Monday, October 31, 2011

Al-Arabiyya website

The website of Al-Arabiyya (the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law) is even worse than the TV Al-Arabiyyah.  It reminds me of the yellow--very yellow--journalism of the Kuwaiti press (post 1991, when the top gifted Palestinian editors and journalists were driven out of the country).  It basically promotes rumors, innuendos, fabrications, lies, exaggerations, distortions, and falsifications.  It basically uses the sleazy techniques of Elaph (another Saudi politics and sleaze website).  They often have headlines and stories that suddenly disappear after the lies get exposed.  One day, someone will write a book about the journalism of the House of Saud: the book will be as dirty as a book on the sex life of King Fahd or King Abdullah.

Saudi Repression is not news in the West

"An Edmonton imam was assaulted and arrested early Sunday morning while on a pilgrimage in the Saudi Arabian city of Medina, a witness says.  Usama Al-Atar, a prominent Islamic scholar and post-doctoral fellow at the University of Alberta chemistry department, was leading a group of 10 pilgrims in prayer at a religious burial site in Medina when a group of Saudi religious police began to harass the group, said Michael Hayward, who witnessed the incident.  Al-Atar was injured and arrested during the incident, which has stunned the Shiite Muslim community in Edmonton where the popular scholar regularly lectures and teaches Sunday school." (thanks Sumayah)

Public and Private

Comrade Madawi Rasheed writes on the "public and private acclamation in Saudi Arabia."

Walter Isaacson and Steve Jobs

So Isaacson has a book out on Steve Jobs.  So read this piece.  He then tells you that Jobs remind him of Benjamin Franklin and Einstein (he had written two books on the last two).  So he wrote to promote his book on jobs, and managed to plug two other books.  I should probably be embarrassed to admit that I read those books.  But Isaacson also has a massive book on Henri Kissinger: in 800 pages, he manages to whitewash the crimes of that man.  There is no less critical treatment of Kissinger, since the old book by the Zionist brothers, Kalb.  In fact, Isaacson's book on Kissinger is what propelled him in US establishment circles.

PS Is not Isaacson wrong when he says "he was not particularly religious"?  Was not Einstein an avowed atheist?  

New York Times Book Section Trash

Look at this section.  Don't you like it when the Times ask one Zionist to review another Zionist? This is standard in the New York Times.  "when, as Montefiore reminds us, Yasir Arafat “shocked the Americans and the Israelis when he insisted that Jerusalem had never been the site of the Jewish Temple.” He also forbade Palestinian historians to mention the fact."  Look how when it comes to Palestinians, anything can be said.  Who on earth believes that Arafat--as much as I detest him--has ever forbade Palestinian historians from writing on anything, and who but an idiot would believe that Palestinian historian would ever take orders from Yasser Arafat.  Imagine if Anis Sayigh, for example, received an order from Arafat along that line. But this reveals the extent to which those Zionists are so ignorant of the nature of Palestinian society and of the political dynamics of the PLO.  Arafat never ever had the power to forbid any Palestinian academic from saying or doing anything. 

New York Times Headlines

Don't you love headlines from the New York Times:  "U.S. Seeks Aid From Pakistan in Peace Effort".  This sounds so noble: so basically, the US in reality is asking Pakistan to help t he US bring the Taliban to negotiations.  So Pakistan is sometimes asked to cut off ties with Taliban, and other times is asked to bring Taliban in.   

Tashnaq Party expels Syrian Kurds from Burj Hammud

The Tashnaq Party in Lebanon has organized a whole-scale expulsion of all Syrian Kurds from the predominantly Armenian district of Burj Hammud.  The campaign is accompanied with racist discourse about criminality. 

A scandal ignored by the Lebanese press

""Takieddine assure avoir permis à Hariri, "ami de Chirac", de récupérer 1,380 milliard de dollars de factures impayées par les Saoudiens, en échange de quoi le Premier ministre libanais accepte de lui verser 75 millions de dollars puis 45 autres sur un compte "Verdun". Des fonds que Takieddine dit avoir "ventilés"." (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Bahrain royal family's propaganda

"Along with its brutal security crackdown against pro-democracy protesters, the regime in Bahrain has launched a (mis) information offensive to defend its position. This has involved:
But maybe none of the above compare to its latest exploit.
On October 12, Bahrain's state-run TV station broadcast a special program, aimed at discrediting the opposition, hosted by pro-regime columnist Sawsan Al-Shaer. One of the segments shows a number of supposed encounters between a BTV reporter and anti-government protesters (watch the segment below):" (thanks Laleh)

Mubarak's debt

"There has been some commentary after Mubarak’s ouster on whether Egyptians should be required to pay back this debt. Repayment of these exorbitant amounts would prolong the poverty and hardship Egyptians have endured for decades. They clearly did not benefit from loan proceeds that disappeared into the pockets of Egypt’s political and business elite or from amounts used for instruments of repression that helped keep the dictatorial regime in power."

The lousy new rulers of Egypt

"Egypt's military rulers have said they will unveil a vast Egyptian flag, supposedly the highest in the world on an independent structure, Monday to mark the 38 years after the 1973 military triumph over Israel." (thanks Ahmet)

Iron Dome and Israeli stupid propaganda

Since 1991, when scud missiles landed on Israel (and notice how Western media collaborate with Israel to protect its security and to engage with it in deception: they are yet to report on the extent of damages and hits during that period), Israel has been producing a large volume of propaganda deception aimed at Arabs. They have been using different names to impress Arabs that they have developed a system to protect Israeli skies from missiles.  I knew all along that this is typical dumb Mossad-style psychological operation intended to convince Arabs that Israel is invincible.  When we saw the missiles land on Israel this week, the Israeli lies were exposed.  Of course, the Mossad came with an explanation: they said that there were technical problems in the system.  I bet that they are the same technical problems that frequently cause US helicopters to crash in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Munsif Marzuqi

I read about the press conference by Munsif Marzuqi of the Mu'tamar party.  He made it very clear that he supports the elimination of all the powers and faces from the previous regime.  He called for the replacement of all cabinet ministers, thereby disagreeing with the An-Nahda party.  This is a principled progressive and I have strong faith that he won't deviate from his past courageous stances.

Demonstrations for Bashshar

I was arguing with a reader in Homs.  He took issue with my notion that there is still some genuine support for Bashshar among some quarters in Syrian society.  He was indignant: he believes that all were forced to demonstrate.  I tried to convince him otherwise, to no avail.  Supporters of Syrian opposition, I got to discover, are extremely dogmatic.  You are either with them 100% or you are a supporter of Bashshar (that does not apply to my reader in Homs that I referred to).  I explained to my reader in Homs that there are Syrians in the US who have no businesses in Syria who support the regime.  I know Syrians in Arab countries who support the regime--for whatever reason.  I still maintain that the fear factor among Syrians has largely dissipated.  Yes, the regime can still urge state employees and students to attend rallies, but they can't manufacture the enthusiasm that I have seen on their faces (and bodies) in different rallies.  And if the regime can simply produce crowds, why can't they do that in Dayr Az-Zur or in Dir`a or in Homs?  They can do that in places where the regime still maintains support.  Yesterday, there was a massive rally in the predominantly Druze area of Suwayda', for example.  Nuances are not permitted in covering Syria, which explains why Western (and Saudi/Qatar) media would not cover pro-regime protests.  

Classist propaganda

Syrian regime propaganda outlets continue to use classist language to appeal to middle and upper classes in Syria.  Bashshar in his interview with Daily Telegraph also spoke about money, implying that poor people are being paid to protest.  I think that this language has been partly successful among some quarters in Syrian society who refer to protesters as "Abu Shahhata" (father of slippers, indicating that they are poor shoeless crowd).

