Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Saudi police on the hunt for a 'witch' housemaid

Saudi police are searching for an Indonesian housemaid accused by her employer of casting a magic spell on all his family, causing fainting and epileptic fits to them.  The Saudi man said the maid joined his family in the capital Riyadh nearly three years ago and that she has been treated nicely by all family members.  “Recently, all family members has started to suffer from fainting and epileptic fits. After the housemaid fled, we found magic items planted in various part of our house,” the unnamed man said, quoted by Sabq Arabic language daily.   “I swear that we do not want to hurt her but to stop her evil acts against us and others,” said the man, who published a picture of the 31-year-old maid in newspapers." (thanks Regan)

Nabil Fahmy must be furious

The new foreign minister of Egypt (who has a sizable ego that he inherited from his father) must be furious: he is not allowed to communicate with the US Secretary of State.  He can talk on the phone with Saudi foreign minister, but only Baradei is allowed to talk to Kerry.

Imagine if this happened in a Muslim city

"En route to pick up little sister, 15-year-old girl wearing tank top, skirt spat on by haredi man after refusing to walk behind fence. Before spitting on her, haredi man says: You're immodest, there are people studying Torah here".

threats of crayons

"Anti-Shariah activists have a new target in their sights: Crayola." (thanks Amir)

The political role of the Qatari-funded Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

"The opposition Syrian National Coalition on Sunday condemned the reported "collective execution" by rebels of soldier prisoners in the north and said it had created a commission of inquiry. At least 150 Syrian regime forces died in fighting with rebels for control of Khan al-Assal, a key town in the northern Aleppo province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Friday.  It said more than 50 of those killed were executed by rebels after Khan al-Assal fell on Monday, while the rest died fighting for the regime's last bastion in the west of Aleppo province. The mainstream rebel Ninth Division of the FSA claimed responsibility for taking Khan al-Assal in a video statement distributed on Monday. But footage distributed on Friday by the Observatory said jihadists including the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front and Liwa Ansar al-Khilafa were behind the takeover." (thanks Basim)

Every time the Syrian rebels lose a town, it is said in the Western media that it is key as a link to the `Alawite heartland

“Syrian troops drove insurgents from central Homs on Monday, tightening their siege on remaining rebel bastions in the strategically important city, which links Damascus to the Mediterranean heartland of President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect.” (thanks Ali)

The new Saudi King?

Will King Abdullah manages to put his wish into effect by designating his son Mit`ib as his crown prince?

UAE repression

"English football has been warned it has allowed one of its major clubs to be exploited as a "branding vehicle" by an international regime accused of human rights abuses after a trial in Abu Dhabi, a country ruled by Manchester City's owner and his brothers, was widely denounced as repressive, involving torture, and "fundamentally unfair".
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have vehemently protested against the mass arrest of 94 people, their alleged torture while in Abu Dhabi jails, a "fundamentally unfair" trial, and long prison sentences with no right of appeal handed down earlier this month to the 69 people convicted. Amnesty said the treatment of the 94 in the United Arab Emirates, where Sheikh Mansour al-Nahyan's family, rulers of the richest emirate, Abu Dhabi, are dominant, "shows the authorities' determination to crush any form of dissent"."

Bishop Labib Kopti

Many wrote to me about my post on Lebanese, SF-based, Bishop Labib Kopti.  I don't know the man and never heard of him before.  But I received a direct forward of an email he sent out in which he promoted a hateful movie about Islam. 

US and Saudi Arabia: don't intrude. It is way too intimate

"Yet in 2012, according to Human Rights Watch, not once did a U.S. official publicly condemn Saudi Arabia for human rights abuses." (thanks Sultan)

How did the Lebanese state deal with the Israeli declaration of occupation in May 1948

  This is from An-Nahar, May 16, 1948.  Read it and weep.

US really cares about Lebanon's oil and gas discoveries

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Diplomacy, Amos Hochstein, was in Lebanon (and of course he was received, like any and every US official at every rank, by the president and the rest of officials) and he expressed to Lebanese officials US desire to offer its assistance and knowledge to Lebanon in its exploration of oil and gas.  I mean, how nice is that?  How charitable?  The US has a history of caring for the oil and gas treasures of the region, and at no cost and for no ulterior motive whatsoever.

