that was not the work of “criminals” as the regime and some middle class activists are trying to propagate. Protesters, ordinary citizens, did that."

Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar

It is clear that Qatar (as is clear from this Qatari government daily) is promoting the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood as the alternative to the regime.

Egyptian press

What is delicious about the new press of Egypt is that they seem to relish publishing news that are damaging to Saudi Arabia.  It is a trend across the board.

Aljazeera's standards

Aljazeera's coverage has become so comically lousy that they in fact really help the propaganda of the Syrian tyrannical regime by making it easy to discredit its coverage (and the fact that its coverage seems to be coordinated with the coverage of the lousy news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law, Al-Arabiyyah).  This morning, they interviewed "eye witness, Abu Muhammad."  And Mr. Abu Muhammad went on about what was happening.  They then moved to eye witness Haytham.  We don't know who those people are or even WHERE?

Freedom from religion

Leftists today invoke the need for freedom of religion.  Back in the 19th century, the Communist International required that members believe in freedom FROM religion.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Torturers are invited

"The former head of an agency accused of torture and human rights abuses is expected to be a guest at Friday's royal wedding, the Guardian has learned.
Sheikh Khalifa Bin Ali al-Khalifa is a former head of Bahrain's National Security Agency (NSA) and will attend the wedding in his role as the current Bahraini ambassador to London."

How dare Arabs complicate US interests?

"The former chief of the CIA on Tuesday praised Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's past cooperation and said his downfall could complicate US interests in the short term."

News from Dir`ah

A Syrian source sent me this:  ""My cousin tried going to Daraa today to see if his sister and her family are still alive, but as soon as he got close his car was shot at by the army and he was told he will be dead if he gets closer and a lot more which I would rather not share. This is the army that is supposedly protecting the ppl of Daraa from “armed gangs”. By killing more people the Syrian regime is doing the biggest service to radical Islamist.""

What Iraqis call Americans behind their backs

A well-known Western reporter in Iraq sent me this:  "i was at a checkpoint in baghdad today and we had to a long american military approached. the iraqi soldier at the checkpoint told us to hold on and just let these gawaweed go by".

PS Gawaweed is plural of pimps in Arabic.

When a Bahraini secular suddenly becomes a caller for an Islamic republic

One of my reliable sources on Bahrain:  "I'm not sure if you have heard of Abdul Hadi and Khawaja. He is one of the most prominent human rights activists that have been detained by the Bahraini regime. Now Al Khwaja is one of the regime's most hated dissidents (probably right after Mushaima and Singece who are the leaders of the banned opposition group Haq). They have been trying to get rid of him and get him to stay quiet for years. Their biggest problem they have with him, (other than the fact that he exposes their crimes) is that unlike a lot of the prominent dissidents in Bahrain, he is calling for the downfall of the entire regime and for the establishment of a republic. He has been doing it for years and he just never ever shuts up. Now this has lead them and their pro-government supporters as an extremist, a terrorist, and most hilarious of all, as a person calling for the creation of an Islamic Iranian style theocracy in Bahrain. Well the funny thing is, according to a wikileaks cable, the Crown Prince himself calls Al Khawaja secular. In fact he repeats this so much that it has lead me to believe that the entire regime knows very well that Al-Khawaja would never ever call for an Islamic republic. Here is the link to the wikileaks article in case you are interested
By the way, Al-Khawaja's daughter was the one who went on a hunger strike and wrote an open letter to Obama. I believe that he is being put on trial now."  
PS The daughter calls her blog The Angry (Female) Arab

Yemeni killings

Even Aljazeera (the voice of the Arab counter-revolution) is covering the massacres by the Salih regime. How come there is little coverage in the Western press, and no outrage by deceptive Western governments, of the massacres by the Yemeni puppet of the US?