Lies of Aljazeera

This will become a regular feature.  In covering Syria, Aljazeera (Arabic) does not have correspondents who don't appear on camera, as it did in Iraq when its offices were closed down.  It relies on a crude propaganda speech that appears in news cast in the regime TV all over the Arab world.  Yesterday, the propaganda speech talked about the Syrian National Council and it said that it is dominated by the secular liberals.  I kid you not.  When Aljazeera lies about this basic fact, you know the lies are dominating.  It then added that the Muslim Brotherhood are "merely" one of many parties represented in the Council.  I kid you not.  It then added: that the Brotherhood wants a civil state and a democratic government, etc.  I was expect the network to add that Al-Qa`idah is a charity operating in different Arab countries.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Secularists and Fundamentalists

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English: "Secularists and Fundamentalists: the dangerous compromise"

Sharon moved a toe

I am serious. If Sharon moves a toe, the New York Times would give it much more extensive coverage than the news of Israeli massacres of Palestinians.  

Iranian plot in DC

Do you notice that this global Iranian-Mexican drug plot in DC against the Saudi ambassador (and against the Israeli and Saudi embassies but this part of the plot later disappeared from news coverage) suddenly died from the news?? Can you imagine the noise that Washington, and Israel would be doing if this was real??

Breaking news: stop the presses. Jumblat elected

I have been sitting at the edge of my seat.  Walid Jumblat has been elected president of the Progressive Feudal Reactionary Socialist Hariri Capitalist Party Sect.  Although there were no rivals, Jumblat won with stiff competition.  He today called for an end to political family succession.  He said that his son Taymur won't succeed him.  As a bow to the "Arab spring", he said his other son, Aslan, will be his successor.  Masses outside cheered and praised the wisdom of their gifted leader, who subscribes to the New York Review of Books (so you can't doubt that he is an intellectual).  

The new Khalid Said?

Comrade Hicham reports live from Cairo.

It is official; Manama is the capital of Arab culture

Bahrain royal family is celebrating: Manama is declared the official Arab capital of culture.  Criteria included repression and polygamy.  (thanks Sinan)

Ahmad Chalabi and Wifaq

What is the true nature of the relationship between Ahmad Chalabi and the Wifaq? Is he coordinating the ties between Sistani and Wifaq? Why would Wifaq allow Chalabi to become the guru of the Bahraini cuase, if it was not the lousy sectarian organization that it is?  What is going on? Everywhere I go I see just and glorious Arab uprisings and yet I see lousy and awful Arab opposition groups.  What is going on?

Apology to Syrian Kurds

Syrian Kurds were outraged that Burhan Ghalyun compared them to immigrants in France.  Ghalyun apologized.

Saudi Prince

A Saudi prince (the brother of Prince Al-Walid, and he has Bin Ladenite tendencies), Khalid Bin Talal, is offering $900,000 to anyone who kidnaps an Israeli soldier.  If he want not a Saudi Prince, the US would have killed him in a drone attack by now.


"A miniature “kamikaze” drone designed to quietly hover in the sky before dive-bombing and slamming into a human target will soon be part of the US Army’s arsenal, officials say.
Dubbed the “Switchblade,” the robotic aircraft represents the latest attempt by the United States to refine how it takes out suspected militants." (thanks Nabeel)

Durayd Al-Asad

I have been receiving from Syrian readers what Durayd Al-Asad (the son of Rif`at who lives in Syria and who supports the regime).  I am reminded about the reference in Lenin's writings to signs of demise of a regime: the fissures at the top.  The war between the Makhlufs and between Durayd is getting so bitter. They are openly attacking one another on Facebook and even making specific references to thefts and embezzlement and even personal scandals.   

Was the US war on Iraq and Afghanistan also "fueled by alcohol"?

"The former commanding officer of the destroyer Momsen, fired in April for what the Navy said was misconduct, will serve a 42-month sentence and be dismissed from the service.
Cmdr. Jay Wylie pleaded guilty Friday to charges of rape and sexual assault, and said that he attacked an enlisted woman and a female officer within the past year in separate incidents, both fueled by alcohol.
Wylie, who originally faced 15 criminal counts, including rape, aggravated sexual assault and sodomy, faced up to life in prison with the possibility of parole, dismissal from service, and forfeiture of all pay and benefits."

Western pens for hire to praise Gulf potentates

Don't you ever think that only Arabs writers are for sale:  Western writers can serve oil potentates even better.  Look at this guy: I can tell he is making a career for himself already.  "For example, the principle of accountability is a central component of both democratic systems and traditional tribal systems in the Gulf. The relationship between the tribal leader and the people is one of reciprocity, built upon mutual trust and respect. The leader is expected to act generously and consistently on behalf of the people, earning their loyalty and support in return. Historically, this allegiance has been conditional on the leader fulfilling his end of the bargain — if the leader did not justify the people’s support, they would replace him. (i) 
Traditional tribal leadership was not only accountable, but also accessible. Access to leaders enabled broad-scale participation and transparency in governance. This concept is evident in the open-door policy that many rulers in the region maintain to this day. The majilis — or ‘sitting area’ — functions like a ‘town hall meeting,’ in which people can express their views and have their voices heard. His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said of the Sultanate of Oman brought this open door policy on the road through his “royal meet-the-people tours.”
Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was likewise renowned for the time he spent out amongst the people, listening to their ideas and concerns.
Broad participation and dependence on popular support meant that tribal leaders traditionally ruled by consent. Achieving consensus through negotiation and mediation was the preferred approach to decision-making. Carrying this perspective into the realm of contemporary governance in the UAE, Shaikh Zayed said, “I am not imposing change on anyone. That is tyranny. All of us have our opinions, and these opinions can change. Sometimes we put all opinions together, and then extract from them a single point of view. This is our democracy.”
Since the era of independence, traditional tribal systems have evolved in many different directions. Nowhere in the Gulf (or around the globe) is there a nation that has mastered democracy. Yet longstanding democratic principles are present, if sometimes latent, throughout the region. Instead of “bringing democracy to the Gulf,” discussions should focus on allowing Arabs to proudly nurture the democratic principles that have long been a part of their own societies."  So if you run a dictatorship, how do you manage to sell it in the age of Arab uprisings? You hire people who are willing to say: these dictatorships are democratic, actually.  It is pretty Orwellian, if you ask me. (thanks Ahmet)

The next Saudi King

"The Saudi press has been awash with praise for the "visionary" (but stupid) Prince Nayef who has just been named as crown prince - i.e. next in line to the throne. Indeed, if the Saudi reports are to be believed, world leaders are also overwhelmed with joy at the news of his appointment.
As John Burgess notes in his Crossroads Arabia blog, "It never hurts to be on the good side of a future ruler. I’m sure that businesses, particularly those with government contracts, will be taking out full page ads commending the prince ..."
During his 36 years as interior minister Nayef has overseen the extraction of confessions through torture, as well as the execution of numerous adulterers, suspected witches, drug offenders, etc.
For a long time he denied that the kingdom had an al-Qaeda presence in its midst and in 2001 he initially claimed that Saudi militants were not involved in the September 11 attacks on the United States, blaming the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and/or Zionists instead.
The terrorism problem which he eventually had to confront was partly one of his own making, since his efforts to enforce Wahhabi values helped to perpetuate a climate in which Islamic militancy could flourish, while suppressing liberal voices that could have played a vital role in challenging extremism.
My one and only encounter with the prince in the flesh came in 2003, at a news conference following a series of bomb attacks on housing compounds in Riyadh.
Prince Nayef announced triumphantly that "some people" had been arrested in connection with the attacks, but then seemed astonished when asked how many had been caught.
He was asked three times during the press conference and gave slightly different answers each time. After some prompting from an official sitting nearby he said the number was four, adding that these people were not among the 19 being sought but were "from the same group" and had "the same ideology"."  (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

American-based Syrian "dissidents"

Do you notice how in Syrian opposition circles in exile no one wants to touch the US-based Syrian "dissidents"?  I mean, prior to the Syrian uprising, the Western media basically anointed Abdul-Hamid as the leader of Syria.  He is no irrelevant, of course, as are the rest of US-based Syrian dissident, with the exception of Njaib Al-Ghadban, who is close to the Ikhwan.  Don't get me wrong, the US still hopes that Iyad Allawi can run Syria and Iraq simultaneously once he unites them under NATO command.  