Egyptian liberalism: Amr Hamzawy

I must say that while i don't agree with Amr Hazawi politically, he has been rather consistent in his liberal advocacy and has not been swept with the fascist, pro-military climate in Egypt. 

Monday, July 29, 2013


According to Western and oil Arab media, a city in Syria is strategic only when it is under the control of the rebels.  And it becomes insignificant when it falls under the control of the regime. 

Bishop Labib Kopti of San Francisco

Bishop Labib Kopti of SF is circulating bigoted anti-Islam videos via email. I won't cover up for him because he is pro-Palestinian. 

Franklin Lamb's congressional contacts and dumb Hizbullah media

Don't you like his congressional contacts who all sound just like him?  " When asked for the main  reasons the  EU caved to White House pressure, a congressional contact who works with the Office of White House liaison succinctly replied: “Getting Israel of their backs for the EU boycott of the West Bank settlements, Assads apparent victory in Syria aided  big-time by Hezbollah, and Obama wanting some progress with Kerry’s ‘peace talks’ project.   He added, “Plus it was a politically inexpensive feel good affair that won’t have any real impact except for a PR gain for Livni who will use it in her campaign to replace Netanyahu.”". You have to be as dumb as Hizbullah media to believe this. 

Flash. Breaking story. Shadi Hamid is learning about Middle East politics

"The lesson we are learning is that Middle East politics is more fluid than we thought".  This insight will change the way we teach and learn about Middle East politics. 
PS it is a sign of the deterioration of the Middle East coverage of the Guardian that its foreign editor would turn to him for analysis.

Church repression of the arts in Lebanon

This is noticeable in Western media and Western human rights organizations that serve as mere arms of US foreign policy apparatus: they don't report about gruesome sexist murders in the region if the killers are Christian and they don't report about religious repression when at the hands of the church.

Did you know that Muslim women in Lebanon don't wear jeans?

This ignorant Zionist "reporter" is able to know they are Christian from their jeans: " Young Christian women in skintight jeans, high heels and super-skimpy tops flirted with tanned beach boys". (Thanks Talal)

Syrian refugees in Lebanon

" With the government providing none of the facilities and land that authorities in Turkey, Jordan and Iraq have allocated for the refugees, many Syrians in Lebanon live in appalling conditions, finding shelter in slums, tents and tin shacks strung with laundry lines and wedged between farm lands outside towns and cities. On a casual walk in Beirut, one finds Syrians sheltering in underground parking lots, under bridges and old construction sites with no running water, sanitation, electricity or protection from Lebanon's sizzling summers and its freezing winters." (thanks Basim)

Repression in Ramallah

From a reader: "I am sending  you this video to show the extent of suppression that the PA police took yesterday against the PFLP protest against return to negotiations in Ramallah. Kindly keep me anonymous. The police beat up  MP member Khaleda Jarrar of the PFLP and scores of others and took 4 injured men from the hospital for detention. The men were later released in the night after a protest again in front of the police station in the Manara square. The second protest, shortly after the Iftar was marked with (shabiba) Fatah men who tried to cause discord and schisms with the protesters and harassing them saying things like : We have kept our women in the house, bel rouh bel dam nafdeek ya abu Mazen, whereas the protesters called after Palestine: bel rouh bel dam nafdeeki ya flisteen.  Clearly this time around the extreme violence that the PA police used means that the PA does not want any objections to the return to negotiations with Israel and they are inspired by El Sissi's suppression of dissent in Egypt among  the Muslim Brothers. "

Edgeware Road bookstores

Something is quite noticeable in Edgeware Road in London: the publication of Saudi political opposition literature has markedly slowed down thereby indicating to me the disappearance of Qatari subsidies.