Zionist hoodlums are still freaking out

"The deal also highlighted Egypt’s evolving foreign policy, its increasing regional influence and the challenges that posed for Israel. The new Egyptian government pursued Palestinian negotiations aggressively; has recognized the Muslim Brotherhood, which has deep ties to Hamas; and is reconsidering a natural gas deal with Israel." (thanks Sarah)

More on Bahrain

Jane sent me this (I cite with her permission):  "I guess you saw the news that four men have been sentenced to death today by a military court that convicted them of killing two policemen during the uprising. Today Bahrain TV aired a "documentary" that gives full details, including televised "confessions" from several of the men. The programme has been uploaded to YouTube here:
 (Yes, it genuinely does begin "Bahrain is a country of peace and love...")
As some people have asked, why would defendants who were pleading "not guilty" make confessions on camera? The names of those confessing aren't given, but Chanad, an eagle-eyed blogger/tweep, pointed out that the first man "confessing" (six minutes into the programme) appears to be Ali Isa Saqer. Mr Saqer was one of the people detained in connection with the killings, but he was not sentenced yesterday. That's because he already died in custody in early April. Human Rights Watch, which saw his body, said it bore signs of "horrific abuse". He was buried on April 10th.
Frank Gardner of the BBC wrote about him recently (the last line is particularly worth reading):
"Accused of trying to run over a policeman during a protest, Ali Isa al-Saqer had handed himself over to police after his family say they were threatened.
Six days later he died in their custody, the authorities say he fought his jailers.
His family, seeing his battered body for the first time since his arrest, collapsed in howls of grief; his wounds were quite simply horrific.
Beaten black and blue, his lacerated back resembled a bloody zebra; he appeared to have been whipped with heavy cables, his ankles and wrists manacled.
I brought up his case with the health minister, Dr Fatima al-Beloushi, who is also minister for human rights.
At first she said that the opposition had altered the images to invent the lacerations. But when I replied that we had been to the funeral and seen them ourselves she immediately promised a full investigation."

State of emergency in Syria:

I think that we should all call for the return of the state of emergency.  I never knew how dangerous it is for Syrians not to have it.  The regime is killing more Syrians without it.

Glamorized in the Western press: Lebanese fascists

"A Molotov cocktail was tossed at a building occupied by Syrian workers in the Jezzine area late Tuesday night, according to the National News Agency." (thanks Marc)


One of my sources:  "So 4 of the protestors were sentenced to death. 3 given life.
The last time the death penalty was imposed was in 2006 after three incidents of 3 bangledeshis killing Bahrainis - one of the bangledeshis was a cook for a super-rich Bahraini family (wonder if he was abused by them?). Since two of the ones killed were from prominent tribes the government decided to ban all bangledeshis from coming to Bahrain. I have no idea if the ban still exists - there is a similar ban in either Saudi or Kuwait. Here's an old blog post on the issue:
Funny how the defenders of the Bahraini government forgot this and now are acting like they are the defenders of all expats in Bahrain. At the beginning of the violence, the government claimed that the protesters cut of the tongue of a bangledeshi muazzin. The Bangledeshi ambassador denied this." 

Tyrants you enjoy: UAE

"The arrest of six civil society activists and the government’s takeover of a rights organization in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are part of a worrying clampdown on dissent in the country, Amnesty International said today."

My comrades, my heroes in Egypt

"Labour movements are continuing the revolution today. Their flagship cause has become the ongoing strikes in Shubra el-Kom, where disgruntled textile workers are calling for the nationalisation of their factory, which was sold to Indonesian owners at a fraction of its value in an example of the institutional corruption fostered by Mubarak.
The Popular Alliance has seized upon this, using the protests as a recruiting ground – highly effectively – and identifying itself with the struggle. Should the workers be triumphant, it would set a precedent for public ownership of hundreds more companies, while cementing the socialists as the workers' representatives.
The Alliance has built on union demands to advocate a raft of populist reforms such as subsidised housing for the poor, free education and greater local representation through city presidents. These connect neatly with the core demands of the revolution for social justice, freedom and democracy, which will have cross-demographic appeal." (thanks Sultan)

Go tell that to freaked out Zionist hoodlums

"A call for "million-man" marches in support of the Palestinians has been made by Egypt's Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution. The first march, to be held in Alexandria on 13 May, will also demand the opening of the Egypt-Gaza border for food, medical and humanitarian aid; marchers will head for the Israeli Consulate in the city."

Not in the New York Times

"Thousands marched on the Israeli embassy in Cairo yesterday in the beginning of a concerted campaign to end collaboration with Israel and cut off all gas supplies.
Massed on a bridge next to the high-rise building where the embassy is located, they chanted: "the people demand the cancellation of normalization."