My source in Istanbul meets the Cicero of the Syrian opposition

So this is what my source sent me (I cite with his/her permission) about Cicero of the Syrian opposition:  "As'ad if you use this just say 'from a source in Istanbul' and nothing else)
if Abraham Lincoln had this guy's voice and charisma then blacks would still be slaves in america
he says that all the SNC supports foreign military intervention against Syria, except for Burhan Ghalyun. he seemed to be upset that Burhan is against foreign militaries attacking syria
he calls it a no fly zone but he basically admitted that this is a code word for military attacks on syria and said that this has to be explained to the syrian people on TV, and in public, he will not say he supports foreign military intervention, he will just say that he supports sanctions etc but in private he admits they all support foreign military intervention "One of our failures (as the SNC, he means) is we did not make decision calling for supporting foreign intervention" he says He says that the only solution is foreign military intervention but he also admits that the west has no appetite for it he believes that the psychological shock of the west or the UN declaring a no fly zone will convince alawites and syrian senior generals to abandon the regime and support the opposition because they will see that supporting bashar is taking them down and he thinks that as soon as Alawites and senior officers see American ships off the coast of Tartus and Latakia then they will abandon the regime and it will all be over
all this but he admits that the west has no interest in attacking Syria "The whole Alawite community will be massacred if they go to the end," he says, "so he thinks they will make a rational choice and abandon regime. And he wants a "Taif accord" for syria did you know he is a former dentist? anyway I was struck by how he admitted they basically had no plan, they want foreign military intervention but they realize the US and Europe do not want this I guess there best hope is to provoke a massacre to get the west involved. or predict a fake one like what happened in libya he insists they need a no-fly zone but nobody is using planes against the demonstrators. what a silly imitation of libya he also says that 'only' 30 thousand civilians were killed in libya after the NATO intervention and "only" five thousand of those were killed by the rebels. even if that were true thats more than have died in syria so far (official numbers of activists less than 4 thousand) and at first he insisted that NO libyan civilians were killed by NATO

one other interesting point. how stupid are these people? he said he wants the international criminal court to press charges against Bashar and other senior Syrian government officials, but at the same time he admits that the best solution is a Taif accords for Syria like the one they had in Lebanon. so do you want to put Bashar in jail and negotiate with him at the same time? but I was surprised that he admitted they are still willing to negotiate and pursue a Taif accords sort of agreement"

The role of Arab intellectuals

About the article in the NYT by Worth.  1) Comrade Sinan got it right:  "The role of the intellectual may be shrinking into that of the micro-blogger or street organizer. To some, that is just fine. “I don’t think there is a need for intellectuals to spearhead any revolution,” says Sinan Antoon, an Iraqi-born poet and novelist who has written extensively on the Arab Spring and now teaches at New York University. “It is no longer a movement to be led by heroes.”"  Exactly.  It is a good thing.  Let the intellectuals be marginalized.  2) Are you serious, Robert?  You put Havel and Paine in the same league with Lenin and Mao?? Havel is very much like Herzl: a failed playwright whose fame is political and not literary.  No one takes that man seriously as an intellectual outside US Congress, despite his invoking the name of Hegel in his writings, even when it is not relevant, as in :"I Had a cheese bagel this morning.  Hegel."  Kid you not. 3) It is good that finally someone in the Western press talk about how Gulf money bought off a whole class of Arab intellectuals, writers, poets, and columnists.  Yet, when Worth talks to a columnist in Al-Hayat, he identifies the paper as "Arab newspaper" failing to tell the reader it is the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid Bin Sultan bin Bribe.  That is a major failing especially when the NYT and its writers always refer to a link with an Arab government or movement if it is not to the liking of Israel.  4) Michel Aflaq is a "political philosopher" only for anyone who has not read him.  He never ever is considered a political philosopher.  He is a literary essayist and you should read the book "Aflaq, as a Man of Belle Lettres  (in Arabic).  

PS 5) I don't like Adonis and hate to defend him but it is unfair to maintain that he "denigrated" Syrian protesters as much as I disliked his "open letters" about Syria.  They were indeed too soft on the regime.  But he merely criticized the use of the mosques as a starting place for demonstrations. He was speaking as a strict secularist.  

Palestinian news

Even Palestinian news rely on the lies of Israeli propaganda outlets.  Yesterday, Haaretz struggled to make the Israeli bombing to be "retaliation", so it said that the last bombing raid was indeed in retaliation for the rocket fire, but failed to note that the rockets were in retaliation for Israeli bombing in Gaza.  In fact, any Palestinian fire is a retaliation for the brutal and savage occupation of Palestine.

The US responds to "the Arab spring": here is a "security architecture"

"With an eye on the threat of a belligerent Iran, the administration is also seeking to expand military ties with the six nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman. While the United States has close bilateral military relationships with each, the administration and the military are trying to foster a new “security architecture” for the Persian Gulf that would integrate air and naval patrols and missile defense.
“Back to the future” is how Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst, Central Command’s chief of staff, described planning for a new posture in the Gulf. He said the command was focusing on smaller but highly capable deployments and training partnerships with regional militaries. “We are kind of thinking of going back to the way it was before we had a big ‘boots on the ground’ presence,” General Horst said. “I think it is healthy. I think it is efficient. I think it is practical.” (thanks Amer)

The US does not do that: the US bombs for the cause and for principles

"Western security, construction and infrastructure companies that see profit-making opportunities receding in Iraq and Afghanistan have turned their sights on Libya, now free of four decades of dictatorship. Entrepreneurs are abuzz about the business potential of a country with huge needs and the oil to pay for them, plus the competitive advantage of Libyan gratitude toward the United States and its NATO partners.  A week before Colonel Qaddafi’s death on Oct. 20, a delegation from 80 French companies arrived in Tripoli to meet officials of the Transitional National Council, the interim government. Last week, the new British defense minister, Philip Hammond, urged British companies to “pack their suitcases” and head to Tripoli."

NATO can deliver bombs and polygamy

"“This law is contrary to Shariah and must be stopped,” Mr. Abdel-Jalil told the crowd, vowing that the new government would adhere more faithfully to Shariah. The next day he reiterated the point to reporters at a news conference: “Shariah allows polygamy,” he said. Mr. Abdel-Jalil is known for his piety."


Lebanese politics has been fractured all along, due to deep sectarian divisions and foreign intervention and sponsorship.  But lately: it has been most fractured.  Even allies don't trust one another.  Why? It is all due to Wikileaks.  Trust is gone. There is now distrust and suspicions even in the same camp.  And don't believe the US government when they say that US foreign policy in the region has not been harmed by the release of Wikileaks.  