A new Qatari opposition grouping

The first statement from a new Qatafi opposition grouping.  (thanks Andrew)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Where are your fake sympathies for this Syrian in Canada

"Toronto police are facing harsh criticism after a video of officers fatally shooting an 18-year-old man armed with a knife on an empty streetcar was posted online over the weekend." "Police can still be heard yelling, "Drop the knife," after the shots are fired. About 30 seconds after the first shot a police officer climbs up the steps of the streetcar and the sound of a Taser can be heard." (thanks Amir)

Stand by your man

Dowd: " WHEN you puzzle over why the elegant Huma Abedin is propping up the eel-like Anthony Weiner, you must remember one thing: Huma was raised in Saudi Arabia, where women are treated worse by men than anywhere else on the planet."". All Arab-Americans had the same reaction to this trash: did Hillary also grow up in Saudi Arabia? (thanks Nasir)

Hamas crawling back

It is clear already. In light of the war on Hamas in Egypt, Hamas is already crawling back humiliatingly to the Iran-Hizbullah fold.

2nd generation of Saudi princes have taken over

Assafir newspaper had it right a few days ago: that Saudi Arabia is now run by a troika of princes; Bandar bin Sultan, Abdul-Aziz bin Abdullah, and Muhammad bin Nayif.  

Forbidden love in Lebanon

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Forbidden love and the male sexual organ"

From Jadaliyya: the Sisi coup "revolution"

" Similar to what they have done after 11 February 2011, the officers today are promoting a narrative in which they have (once again) intervened heroically to save the day and “protect the revolution.” Accordingly, after they helped oust Morsi out of power, the officers are now asking Egyptians for pay back. The people are now to offer a blind, if not supportive, eye to the military practices as it employs deadly force, repression, and xenophobia to force its challengers into submission. The fear mongering discourse that the military has used as part of its “war on terror” initiative has clearly turned into more than just “words,” after security forces killed dozens of Muslim Brotherhood protesters Friday night, and dozens others in previous attacks. Yesterday’s brutal attacks came right after millions of Egyptians rallied in nationwide public gatherings in support of Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s request for a popular mandate to deal with imminent “terrorist” threats. Many media outlets and opinion shapers in Egypt have uncritically expressed support for this alarming development. This pattern only highlights the extent to which advocates of dignity and justice in the country face an uphill battle in countering the attempts of the military and their allies to liquidate political dissent and dictate the terms of the new political order." (Thanks Bassam)

The Obama administration on Egypt

" “We will not say it was a coup, we will not say it was not a coup, we will just not say,” the official said."

It is official now: Sisi for president

Sisi-for-president campaign has started


Tawakkul karman compares Morsi to Mandela and says that Hillary reminds her of Cleopatra. (Thanks As'ad--not me)

American eugenics

""While North Carolina's numbers might pale in comparison, the state was consistently the most aggressive. Under the guise of public health and safety, North Carolina was the only state to allow social workers to designate people for sterilization, the New York Times reported.  The standards by which an individual could be forcibly sterilized in the state were also some of the most lax in the nation. Unmarried women with children, African Americans, individuals with an I.Q. under 70, the mentally ill and children from poor families were just some of the many groups all routinely sought out and sterilized.  In records obtained by the Charlotte Observer, patient notes for sterilized victims paint a by-the-book, apathetic disregard for the well being of those coming in and out of surgery.  "A woman, 24, pregnant with an out-of-wedlock child: This girl is sexually promiscuous and a pauper," reads one.  "A woman, 35, deserted by her husband years before, who has just given birth to her ninth child: She is unable to provide the barest necessities for them or to give them minimum supervision and care," reads another.  In a March 1945 article for The Charlotte News, freelance writer Evangeline Davis made the case for eugenics:  "No matter what our feelings concerning the mentally deficient, it is senseless and cruel, in the end, to permit them to procreate and bring into the world more of their kind," she wrote."" (Thanks Christian)

This should be a major political event

Marwan Al-Mu'ashshir announces his plan to return to Jordan to lead a new political party comprising all five of his supporters (sorry, four because one just left). He also said that he was a democrat even when he served as Minister of Censorship.  The return of Mu'ashshir to Jordan is as dramatic as the return of Ahmad Chalabi to Iraq.