They also chanted: "the gas must stop," in reference to natural gas exports through a Sinai pipeline that unidentified saboteurs blew up earlier in the day." (thanks Redouane)

Sons of Zayid

It seems those sons of...Zayid want the Egyptian government to forgive Mubarak for his crimes. (thanks Ahmet)

Censorship at Now Hariri

"Yesterday I read an interesting post in Now Lebanon‘s blog on how our ambassador in Washington was being sued for abusing a Filipino maid.
I thought of linking to it today but *poof* the story was gone.. So I went straight to the google cached version and dug it up. Now the story (which I will republish below) is no longer about our ambassador in Washington, it’s about why Now Lebanon thought it was so important to protect him that it abandoned its principles of free speech and blatantly censored published pieces.." (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Muslim Brotherhood

Any alliance or deal with Muslim Brotherhood by any leftist or progressive should be rejected categorically.  This organization can't be trusted.  Those who will trust the Brotherhood will face the same fate like those Iranian leftists who trusted Khumayni's empty assurances before the Revolution.

Another protest against the Israeli occupation embassy in Cairo

Notice that Western press are not covering these regular protests.  (AFP)

The new Egypt: go tell the Zionist hoodlums

"The attack comes at a particularly delicate time as the Egyptian public — freed from restrictions that had been imposed by the government of President Hosni Mubarak — has aired anger more openly at Israel and at its own government’s handling of the original pipeline deal. It also comes as the Egyptian authorities have lost some control over the North Sinai after many police officers pulled back during the political turmoil surrounding the ouster of Mr. Mubarak in February."

An accident that could have been avoided

"At least one NATO warplane attacked a rebel position on the front lines of this besieged city on Wednesday, a rebel commander said, killing 12 fighters and wounding five others in what he called an accident that could have been avoided."

Arab views

Look at this article. Every Arab interviewed (except the human rights activist from Yemen) has been a supporter of Mubarak and House of Saud.  And yet, they are allowed to pontificate about democracy.  Also, notice that the article is based on a false premise: that Mubarak and Ali did not use violence and did not try to stay in power by force.  They need to be reminded that Mubarak even ordered his air force to move against the protesters.  Do they really know that hundreds of people were killed in Tunisia and Egypt?

Look at this silly article about Syrian opposition

Syria has always enjoyed a most sophisticated opposition movement: communists and Arab nationalists and liberals.  You read this article about Syrian opposition and you only read about a guy in Maryland and another in Washington, DC.  What do you expect from the paper that told us that Ahamd Chalabi would lead Iraq once Saddam is overthrown.

Look at this arrogance from a guy who fibs at enthralled Western reporters

This is the guy, mind you, who wrote only weeks ago in the Guardian, that Syria is not ready for an uprising.  "“I wanted it to be in the summer because I felt that we weren’t quite ready,” Mr. Abdulhamid said."

Two bloggers arrested in Saudi Arabia

Will this make the news in the West? Two Saudi bloggers arrested?  

Bahrain thanks Saudi Arabia

Saudi media do cover Bahrain. The mouthpiece of Prince Salman and his sons, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, has this headline: "A Green Bahraini Day in thanks to People and Leadership of Saudi Arabia."  I kid you not.

House of Saud and Zionism

House of Saud and Zionism are the most perfect match.  They so deserve each other.  I mean, can you imagine how the rapist Katzav would get along with the various rapists of the House of Saud?

Saudi propaganda

Saudi propaganda is very funny indeed. Not only that they are audacious enough to offer advice on how to construct democracies in Arab countries, but they play with the facts and headlines in a funny way. The headline of the mouthpiece of Prince Salman and his sons, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (one of the most vulgar of the various propaganda sheets of House of Saud and STDs) talks about "mass resignations" from the Syrian Ba`th party, and then you read that 30 members resigned (followed later by 200 according to the paper). But there are around 200,000 Ba`th members in Dir`ah alone. Of course, people join the Ba`th party in Syria like people joined the Communist Party in USSR: for advancement and career opportunities and opportunism (there were some 17 million members in the Soviet Communist Party before the fall of communism).