MTV Station: sponsored by US ambassador in Lebanon

The US ambassador in Lebanon visited this week the MTV station in Beirut.  It is the most racist and right-wing news station in all of Lebanon.  In fact, while driving the other day, I listened to one of its programs.  They had a session of laughter making fun of rape rates in South Africa, followed by a session about wives beating husbands.  The serious anchorman asserted that the rates of women beating their husbands is much higher than men beating their wives.  It seems that what tickled the US ambassador in Lebanon.  Read this article about racism against dark skinned people and Africans and Asian by the station.  That also must have tickled the US ambassador who visited the station days only after this most disgusting reporter aired in the news section.  Enjoy.

sectarian baby

Lebanon is grotesque as a country, if you think about the depth of sectarianism.  Yesterday, a TV station in Lebanon reported that an abandoned baby was found on the street.  But what are the details: someone left a five-days old baby but he/she did not leave on the street: they actually left him near the Greek Orthodox cemetery.  They are sending a clear message that while they have abandoned their child, they still care enough to make sure that no Muslim or Maronite parents or people get close to that child.    

Syrian regime propaganda

So I have been following the two main Syrian propaganda channels lately.  One thing is clear: there is a very blatant classist element in the attack by the regime on the protesters.  They are portrayed as unemployed poor who are willing to sell their soul for any bidder.  The message is unmistakable: that the educated and civilized stay off the streets.  It is pretty disgusting.   Secondly, the regime sounds desperate: they air messages from "experts" calling for even the defected soldiers to surrender in return for amnesty.  Thirdly, there is a disgustingly Syrian nationalist message in the propaganda: it disgusts me in particular because it reminds of of Lebanese nationalist chauvinism.  Syria uber alles.  Fourthly, there is something noticeable among the Lebanese and Syrian "experts" or "analysts" that they invite: they sound very kooky in their analysis of international affairs.  One guy on Dunya TV yesterday insisted that Paul Wolfowitz was Secretary of Defense, and they attribute statements to officials who never said them.  Fifthly, why do you get the impression that the anchors are sweating?  

I am sorry but your NATO rebels are comrades of Al-Qa`idah

The official page of the "Libyan Revolution" posts a congratulatory message" from Al-Qa`idah to the Libyan people.  Why do I have the feeling that Western governments have unleashed a monster worse than the one that they had unleashed in Afghanistan?  (thanks Ahmad)

Custodian of the Two Holy Places Visiting Professor in Islamic Legal Studies

So the Custodian of the Two Holy Places Visiting Professor in Islamic Legal Studies at Harvard University, Chibli Mallat, who co-authored (in name) a lousy Likudnik statement about the Arab-Israeli conflict with Alan Dershowitz--of all people, wrote to Norman Finkelstein complaining about the comment that Norman wrote on his blog in response.  He reminded Norman that they had met once in Beirut.  Norman promptly responded to Mallat with this:  "Because I attach high value to personal experience, I will treat with utmost deference any U.N. resolution you propose on academic prostitution."

PS Of course, Norman gave me permission to cite his response.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Live from Cairo

Comrade Hisham reports live from Cairo on the death of `Isam `Atallah.

Bolshoi theater opening

I really enjoyed the Bolshoi dance yesterday.  So lively.

Saudi system of governance and selection

"“The king has notified the chief and members of the Allegiance Council of his choice,” the royal court said in a statement late on Thursday. “The king instructed the princes to pledge allegiance to Prince Naif bin Abdelaziz as crown prince.”" (thanks Sultan)

A public park that is only open to French Lebanon

It figures. Lebanon has a public park that is closed to Lebanese but open for French people in Lebanon.  It should be called: White Man Public Park.

An argument for prolonged occupation

"Its sovereignty is hollow because of the continued activities of Iranian-backed militias in its territory. Its stability is fragile, since the fundamental disputes among ethnic and sectarian groups remain unresolved. And it is not in any way self-reliant. The Iraqi military cannot protect its borders, its airspace or its territorial waters without foreign assistance."

this kind of sexism in Israel does not get the attention of Western media

"A month ago cadets left a pep rally after a female soldier-singer exposed her nakedness - with her voice. And last week, during the post-Simhat Torah celebration, hundreds of female soldiers were ordered to stay away from the celebrants and gather in a fenced-off area. The female commanders left in protest and returned to their base. It's a shame they didn't go home for good until they received an apology from the two brigadier generals who were present and didn't intervene. What's happening here all of a sudden? Have the emergency warehouses run out of baking soda to suppress our sexual urges?"

reaching out--and in

"Ken Livingstone's guru on radical Islamic politics has been exposed as an undercover police officer who infiltrated the animal rights movement in the 1980s." (thanks Nu`man)

If this happened to a Muslim woman, NATO bombers would have been ordered in

"The rabbinical court of Haifa ruled against a woman whose husband claimed she practiced witchcraft in their home. The court acquitted the woman of refusing to cook for her husband, as the latter committed adultery, which the court found constituted mitigating circumstances in the woman’s dereliction of culinary duties."

The next Saudi king

Prince Nayef

Look at him. So full of vigor and youth.  Now I know that a new generation of rulers has risen.

PS When they say in the bio of princes in Saudi Arabia that he had attended the "school of princes", you know that the man is illiterate.  Yes, Prince Nayif had attended the "school of princes".  

Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

This hypocritical cleric-for-hire has been fond of oil and gas for decades.  A few years ago, he arrived into Dubai but the UAE government quickly and humiliatingly kicked him out of the country.  Do you know there are pictures of him with Qadhdhafi in his tent?  Do you remember his words of praise for Bashshar, when the latter was an ally of the Qatari dynasty?  Do these clerics-for-hire think that they have any credibility whatsoever?  Here, he talks to a Saudi newspaper and urges respect for Saudi repressive laws.  He does not want any political discussions during Hajj.

Prince Nayif, the pragmatist: how US propaganda works

If you read articles on Prince Nayif, in Arabic, English, or French, you will see that he has suddenly been referred to as "pragmatist".  You know how it started?  It started with an article in the New York Times and it used the label in the headline, but the article cites a US diplomatic cable which described him accordingly.  So a US propaganda label gets circulated around the world, without any evidence whatsoever.  And the cable makes it clear that US criteria for pragmatism refer only to whether Prince Nayif was nice or rude to visiting US diplomats.  

Tell us about the extravagance of Qadhdahfi's sons

The interview with former Qadhdhafi's foreign minister, `Abdur-Rahman Shulqum (later ambassador at the UN) on the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law, Al-Arabiyyah was quite a show.  He seems to be a talented man among a ruling group that was lacking in talent.  He seems to be an interesting man, among men who are so boring (have you heard Mahmud Jibril talking? Don't bother).   But Shulqum should shut up: he served the regime for decades and his discussion of the corruption and tyranny of Qadhdhafi reflects negatively on him, and raises questions about his own credibility.  But the anchor of the show kept pressing him to discuss: the extravagance and spending habits of Qadhdhafi's sons.  I wanted to yell; WLA.  You work at a station for the House of Saud.  Prince `Azzuz now runs the policies of the station.  The same brat who spent millions on trying to woo Yasmeen Bleeth after he became obsessed with her after he watched her on Bay Watch.  No, you tell us about the extravagance and spending habits of Saudi princes.  But from the talk by Shulqum you get the impression that Qadhdhafi's sons were such horrible kids who are comparable to the worst Saudi princes and to `Uday (or Uuuuuuuuuuuuudaaaaaaaaaaaay as it is pronounced in US TV news) Husayn.  What a bunch.