Sisi's war on terror

The features of the new coup regime and the aim of the new megalomanic of Egypt are by now clear.  The attempt to steal from the aura of Nasser is comical if not tragic and murderous.  Western media, still suffering from Cold War the of Nasser, refer to Nasser as dictator.  In one day Sisi killed more than the Nasser's regime in its entirety.  There was no such mass shooting under Nasser.   And you look at the Western media and you see casual justifications of the mass shooting.  No calls in the Western media for arming the Ikhwan as they do in the case of Syria. Egyptian liberals and some leftists and some Nasserists there are walking to the scaffold head high and under heavy dosage of delusions as those communists who aligned themselves with Khomeini. Look at this sample of description, nay justification, of the shooting: "The clashes started in the late evening of Friday when protesters from the Rabea al-Adaweya sit-in marched toward the October Six Bridge and started blocking its entrance on Nasr Street, eyewitnesses said. The police intervened and fired tear gas to disperse them. Clashes started shortly after, with birdshot and live ammunition used."

Exclusive: How Saudi Arabia picked leader of the Syrian exile opposition

This is what has not been reported about how Saudi Arabia picked the leader of the Syrian National Coalition, with the full support of the (fake) progressive boy of Bandar, Michel Kilu.  Ahmad Al-Jarba, the tribal polygamist who was unknown in opposition circles inside and outside Syria, was picked purely because he is related by marriage to Saudi King Abdullah.  The Saudi King is currently married to two sisters from Al-Jarba family: Tadi and Malika Al-Jarba (his other two wives are from the Sha'lan and the Muhanna families.)  Enjoy your Syrian polygamist "revolution".

PS Correction. Tadi and Malikah are cousins and not sisters.

Friday, July 26, 2013


Still not satisfied with internet speeds in the UK.

To all the Syrian and non-Syrian secularists who supported this creature of Qatar and US

Ahmad Muaz Al-Khatib wrote this on his Facebook page (my translation): "Can someone point out to me a patriotic and neutral secularist in the Syrian opposition?". This is supposed to be the moderate of the religious kooky bunch.  (Thanks Ahmad)

Thursday, July 25, 2013 to London to London. No public events planned.

Correction: Nasser and Sisi

From anonymous:  "That Nasser is about to shake Sisi's hand as a child in the picture you posted is pure fiction.  The same photo was made popular before on the basis that the child in the picture is former Egyptian presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi.  Of course, the child is neither.  It is likely someone called Mahmoud Sobhy (not a public figure as far as i am aware) whose daughter posted on Facebook another childhood picture that appears to substantiate that her father, Mahmoud Sobhy, is the child in question.  Here is the Facebook post of Mahmoud Sobhy's daughter, though I am not quite sure if its privacy settings will let you or your readers see it: 

I really have no comment. He so looks the role.

occupiers' poetry

Sinan Antoon reviews in Jadaliyya the poetry of military occupiers.

repression of Palestine

"Water company replaces Israeli-made meter from woman's home after she objected to 'repression of Palestine'" (thanks Marc)

Those are the moderate elements of the Syrian "revolution"

"Ahrar Ash Sham -"the moderates" for main stream media because of not fighting in the ranks of An Nusrah- opened fire a civilian convoy on the way from Aleppo to Beirut and killed a 40 year-old Armenian woman." (thanks Ali)

occupiers unite

"A recent series of events seem to indicate that the Moroccan government has enlisted the services of a prominent foreign policy lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), to help defend Morocco's occupation in Western Sahara."

PETA's love affair with Israel

From Joseph:
"I did a little research today, and it seems that PETA is enamored with Israel.  In one blog post they literally sent their "kisses to Israel".  

This article from earlier this year quotes a PETA spokeswoman as being "just over the moon" with a new Israeli law that bans the testing of cosmetics on animals.  But, this famous Israeli compassion comes as no surprise to PETA:

“Israel has already been at the forefront in this area, so this is not unexpected. But it is a wonderful example,” she said.

PETA gushed about Homeland executive producer Gideon Raff because he wrote a letter to then US Secretary of Defense Panetta condemning America's use of animals in training exercises:

Like Brody and Carrie and the other characters on Homeland, Gideon is also a person of great depth and sensitivity.
PETA has nothing to say about Israel's senseless slaughter of chickens and other animals in Gaza during its 2008-2009 massacre.  In fact, a search for "Gaza" on PETA's website garnered zero results.  And of course there wasn't a word about that disgusting bird-boiling video.

I'm a vegan and generally supportive of PETA, but their hypocrisy and willingness to 'animal-wash' Israeli terrorism is ridiculous.  It makes me wonder if PETA will send their kisses to Charles Manson if he decides to go vegan?"

killing children in Pakistan

"Of 746 people listed as killed in the drone strikes outlined in the document, at least 147 of the dead are clearly stated to be civilian victims, 94 of those are said to be children." (thanks Nikolai)

If these were Muslims...