Aljazeera's standards

The main complain about Aljazeera's coverage is not that it covers Arab upheavals but that in only covers selectively and that it lowers its standards.  Any person can call and claim to be a "witness in Syria" and he would be put on the air and allowed to say anything.  One pro-regime Syrian tested that theory: he was put on the air, and then went on to curse Aljazeera and the Emir of Qatar.  (The obscenities would offend your ears so I did not provide the clip).  Now former Aljazeera anchor woman, Luna Ash-Shibl (who hosted the program For Women Only), who resigned with four other female anchors over accusations of gender insensitivity spoke to a pro-Syrian regime news channel.  She criticizes the the network but her remarks are not credible because she is an unapologetic advocate for the regime, and she advances wild conspiracy theories of the Arab revolutions, stating that they were all manipulated by the US and Israel.  If only Arabs know how much Zionists would like us to believe that we are too weak and too impotent to chart our own destiny.  Enough with those silly conspiracy theories that maintain that some Zionist organizations plotted the Arab upheavals.  If that is the case, why Arab Zionists freaking out?  Are you kidding me??  Zionists would get rid of Theodor Herzl before they get rid of Husni Mubarak.

These are not revolutions: not yet. Ask Karl Marx

In "Critical Marginal Notes on the Article 'The King of Prussia and Social Reform.  By a Prussion' in Vorwarts, 1844, Karl Marx (peace be upon him) said:  "Any revolution dissolves the old society; to that extent it is social.  Any revolution overthrows the old power; to that extent it is political."  Those conditions have not been met in any of the Arab countries that witnessed upheavals.  

New trends in Arab politics

I expect that some features of Arab politics from the 1960s and 1970s will make a comeback.  States that opened up, like Egypt and Tunisia, may experience plots and assassinations.  Decades-long frustrations are destined to have an impact, here and there, and maybe everywhere.  The second bombing of the gas pipeline to Israel is only a beginning.  Israel has been an actor for decades, while Arabs were forced to watch.  Tables will be reversed.  Israel will begin to watch a show that it won't enjoy.  The political trends are clear: from North Africa to Gulf.  The counter-revolution is in full force, to be sure, but it suffers from a major weakness: it is led by House of Saud and sons of Zayid, for potato's sake.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

From Aleppo

"As I was walking through Suleymaniyya yesterday, a upper class Christian neighborhood in Aleppo, I stumbled across a protest that was taking place.  Based on their chants, it was a mix of opposition and supporters of Bashar, although the latter was bussed in and quickly outnumbered the former.  Weirdly enough, I haven't found anything about it in todays news, although it's possible that most news sources have effectively given up on Aleppo.  I've heard that Syrians have begun mocking Aleppans for their reluctance to join in on the protests, even denying some Aleppo plated cars gas in other cities.  A friend of mine here says that one of the main reasons there are so few protests in Aleppo is the lack of Alawites.  As she puts it, there's no "friction" here between the Alawites and everyone else, i.e. they don't see firsthand the absurd social privileges Alawites receive."

I can't imagine

I can't imagine a young Arab wanting to join the Ba`th Party.  I just can't.  It is hard to believe that this party once (decades ago before the 1960s) inspired Arabs and captivated the imagination of many.

Mulhim Ad-Durubi

The guy who read the statement of the Syrian opposition movement in Istanbul is named Mulhim Ad-Durubi.  He is one of the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria.  I really worry that the lousy Brotherhood will steal the valiant efforts of the Syrian people over the years to rid themselves of Ba`thist rule.  With Saudi-Qatari intervention, I worry that the Brotherhood will prevail as the "official opposition."  And no, this does not make me support the regime but I worry about the sinister Brotherhood.

Boycotting the Mawazin festival in Morocco

Calling for artists to boycott.

Praising the King of Morocco

"The king’s allies abroad rushed to congratulate him. Alain Juppé, France’s foreign minister, called his speech “courageous and visionary”. Hillary Clinton, the American secretary of state, praised his proposals, saying that Morocco was “on the road to achieving democratic change.” A recent tour of the country by Britain’s Prince Charles “confirmed that Morocco is stable”, according to the prime minister, Abbas el-Fassi."

On the Zionist who wants to "liberate" Libya

""Despite being dismissed by one Élysée adviser as a "pretentious little bastard", BHL's influence over the president was unprecedented for a philosopher. He was soon being referred to as Sarkozy's "war
chief" and "second foreign minister", and inspiring headlines such as "Plato 1, Nato 0". It was a sea change for French intellectuals: thinkers such as Jean-Paul Sartre may have influenced public opinion but they had never succeeded in directing French policy." (thanks Raed)

Israeli occupation flag in Cairo

According to this, the Israeli occupation embassy in Cairo was forced to lower its flag.