NATO rebels demand civil government

Why do I feel the man to the right will some time in the future appear on a US-produced Wanted list??  It is a hunch, really.  The sign reads:  "Islamic Shari`ah is the only source of legislation".  But really.  Give credit to NATO, when you can.  As polygamy returns to Libya, you may chant: Polygamy thanks NATO.  (Reuters)

Dunya TV

I have been watching some Dunya TV (the pro-Syrian regime TV station owned by the Makhlufs).  Do you notice that they allow criticisms of Qatar and Turkey but not of Saudi Arabia?  The lousy Syrian regime is still desperate to ingratiate itself with the House of Saud.  Also, they invite "analysts" to speak on international relations and Arab politics who are so kooky.  And do you notice that the Lebanese and Syrian supporters of the Syrian regime use the same method: they point to a stack of papers in front of them and yell out: I have with me "documents" that will verify what I am saying and that will reveal the depth of the conspiracy against Syria.  They add: and when the time comes, I will expose them all.  One kook on Dunya TV (a Syrian reader sent me the clip) claims that he has on his flash drive footage of the wife of a Syrian dissident having sex with a man from the CIA.  One "analyst" on Dubya yesterday asked viewers to write to him on his "HotMile" email address.  Has there been a Ba`thist or Saudi propagandist who is good?

Norman Finkelstein responds

He responds to the token Arab that Alan Dershowitz asked to support his Likudnik statement on the Israeli supremacist state.   "He aspires to make this a permanent position, so this pitiful tuches lecker (Yiddish: ass-kisser) leeched onto the obvious candidate. The rest is history."

This is what you read in the Saudi press: an actual translation

This guy, a fanatic propagandist for House of Saud, serves as the editor-in-chief of the mouthpiece of Prince Salman and his sons, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat:  "In just one week, from one Friday to the next, the Saudi leadership, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, conducted a lesson in governance, politics, and the principles of brotherhood between family members." (thanks "Ibn rushd")

Veiling in Tunisia

Rashid Ghannushi said that his government won't impose the veil in Tunisia, but that his government will administer lashes on women who don't veil.  He said on the economy, he will defer to World Bank/IMF.  On justice, he will defer to Prince Nayif.  On politics, he will defer to NATO.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The dictator is dead, long live NATO

My weekly article Al-Akhbar: "The dictator is dead.  Long live NATO."

Meet Libya's NATO rebels

"If anyone is surprised by the apparent killing of Moammar Gadhafi while in the custody of militia members from the town of Misrata, they shouldn’t be.
More than 100 militia brigades from Misrata have been operating outside of any official military and civilian command since Tripoli fell in August. Members of these militias have engaged in torture, pursued suspected enemies far and wide, detained them and shot them in detention, Human Rights Watch has found. Members of these brigades have stated that the entire displaced population of one town, Tawergha, which they believe largely supported Gadhafi avidly, cannot return home.
As the war in Libya comes to an end, the pressing need for accountability and reconciliation is clear. The actions of the Misrata brigades are a gauge of how difficult that will be, and Misrata is not alone in its call for vengeance. In the far west, anti-Gadhafi militias from the Nafusa Mountains have looted and burned homes and schools of tribes that supported the deposed dictator. Anti-Gadhafi militias from Zuwara have looted property as they demanded compensation for damage they suffered during the war.
The apparent execution of 53 pro-Gadhafi supporters in a hotel in Sirte apparently under control of Misrata fighters is a bad omen. It is up to the National Transitional Council to rein in all the militias and quickly establish a functioning justice system.  The NTC should take control of the many makeshift detention facilities, expedite the return of displaced Libyans, and ensure the investigation, trial and punishment of wrongdoers acting in the name of vengeance.  That includes Gadhafi’s killers if the evidence showed crimes were committed. The NTC, and its foreign backers, have comprehensively failed  to start setting up a justice system — even in Benghazi, where they have been in charge since the spring." (thanks Christian)

Anis Mansur

Saqr Abu Fakhr writes an excellent critical piece about the Egyptian writer, Anis Mansur.  He writes about a history of plagiarism.  

Prince Sultan in Yemen

Prince Sultan has been the key Saudi official handling the Yemeni file.  He dispatched his incompetent son, Khalid, to help the regime fight the Hawthis and we saw the results.  The people who are now raising portraits of Prince Sultan in Yemen are the regime loyalists, and not the opposition.

Deconstructing Thomas Friedman

"I was of course already familiar with the general characteristics of Friedman’s writing—hubris, clichéd jingoism, Orientalism, favoritism of Israel, self-contradiction, a severe handicap in the realm of metaphor construction, reduction of complex phenomena to simplistic and baseless theories. However, reviewing three decades of his work made it clear just how frightening, as opposed to simply laughable, it was that such a character had accrued three Pulitzer Prizes and risen to the position of journalistic icon at the US newspaper of record." (thanks Bassam)

The Syrian regime and the Western press

Yes, the Syrian regime has banned the Western press from Syria, but this is not the whole picture. Why are the Western media not acknowledging that most have smuggled in reporters into Syria?  It is a fact, and I know about it, and I have done my best (through connections in Lebanon) to help Western reporters to sneak into Syria.  

I am on the edge of my seat: waiting for the outcome of this really competitive election

"Progressive Socialist Party leader Walid Jumblatt will be re-elected to the post during the organization’s general assembly meeting Sunday, after nominations closed with him as the only candidate." (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

It is not news when Israeli terrorist soldiers kill Palestinian children

Aseel after being shot - Image by Maan News Agency

"Head of the neurological department at the Al Maqassed Hospital, in East Jerusalem, Prof. Sami Hussein, stated that surgeons operated on Aseel Ara'ra, 4, following a gunshot injury to the neck, and that she is currently at the Intensive Care Unit. He added that Aseel's injury caused Quadriplegia." (thanks Farah)

Social Injustice in the US

"After-tax household income rose 275 percent for the top 1 percent of U.S. households from 1979 to 2007, far above any other segment, a report showed Wednesday.  The Congressional Budget Office said the inflation-adjusted, after-tax household income for the rest of the top 20 percent grew by 65 percent over that period.  The 60 percent of the population in the middle of the income scale -- the 21st through 80th percentiles -- saw average real after-tax household income rise just under 40 percent.
The bottom 20 percent experienced 18 percent growth."

The dangers of the Arabic language

"Appearing on Fox News two months after the attacks, Phares warned of the danger posed by Arabic-language news network Al Jazeera, telling Bill O'Reilly that "linguistically, the Arabic language is a very powerful one. It has a lot of codes. It could be used in a lethal way."" (thanks Ali)

Comatose Ariel Sharon

A comatose Ariel Sharon receives more attention than the living Palestinian people.  Look at this long article in the New York Times. What do we learn? That Sharon sometimes looks at his son.

US and Kenyan invasion of Somalia

"Kenyan military officials also publicly said the United States and France were helping them, but both countries quickly distanced themselves from the operation, insisting that they were not taking part in the combat...Despite their close relationship with Kenyan security services, which receive millions of dollars in American aid each year, American officials said they had been caught off guard by the incursion.
“The United States did not encourage the Kenyan government to act, nor did Kenya seek our views,” said Katya Thomas, a spokeswoman at the American Embassy in Nairobi. “We note that Kenya has a right to defend itself.”"  Caught off guard? Was this like the US was caught off guard when Saudi Arabia invaded Bahrain?

Omar Sharif

Omar Sharif hits a female fan in Doha, Qatar.  (thanks Zainab)

civil society my...potato

Various Egyptian "civic" organizations have received more than 1 billion Egyptian pounds in six months from Arab and international sources.