"60K Expected At Sold-Out Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Rally Against Internet's Evils Sunday" (thanks Fahd)

Fascism in the making in Egypt?

Each fascist regime requires its Goebbels and `Amr Adib is the Goebbels of this coup regime.

Sisi's speech

If you have difficulty in understanding the speech by Sisi yesterday, I recommend that you read the speech in the original German.

Sisi (as a child) meets Nasser

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Shi`ite Twelvers and `Alawites

"Hizbollah is a Shi’a organization and the Alawites have been recognised by Ayatollah Khomeini as a branch of the Shi’as."  She got the first part of the sentence right.  Indeed, Hizbullah is a Shi`ite organization and for that she does deserve a blender.  Now for the second part of the sentence.  It is not true that Khomeini ever issued a fatwa considering `Alawites as Shi`ite twelvers. The theological differences between Shi`ite twelvers and Ghulat Ash-Shi`ah (or Ultra-Shi`ites) like `Alawites are too big to ignore or obscure or disregard.  That is why the Shi`ite acceptance of `Alawites fell to a politician, through and through, Imam Musa As-Sadr (who was a client of the Syrian regime in Lebanon, and who died as one of the most faithful clients of the regime in Lebanon).  I also asked my adviser on Shi`ite theological matters to comment on this, and he said:

"I do not recall any fatwa from Khomeini in this regard. But his legal language  - unlike Musa al-Sadr's - is very dry. His sentences would probably read something like "whoever does so and so is not a Muslim" leaving it to the reader's discretion to match the description with actual labels (this is how Khamenei goes about the question of certain sects in Iran).
An important point is worth mentioning: Khomeini was more rigid theologically than others, but did believe that the interests of the Muslim community as a whole justifies playing down theological difficulties.
A famous episode here is when he banned a few volumes of the 110-volume encyclopedia Bihar al-Anwar (Oceans of Light), because these volumes vilify some companions of Muhammad who are respected by Sunnis. It does not mean he disagrees necessarily with the content - at least totally; but that for him, the Muslim cause sets the priorities."

At the University of Miami, you can earn credit for Zionism

"The student participants were... They earned credits in journalism, Judaic studies or international relations, took field trips and tours of historically important areas, did workshops with some of Israel's leading political, governmental and academic personalities as well as Israeli and foreign correspondents, participated and worked at the International Conference that was convened by Israeli President Shimon Peres and included participants such as former United States President Bill Clinton, and blogged about their experiences.
"The program was great because it allowed us to not only learn about what's happening with Israel but also the entire Middle East, so I got the opportunity to learn a broader perspective on the entire conflict and I got to see from multiple perspectives of what's happening there," Baumoehl, a senior who resides in West Palm Beach, said."

To readers outside of the US: this in the US passes as sophisticated, topnotch analysis of foreign affairs--kid you NOT

"Egypt’s first revolution was to get rid of the dead hand, the second revolution was to get rid of the deadheads and the third revolution was to escape from the dead end."

The natives just can't perform without the guiding hands of the White Man

"James F. Jeffrey, who was the United States ambassador in Baghdad when the last American troops left in December 2011, said that Iraqi forces had performed poorly and that it was clear their skills had deteriorated now that the American troops training them were gone  “This is the first example I have seen that the absence of American troops that would have provided tactical training has had an impact on the battlefield,” said Mr. Jeffrey, who is now a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. ."

Cancellation of the delivery of the F-16s

That is a really good decision, or it is a good indicator.  Delivery of arms to the Middle East are all approved by Israel and decided purely on Israeli interests.  So this reveals that Israel has calculated that changes in Egypt won't be in the interest of Israel.

"3 quotes Martin Chulov will never use."

From Alan:
"While the sectarian journalist Martin Chulov of the Guardian U.K concerns himself with “Syrian Sunnis fear Assad regime wants to 'ethnically cleanse' Alawite heartland”  I wonder how he would explain the ethnic cleansing of Christians by his friends in Syria.  I offer here 3 quotes from Christian prelates regarding Syria that will never see the light of day in any of his articles.