Queen Rania

""This is to sell to the West while their husbands are there, beating, stealing.""" (thanks Redouane)

Sectarian segregation and repression in Bahrain: but royal family does not discriminate in its repression

"""We can call this now a regime of sectarian separation that is working on a sectarian purge" of Shiites, Rajab charged, citing raids on schools and medical centres where Shiites were told to line up separately from Sunnis."
""Police raid medical centres and separate employees based on their sects, then order Shiites to stand by the wall and put their arms up... while masked informers point out" those who joined the protests, he said." (thanks Basil)

He said 95% of the Afghan air force has been vetted with biometric screening.

"At least six NATO troops were killed when a veteran Afghan air force pilot opened fire Wednesday morning inside a military compound at North Kabul International Airport, in what the Taliban claimed was the latest deadly attack by an insurgent infiltrator."

NATO bombings

Here is a simple lessons: NATO bombs will never liberate Arabs.  What do they do? They basically can abort an Arab uprising and turn it into a bloody, protracted civil war.  I strongly believe that had NATO not intervened, chances of Qadhdhafi's overthrow would have been much better.

Zionists would appreciate this

"The Egyptian Authorities announced on Wednesday midday that it will release nine Palestinians from Gaza detained in Egyptian jails."

The New York Times judges France: chutzpah

"Much Ado Over Royal Wedding in Secular Republic of France".  How dare you judge France when the New York Times has been obsessed with the story.

The solidarity among Middle East puppets is so touching: Abbas on Mubarak

"Earlier in the week, the conversation with Abbas had turned to Mubarak and America’s handling of the revolution in Egypt. Abbas told me he thought the push Obama gave Mubarak was “impolite” and imprudent. “From day one, when it started with Mubarak, I had a telephone call with Madame Clinton. I told her, ‘Do you know what are the consequences? Either chaos, or Muslim Brotherhood or both,’?” he says. “Now they have both.”"

Obama threatens his own puppet, Abbas

"So for 55 minutes on the phone, Obama first reasoned with and then pressured Abbas to withdraw the resolution. “He said it’s better for you and for us and for our relations,” says Abbas. Then the American president politely made what Abbas describes as a “list of sanctions” Palestinians would endure if the vote went ahead. Among other things, he warned that Congress would not approve the $475 million in aid America gives the Palestinians."

News station of King Fahd's brother-in-law

Al-Arabiyyah TV yesterday was airing all day, non-stop a report about the two lousy years that the new British princess spent in Jordan as a child.  They practically made her Arab for the two years that she can barely remember.

Libyan transitional council

"“There are many members of the council who have worked with my father for 42 years and been loyal to him."

Bahrain update

From a source who should remain anonymous:  "Yesterday the total count of political prisoners reached 1048.  That means that around 1 in every 550 Bahrainis is a political prisoner.  Today the government announced that they will release 312 detainees "after sufficient duration of arrest" whatever that means.  The rest of the 1048 will be put on trial.  Meanwhile they are arresting more people today.  Also the trial of 7 protestors (I believe it is 7) begins tomorrow for supposedly killing a policeman.  The prosecutor is seeking the death penalty."

PS She sent me an update:  "According to human rights activists in Bahrain, a number of detainees have been forced to admit to things that they did not commit and to request amnesty from the King in front of television cameras.  I'm not sure if these people are the ones who will be released or the ones that will be put on trial.  I guess everything will become clearer later on."

So much for the Facebook theory of Arab revolts

"Role of Social Networking Nearly a quarter of Egyptians (23%) say they have used social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter to obtain news about their country’s political situation; 6% access these sites but have not used it as a source of political news. About two-thirds (65%) do not use the internet or email." (thanks Amer)

Benefits of the Arab uprisings

There is one golden benefit: these events put an end to any attempt to turn any republican rule into a dynasty.  There will be no republican dynasty allowed no matter what.  As for the oil monarchies: if Saudi Arabia sent troops to Bahrain to preserve the royal family, US and NATO would certainly send troops to Saudi Arabia to preserve the royal family there. I have no doubt.


Do you have doubts that if Bashshar Al-Asad were to announce that he would follow in the footsteps of Anwar Sadat, all Western governments would line up and ask him to officially kill more Syrians to stay in power? Serious.