He inhabits our hearts forever

Sometimes I wish Western readers know Arabic to get the real texture of what is referred to, astonishingly, as Saudi media.  This is an actual headline in the mouthpiece of Prince Salman, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat:  "Schools of Saudi Arabia: Prince Sultan will inhabit our hearts to forever and remains in every inch of the homeland."

An-Nahda's neo-liberal policies

So An-Nahd moved quickly to reassure Western governments.  It said that it will retain the Finance Minister and the Governor of the Central Bank, both of whom are products of the World Bank and its policies.  We know how highly the World Bank and IMF thought of the regime of Bin `Ali.   ""Les islamistes tunisiens d'Ennahda, qui attendent la confirmation de leur victoire aux élections constituantes, sont enclins à maintenir à leurs postes le ministre des Finances et le gouverneur de la banque centrale dans un nouveau gouvernement, a indiqué jeudi un responsable du parti.  "La tendance est de garder la même stratégie, sauf pour certains ministres dont la performance a été lamentable", a déclaré à Reuters Samir Dilou, membre du bureau exécutif d'Ennahda."..  (thanks Ahmet)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hasan Nasrallah's TV Interview

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English:  "Hasan Nasrallah's TV Interview."

Global corporate control

"They discovered that global corporate control has a distinct bow-tie shape, with a dominant core of 147 firms radiating out from the middle. Each of these 147 own interlocking stakes of one another and together they control 40% of the wealth in the network. A total of 737 control 80% of it all. The top 20 are at the bottom of the post. This is, say the paper’s authors, the first map of the structure of global corporate control." (thanks Joseph)

Nada Bakri, relax

Whenever there is a display of support for the lousy Syrian regime, New York Times reporter feel obligated to explain it away or to minimize it.  Nada Bakri does that today:  "With most foreign journalists barred from Syria and the government keeping tight control on information, it is hard to assess how great a role coercion plays in such displays. Certainly, significant elements of the Syrian elite remain entwined with and supportive of the Assad government."  First, it was a massive demonstrations.  Secondly, the elite does not go down to the street to waive flag.  They are busy embezzling and profiting.  Thirdly, there is--whether this bothers NYT or not--a level of support among sectors of the Syrian population.  Fourtlhy, this is a regime in deep trouble and their power of coercion is largely damaged, and they can hardly coerce tens of thousands to go down to demonstrate if they don't want to.  Come on. This is downright silly.

Hamas and Hizbullah at the House of Saud

Hizbullah sent a delegation to the Saudi Embassy in Beirut to offer condolences over the death of Prince Sultan bin Bribes.  Khalid Mish`al of Hamas flew to Saudi Arabia to personally offer condolences.  It is not clear whether a joint delegation of Hamas and Hizbullah will fly to Saudi Arabia to offer thanks for the Saudi role in instigating and sponsoring the Sunni-Shi`ite conflict, and for its alliance with Israel.

Saudi cleric rewards

"A prominent Saudi cleric has offered to pay $100,000 to any Palestinian who kidnaps an Israeli soldier, according to his Facebook page." (thanks Nir)

King PlayStation Brags

"Jordan's King Abdullah on Tuesday said his kingdom was Israel's last ally in the region and warned that Egypt may dissolve its peace treaty with Tel Aviv. "We are actually the last man [i.e. clown] standing with our relationship with Israel," the king told The Washington Post, pointing to Israel's troubled relations with Turkey and Egypt."  Let me translate this interview into English: Look. I am falling and I can't get up.  My wife and I did not feel we could attend Davos (so Davos came to Jordan instead because they know how much we love Davos).  And I need US financial and military support real bad.  I screwed up, big time.  

Israeli soldiers doing what they do best: killing children

All that you have done to our people is registered in notebooks.  "Shortly after noon on Wednesday, a four-year-old Palestinian girl named Asil Arara was shot in the neck by Israeli troops near her village of Anata, northeast of Jerusalem. A PNN reporter in Jerusalem said the shot was fired from the nearby Anatot army training camp toward Arara’s home, which lies next to the wall separating Anata from Jerusalem." (thanks Farah)

Tunisian politics

Read this interview with a Tunisian labor activist.

Here is another plausible plot for you

So there is a new plot.  Apparently the Iranian-American car salesman got in touch with a Mexican drug cartel to contact Iraqi Ba`thists to overthrow the government, and then fly back to DC to kill the Saudi ambassador in DC.  Read all about the new twist.  

NATO: from protecting civilians to propping up a regime

This is quite something.  The NATO has been bombing the hell out of Libya all in the name of "protecting civilians" from Qadhdhafi although the there may be evidence that the NATO rebels, and their mercenary armies, may have caused the worst destruction and killings in a place like Misrata (according to a Western correspondent who spoke to comrade Amer).  So the regime fell.  The UNSC resolution does not apply anymore.  So NATO is now an occupying power staying to prop up a regime. Welcome to another American-guided occupation of an Arab land.  But look at the justification of Mustafa Abdul-NATO:  "“We have asked NATO to stay until the end of the year, and it certainly has the international legitimacy to remain in Libya to protect the civilians from Qaddafi loyalists,” the interim leader, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, chairman of the Transitional National Council, said in an interview with the pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera."  The regime is gone, and the military power of the regime has been dismantled.  There are 7000 prisoners held by the new NATO regime. So what is there to protect civilians from except from opposition to the regime?  

"Arab spring"

That lousy name should not be used to refer to Arab uprisings.  How can it be a spring when I wake up daily to news of Syrians and Yemenis being killed by the regime on a daily bases?

The political thought of Rashid Ghannushi

I am obligated now to going back and re-reading his writings.  Yesterday, I was reading his Al-Huriyyat Al-`Ammah fi Ad-Dawlah Al-Islamiyyah (Public Freedoms in the Islamic State).  I trust his democratic credentials and impulses as much as George Habash trusted the revolutionary impulses of Yasser Arafat.  He makes it very clear citing the authority of the fanatical Islamist thinker, Muhammad `Amarah, that what he has in mind is a different democracy.  He states clearly that "Western democracies" are guided by laws, while his view of democracy is that it should be guided and guarded by Shari`ah.  The rule of the people has to be guided by "divine law."  He wrote those exact words (p. 316).  This needs an article in Al-Akhbar.

Alan Dershowitz stumbles on a token Arab to sign on to his fanatic Likudnik positions