(another) Response to "From Syria with Doubt"

Another response: "I've read with dismay the two letters from your leftist comrade about the situation in Syria (from Syria with doubt). There are many contradictions and logical fallacies in his analysis, but let me first
start by assuring you (and him) that the Syrian society at large is a tolerant one. And this tolerance and acceptance of diversity goes deep into our political history - the history that the regime tried to
eviscerate in the last 40-50 years. My dad tells me that when he was a kid (he's now in his seventh decade) supporters of the Ba'ath, Muslim brotherhood, Nasserists and communists would all protest together AT
THE SAME time in the village square all day, and when it's time to go home, each group would depart peacefully. (and yes, we can only rely on anecdotal evidence because the regime repression doesn't allow for
neutral polls and free expression of thought). Your friend asks a question: why was the niqab banned if it wasn't becoming a problem? this doesn't make any sense at all. The banning of the niqab was an
arbitrary decision taken on some level of the Syrian leadership in order to: 1- Appear as if they're struggling against an extremist population (total number of niqabi teachers are 1200 out of probably a
hundred thousands). 2- Try to stifle a form of expression and protest by a section of the Syrian society that feels left out and abandoned. We know quite well that when people do not find means of applied
justice on earth, they turn for the divine one. If The Muslim Brotherhood has any popularity in Syria, it's because they're (wrongly) PERCEIVED among some as honest and non-corrupt. So in a
nutshell, the rising religiosity in Syria is a side effect of the regime repression and its marginalization of the people.  Personally, I do not wish for the regime to fall. Although I realize this is going to be very difficult, I really wish that Dr. Bashar would opt for real reforms and maneuver the country out of this bottle neck with minimal loss of life, but also with rewards to the citizens in terms of freedoms, dignity and justice. But even then, I can't accept the tarnishing of protesters as salafists or jihadists like your friend is doing. Especially when they're risking their lives to go out and protest. It goes against all democratic (and moral) values to disregard people aspirations. I'm also troubled by your friend's assumption that Syrian people can't
succeed where the Lebanese failed. I also think,  with all due respect, that his drawing parallels with Lebanon 2005 is laughable.
If you decide to post, please keep my name (and my email address) anonymous."

Western concern for Arab lives

Of course, Western governments never ever care about Arab lives. Never ever.  And when they feign concern, there is usually an ulterior motives related to oil or Israeli concerns and interests.  Always.  I mean, when you read that Western governments are pushing for a UN investigation of Syrian repression: how many Arabs have to die at Israel's hands before the UN launch an official investigation?  And you know that those Western governments don't care about Syrians and you know those governments wish that the Syrian regime stays in power.

A Syrian woman responds to "From Syria with Doubt"

A reader kindly translated the response by the Syrian woman (from yesterday) to the letter "From Syria with Doubt".  Here it is:
"I am a Syrian woman, and I write to you about the letter of that Lebanese person who wrote to you about his observations in Syria, and I hope that you publish my letter or some of it.
1. The Syrian people are not sectarian in their character, and this is a real truth, and the history and demographic distribution in Syria proves it. I personally am from a religious Muslim family, and when I went to Damascus to study, I lived with a Christian family in Bab Tuma. I grew up in school with Alawites and they were my friends and neighbors. The Syrian people are very tolerant when it comes to religion. Perhaps the greatest evidence of this is the ascension of Faris al-Khoury to the office of prime minister in Syria and the ascension of Hafez al-Assad himself to the position of defense minister.
2. The one who circulates the sectarian viewpoint and sectarian thinking is the regime itself, for it acts in line with the logic of "divide and conquer." The minorities fear the rule of the majority. We call for choosing a president from any religion or sect (according to elections) and that the presidential term be term-limited (No lifetime presidency!).
3. We are revolting in the face of oppression and corruption and tyranny and one-party rule and the rule of the Assad family and its entourage over the country's destiny. We are revolting against the absence, in any way, shape, or form, of human freedoms. The mere belief that our noble struggle for the sake of our freedom [is not, in fact, so comes from] stupid, fictitious stories like that which the regime circulates, like foreign conspiracies and Salafi gangs and the like nonsense. It is a betrayal of the blood of the righteous innocent while they faced, with bared chests, a fascist regime on a killing frenzy.
4. We are calling for a secular, civil, democratic state that respects all of its citizens.
5. If there is some ignorance in some of the protesters' circles, let's ask ourselves: who worked for 48 years to sanctify ignorance, to spend hundreds of millions on building the branches of state security and intelligence and idols and ugly images? Who brought the education level to the bottom in order to ban [free] thought and expression? Isn't it the regime of the Ba'ath Party? I don't recall one instance of modernization or one time that new books were added to the cultural center in my small town. And they ask why the youth fall victim to some of the Salafis and the people who circulate suicidal discourses. But even if some Salafis or Muslim Brothers were found amongst the demonstrators, that doesn't mean, in any case, that they will come to power or that Syria will become a religious state. So who said that the Salafis and the Muslim Brothers will be more bloody and more savage than the current regime that claims to be secular and socialist!?
6. Religious or racial or sectarian bigotry is present in all societies, and immunity against bigotry comes from justice and equality and the rule of law and an independent judiciary. This is exactly what the regime in Syria has failed to do since the Ba'ath raped authority and Hafez al-Assad overthrew his friends!
7. I don't agree with your idea that Saudi Arabia or Qatar have a personal interest in the success of the Syrian Revolution. For the interest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar now, at least, is in the Syrian regime staying because they [the Saudis and Qataris] are well aware that their turn is coming. They know that the success of the revolution in Syria will lead to their own downfalls sooner or later. Unfortunately for the Syrian people, the interest of Saudi Arabia and Hizbullah and Iran and America and Israel and Hamas - all of them - is in the continuance of the Syrian regime. For the sake of that, we see the shameful silence towards the killing of hundreds. We Syrians must count on ourselves and our patience and our strength on the path to our freedom.

8. The Syrian Revolution is a noble, popular revolution for the sake of overthrowing the regime that has shamed us from history and violated our humanity.
9. This is a very personal opinion. The Middle East will not be completely liberated until the downfall of all of the religious regimes that trade in God and religion like Saudi Arabian and Iran. Syria will not be a religious state and the regime will fall. Thank you."

Developments in Syria

I am now relying on people in Syria who inform me of what is happening.  I have reached the following conclusion:  I can't rely on Aljazeera and Al-Arabiyyah TV to know about Syria.  They have become so unreliable.  Of course, on the other side, Al-Manar TV has proven to be most unreliable: as far as they are concerned, all is quiet on the Syrian front.  But then again: how can I take seriously a network that peddles in a special section (on its website) the writings and analysis of Mr. Franklin Lamb.

Americans want credit for Arab rebellions: let them have it

Look.  Americans won't have it any other way.  They really want to believe that when Arab rebels, they do so under their influence.  They just won't accept any other explanation.  Fine.  I won't argue with you.  When Arab rebels, it is due to American influence: some rebel because they read a man that no Arab knows (Gene Sharp, I believe is his name and whose works were translated to Arabic not by an Arab initiative but by an American effort and they had to scramble to find one to translate).  And when Arabs don't rebel: it is their fault: the fault of Islam and their culture.  Are you satisfied now?  I just am fed up with the silly notions that are being peddled.  Look at this line here:  "Gigi Ibrahim helped Egypt rise up against Hosni Mubarak after taking a class at the American University in Cairo."  I don't know who Gigi is but if you want to believe that, just believe it and leave me alone.  I am really nauseated at those theories.   In my experience, the best Arab rebels have never attended American schools.  And those rebels who attended American schools--with few exceptions--were skilled only in aborting rebellions and revolts.  But you want puppets who cheer you non-stop: that is why you wanted to believe that when Kanan Makiyya wrote "thank you America" for invading Iraq, you wanted to believe that he spoke for all Iraqis.   I thought that you learned from that embarrassing fiasco.  (thanks Farah)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bahrain regimes punishes Al-Quds Al-Arabi

A reader in Bahrain sent me this:  "Abdulbari Atwan showed sympathy for the democracy movement in Bahrain  a few weeks ago on Al Hewar TV:
The Bahrain government responded by blocking AlQuds AlArabi's website:
And today Bahrain TV has just run a cheap smear campaign against Atwan  (not that I am a big supporter of Atwan in any way)  Please don't use my name, for obvious reasons that you have already
written about. The witch-hunt in Bahrain is in full force"