You read it right.  This fanatic American Zionist, Alan Dershowitz, who has never encountered an Israeli war crime that he could not endorse, stumbles on a Lebanese guy to sign on to his outrageously anti-Palestinian positions.  The Lebanese, fortunately, is a national joke who is known for 1) trying to briefly sue Ariel Sharon over Sabra and Shatila to get a name for himself.  His attempt lasted for a few hours. 2) for claiming to the media that he is a "candidate for Lebanese presidency" although there is no such thing as candidate for president of Lebanon.  His popularity politically is equal to my political popularity in the US.  3) During the Bush's wars, he wrote an editorial in the sectarian Christian, right-wing, racist anti-Syrian (people), anti-Palestinian (people) newspaper, An-Nahar that was titled "My friend Paul Wolfowitz".  This native is like those natives with deep complexes of the White Man: who when the White Man shakes their hands on one or two occasions, they yell out: The White Man is my friend. The White Man is my friend.  He also cozied up with Ileana Ros-Lehtinen--perhaps the most anti-Arab, anti-Muslim member of the entire US Congress.  She invited him to join her table at a Republican function in the US, and he went back to Lebanon and bragged that she let him shake hands with George W. Bush.  In other words, this pathetic figure has made himself to be a joke long before he steeped lower by this lousy piece of Zionist trash.  Fortunately, he speaks neither for the Palestinians nor for the Lebanese, although his credentials as a representative for the Zionist point of view has been underlined.  But this clown may have a new representative credentials as he signed this piece as "Chibli Mallat, Custodian of the Two Holy Places Visiting Professor of Islamic Legal Studies" at Harvard University.  I also notice that the piece was promptly translated and published in the mouthpiece of Prince Salman and his sons, the lousy trashy Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.   Read this piece of...Zionist trash.  It first gave Israel what it does not have:  its ability to be recognized as it wants Arabs to recognize it, without regard to the natives of the land:  "Recognises the State of Israel as the Democratic State of the Jewish people."   The Zionist Lebanese clown also gave Israel the right to help itself to as much as it wants from the 22% of Palestine (West Bank and Gaza):  "the demarcation lines as of June 1, 1967, with adjustments and acre-for-acre land swaps to be agreed in good faith by the Israeli and Palestinian governments..."   They also call for justice for the armed settlers of the West Bank:  "the Jewish settlers in the West Bank..."  It also allows Israel to keep all of Jerusalem:  "the continued unity of Jerusalem."   And when you read the whole lousy thing, you are certain that it was all written by Dershowitz.  I bet you that the extent of the contribution of the "Custodian of the Two Holy Places Visiting Professor of Islamic Legal Studies" was merely in fetching a beverage for Dershowitz as he was writing this piece.   Look at this line:  "as well as security concerns for all, for Israel in particular."  Who but a racist like Dershowitz would insert a line that calls for the respect of the concerns of all "for Israel in particular", thereby establishing the notion of one people superior over another people.  It is rather funny but I think that the "Custodian of the Two Holy Places Visiting Professor of Islamic Legal Studies" was standing in line getting Dershowitz a beverage when the latter was inserting this line.  So he may have not noticed it.  It then speaks of this:  "with due regard to justice and fairness in allaying the legitimate security fears of the Jewish community within and outside Israel".  So the Palestinians are here asked to satisfy not only the needs and concerns of the Zionist occupiers but also of Zionists all over the world.   But it concludes again with another line that establishes that the Israelis are superior--in their racial recipe to use the language of Vladimir Jobotinksy--to the Palestinians:  "and viability of the two states, in particular the security of Israel as a Jewish democratic state".  What native idiot would sign a statement that speaks of the needs of one side "in particular" except someone who internalizes the racism of the Zionists against Arabs.  Let me make a prediction: this Dershowitz who cowardly refuses to debate Norman Finkelstein will now tour Zionist venues in the US accompanied by this guy who will fetch him beverages and nod his head to his Zionist utterances.   (thanks Yaman)

Egyptian uprising apolitical

During my trip to the ASA Convention, I caught a glimpse of Thomas Friedman on HBO's Bill Maher show.  1) His attempt of sounding folksy is so annoying.  He also thinks he is funny and effective when he keeps saying: OK. OK. OK?  2) He said at one point that he was there during the Egyptian uprising (in his hotel suite) and that the uprising was "apolitical."  I kid you not.  This is a guy who supposedly help Americans understand world affairs.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Zionism and anti-Semitism

Thus spoke comrade Joseph:  "Now, this insistence that the first fact, nay the first truth, that Palestine is the historic homeland of modern European Jews who resided in Europe and not of the Palestinian people who lived in it for millennia, turns out to be neither factual nor truthful, though it indeed remains the primary and first claim made by Zionism and anti-Semitism.
The claim relies on anti-Semitic notions propagated initially by the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century and later by secular anti-Semitism, both of which insisted that modern European Jews were blood and genetic descendants of the ancient Hebrews respectively, which is precisely how eighteenth century European philology's reference to Jews as "Semites" would soon be transformed in the hand of political and racial anti-Semitism by the late nineteenth century from a "linguistic" category into a "racial" and biological one.
It is based on these anti-Semitic claims - that millenarian Protestants, secular anti-Semites, and Zionists called for the "restoration" of European Jews to the alleged homeland of their alleged ancestors.
The uncontroversial academic and historical facts that European Jews are descendants of European converts to Judaism from the centuries before Christianity was adopted as the religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century are unquestionable axioms in academic scholarship, including by Zionist historians.
No respected historian of European Jewry has ever argued that European Jews, or for that matter Moroccan, or Iraqi, or Yemeni Jews, were descendants of the ancient Hebrews. All respected scholars recognise them as descendants of converts to Judaism."

Shadid reminds the readers of this

"Mr. Ford’s criticism of the Assad government stands in contrast to the relative silence of the American Embassy in Bahrain, an American ally, whose government cracked down violently on protests by the country’s Shiite majority."

Tantawi regime

The lousy Tantawi military council agreed to exchange an accused Israeli spy (why would Israeli exchange him if he was not a spy), for Egyptians who are serving sentences for criminals offenses in Israeli occupation jails.  He could have insisted on the release of Palestinian political prisoners.

Qatar and UAE text messages to Tunisian voters

Karim sent me this:  "The night before the election, on saturday some people received some arabic text messages saying: vote for nahda, and then on sunday too. The country codes are qatar and uae. I have the numbers.  here is the first number  00974 66471379 
The message : "sawtouka amana, sawet li al nahda w thenna, 7izb kawiy w sadek w ya7fed al amana""

their aspirations to emulate the West

Look at this:  "Tunisians, Mr. Fakhfakh argued, were torn between their identity as Arabs and Muslims and their aspirations to emulate the West."  Where do they find those people? Where??? Where do they find an Arab who speaks about the "aspirations to emulate the West"???  I don't know Arabs who speak like that.  Wait.  Wait. WAIT.  Is this Abraham Foxman sneaking again and posing like an Arab?

secularists versus Islamists

I disagree with this position:  "“We owe our success,” Mr. Marzouki said, “to the fact that we talked to the secularists, saying: ‘Look, all of us come from a very important human rights background, and we are going to fight for civil liberties. But we are not going to fight against Islamists. We don’t want an ideological war between secularists and Islamists.’ ”"  You know who was making this same argument?  The Tuden Party of Iran before Khumayni began his campaign of executions against them.  

So who monitored elections in Tunisia?

I read that none other than Marwan Al-Mu`ashshri, the graduate of the Hashemite regime of Jordan (in its most repressive phase), also monitored elections in Tunisia.  Do you remember when European monitors and New York Times correspondent in Afghanistan declared the last parliamentary election in Afghanistan to be fair and honest, before they had to reverse their positions only a few days later.

Mustafa Abdul-NATO inclusive?

"The day after the fall of Tripoli to the rebels, the leader of a Libyan-Jewish Diaspora group said he was offered by the emerging ruling power to run for office in free elections in that country.   Raphael Luzon, the head of Jews of Libya UK, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday that opposition leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil recently invited him to return to his country of birth and participate in the political discourse.   “A week ago I received an [invitation] from the chief of the rebels,” he said referring to Abdul Jalil, a former justice minister and current chairman of the rebel council in Benghazi.   “They proposed for me to take part in one of the parties because they would like it to be open to all people including women and Jews.”  This will be one of those news item that regularly appear in the Israeli press about Arab countries that later get denied.  Haaretz invented a fictitious Libyan and claimed that he was a Libyan opposition leader and then attributed pro-Israeli statements to him.  The man was never heard of since.  (Google at the time did not turn up any other news item about him in any langauge).   Also, those Bin Ladenites of the NATO transitional council won't allow women to run, and are unlikely to allow non-Muslims.   (thanks Maha)

Iraqi secret documents stolen by the US

Read this article in the New York Times.  First, the US government steals official Iraqi documents that belong to the Iraqi people.  I hope that the Iraqi people would sue the US to regain custody of those documents, once Iraq becomes a democracy.  Secondly, the US government is not giving free access to those documents but guess who gained access to them???? An Israeli occupation professor, Amatzia Baram.  So an Iraqi professor from Baghdad University can't get access to the documents but an Israeli occupation professor can.  Should not MESA make a statement about that and call for the return of the documents to Iraq?  Thirdly, Michael Gordon keeps mocking and criticizing Saddam for being conspiracy-minded.  You see, Gordon is shocked that Saddam was under the (false) impression that US and Israel were conspiring against his regime.  I mean, how crazy is that? How ridiculous.  This is as crazy as Iranian government today believing that US and Israel are conspiring against Iran.  Crazy, no?

Mustafa Abdul-NATO, the executioner of Qadhdhafi

Algerian newspaper, Ash-Shuruq, unearths a document in which Mustafa Abdul-NATO had signed an order for the execution of 32 Libyans.

I want NATO. I want NATO.

It is hilarious: Qatari government is holding a special meeting for "Libya's friends."  According to Qatar, the friends include military commanders of NATO.  How nice is that?  Mustafa Abdul-NATO tells the meeting that "Libya" needs NATO for at least one year.  

Arab governments are now required to censor any criticisms of US ambassadors

This is from the State Department briefing:  "Second, as our statement said this morning, we are concerned about a campaign of regime-led incitement targeted personally at Ambassador Ford by the state-run media of the Government of Syria..." Why do I smell a new broadening of the definition of terrorism to include--not only tomatoes and eggs thrown at US ambassadors--but also any criticisms of US ambassadors...Well, again, we have made clear to the Syrian Government that we considered that what is going on the state-run media with regard to Ambassador Ford is unacceptable."

Munsif Al-Marzuqi

I am surprised that Munsif Al-Marzuqi is being introduced as a "liberal".  He has been a progressive for years.  He has good positions on Palestine and does not shy away from criticizing Western policies and wars.  But it seems that he is undergoing a transformation.  I can't believe that he would consider a coalition with An-Nahdar.  That would be a betrayal for the principles that he has long stood for.

One hour for Prince Sultan

All schools in Saudi Arabia yesterday were required to start the school day with one hour discussions about the "virtues of Prince Sultan."  I wish I were a student in Saudi Arabia.  I would have raised my hand and asked the teacher: o teacher of the House of Saud.  Can we spend the hour talking about the bribery of Prince Sultan?

James Zogby: analyzes the Arab world

This guy has been a joke for decades now.  I have been used to him saying dumb things over the years: I never had a problem with him saying dumb things.  In fact, in 1993 when he praised the appointment of Martin Indyk (who later hired his son--a nice kid who introduced himself to me once when I debated an Israeli occupation professor at Georgetown University), I called him and said: you are free to say dumb things as much as you want, but just don't do that in the name of Arab-Americans.  (He invited me to lunch, and I declined).   He now analyzes the Arab world and provide views and opinions for the pleasure of the Abu Dhabi royal dynasty.   He seems to be able to produce figures that fit into the policies of House of Nahyan.

Min Washington

This is a link to the full program Min Washington in which I appeared yesterday.

Mufti of NATO Libya

Libya has a new Mufti.  He enjoys the religious blessings of NATO.  He speaks like, well, Bin Laden.  Get used to Bin Ladenite clerics in Libya brought to you by the Libyan Combatant Groups--sister organization of Al-Qa`idah.  He argued against the burial of Qadhdahfi (US key ally for more than a decade) because he said that he was an infidel.  According to the new clerics/rulers of Libya, "infidels" should not be buried.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The first question on Aljazeera show

This is a link to the first question on Aljazeera's Min Washington.

New Generation in Saudi Arabia

I have read in Arabic media and in some Western media silly references to "opening up" the system and "institutionalization" of the process for the selection of the crown prince. They are talking about the House of Saud's family council.  Kid you not.  Secondly, some talk about the new blood and the "new generation" that will be represented with the selection of the crown prince. Prince Nayif is at least 77.  What new generation?  You mean, the new generation of people in their 70s?

Israel is to tolerance what House of Saud are to Feminism

From the grotesque entity:  "REPORTING FROM JERUSALEM -- A group of prominent international archaeologists are among the latest people to publicly denounce plans to build a museum on the site of a centuries-old Muslim cemetery not far from Jerusalem’s historic Old City.  In a letter addressed to the board of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, the mayor of Jerusalem and the director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, all of whom are backing the controversial project, 84 archeologists argued that construction of the museum would desecrate the sanctity of the site, known to be the location of the Mamilla Cemetery, or Ma'man Allah, the sanctuary of God."

Mini-Hariri weaping

Look at third picture, below.  Mini-Hariri is weeping over Prince Sultan's death. 

Can we sign a petition to urge Robert Fisk to retire? He is an embarrassment to himself and to his paper

Look at this:  "The term Palestinian broadly refers to Arabs who declined Israeli citizenship in 1948, when the country was formed.  After 1948, many Palestinians fled abroad.."  Even some Israeli sources now say that Palestinians were expelled.  This man has lost it completely, and officially.  (thanks Mirvat)

No coverage of protests in Arab monarchies in Arabic and Western press

"Thousands of Moroccans demonstrated in cities across the country Sunday, calling for a boycott of early parliamentary polls next month whose outcome will be key to the future of reforms crafted by the royal palace.  The protests are the latest in a series of regular peaceful demonstrations by the youth-led opposition February 20 Movement, inspired by uprisings that ousted leaders in Tunisia and Egypt to demand a parliamentary monarchy and punishment for officials accused of graft." (thanks Khelil)

From Nasser to Tantawi

Comrade Reem debunking myths:  "Yet today’s generals are protecting an entirely different set of interests from those important to the Free Officers. They have presided over months of delay in the trials of Mubarak and his aides, and have stalled and bargained with the revolutionary forces over every aspect of constitutional and electoral reform. They have thrown over 8,000 people in military prisons, and have even turned their tanks and guns on peaceful demonstrators at Maspero. The generals’ statements in support of the January Revolution can no longer conceal their connections with the old regime and their return to the worst of its tactics."

Arab clown

It seems that there is an Arab clown doing a tour for Israel.  (thanks Farah)

My aljazeera appearance today

This is a clip from my Aljazeera appearance today.  (thanks Lula)

The Iraq war continues

The war goes on:  "Even with the Iraq exit in sight, the U.S. military is unlikely to wash its hands of the problems it will leave behind after nearly nine years of fighting. Wars don't end that neatly, and it is yet to be seen whether U.S. troops take on new missions in Iraq in 2012 to keep the country on track.  President Obama is ending the U.S. role in the Iraq war, but that does not necessarily mean the war itself is ending."

Aljazeera against BDS

Oh, it seems that Aljazeera, consistent with the Arab counter-revolution, has decided to oppose BDS, in the name of Palestinian workers.  This is like those who argued during the time of slavery that abolition would hurt blacks who have nowhere to go.  (thanks Atn)

Tunisian Uprising

How ironic.  The party that led and launched the Tunisian uprising, the Tunisian Communist Workers' Party, did not win but the free riding party that was deployed by Qatar in Tunisia won.  The latter party had no role whatsoever in the uprising.