"It's not a question of promoting democracy or pluralism as the West wants us to understand of its policies. This is a lie, this is hypocrisy," H.B. Ignatius Joseph III Younan, Syriac Catholic Patriarch

“160 little Christian villages have been completely abandoned. Many are fleeing to Lebanon but we do not know how many. I saw our bishop of Damascus cry like a baby Mons. Elias Chacour
Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Akko, Haifa, Nazareth and All Galilee

In the Christian villages along the Orontes [River] there is not much left, of the four thousand inhabitants of the village of Ghassanieh the parish priest has informed me that there is no longer anyone, only about ten people, and the empty houses have been occupied by the families of the rebels who are following along with them.”  Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem."

Hate from the coup revolution in Egypt

"With Egypt’s history as the vanguard of Arab nationalism and the Arab struggle against Israel, it may seem shocking that such contempt for the Palestinians — and lately Syrians, who are being subjected to similar forms of incitement — could be so loud and pervasive.
During his rule from 1956-1970, President Gamal Abdel-Nasser upgraded the rights of Palestinians in Egypt, giving them equal status to Egyptians."

Nicholas Blanford on Hizbullah: he reveals that the organization is secretive although its fighters and commanders have no qualms in revealing secrets to him

"Hezbollah is a secretive organization and does not reveal the identity of its military and security personnel."  He should have added: ....except to me and to other Zionist Western correspondents in Beirut. (thanks Basim)

A Palestinian collaborator sues the PA chief collaborator

"Dahlan, who currently resides in Dubai and Europe, hired an Israeli law firm to file the complaint with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported on Wednesday. The firm is run by Zaki Kamal, the deputy president of the Israel Bar Association, and his son, Kamal Kamal." (thanks Robert)

Western embassies and Arab visitors

It has become clear: when Arabs apply for visas to Visit US, France, Germany, or UK, they have to submit evidence of a fat bank account.  Western embassies are only interested in issuing visas to rich Arabs.  Exceptions will be made for those who are spies/terrorists for Israel, of course.

can you imagine the international uproar if this was said about Jews? The Roma people never count

"A French politician sparked outrage by telling a group of travellers that, perhaps, not enough gypsies were killed during Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime."

funding the Egyptian coup

"But a review of dozens of US federal government documents shows Washington has quietly funded senior Egyptian opposition figures who called for toppling of the country's now-deposed president Mohamed Morsi."

Where are "the Syrian people" in this?

""Arab Islamists and Kurdish militants, two of the most controversial armed groups in Syria's civil war, for the past week have been battling each other for control of key towns close to the Turkish border after the Kurds announced a plan to declare local autonomy.""

Israel is grateful for the Sisi revolution

" "As a result of these actions against illegal activity, according to some estimates, 80 percent of the tunnels are no longer functioning," Serry said." (thanks Amir)

Let me guess: Western animal rights groups won't notice. Can you imagine the uproar if it was an Arab or Muslim soldier who did this?

"Israel's army is investigating a video which appears to show an Israeli soldier immersing a live bird into a boiling pan.  The video, which was uploaded to YouTube, shows a uniformed soldier cooking a live bird over a stove."

One royal baby

The birth of one Royal baby in UK received more media coverage than the tens of Iraqi who are killed daily due to policies and wars pursued by US and its Western allies.

Defections back in Syria

"Disillusioned by the Islamist twist that the "revolution" in Syria has taken, exhausted after more than two years of conflict and feeling that they are losing, growing numbers of rebels are signing up to a negotiated amnesty offered by the Assad regime. At the same time, the families of retreating fighters have begun quietly moving back to government-controlled territory, seen as a safer place to live as the regime continues its intense military push against rebel-held areas. The move is a sign of the growing confidence of the regime, which has established a so-called "ministry of reconciliation" with the task of easing the way for former opponents to return to the government side."

Human Rights Watch won't be investigating those crimes by the glorious rebels in Syria

"Mainly Sunni Syrian opposition rebels in Homs have adopted a new strategy, firing grad missiles into Alawite residential neighborhoods, in an attempt to sow discord between loyal civilians and pro-government militia groups there. The new strategy, according to residents and opposition activists, is being used to prompt Alawite civilians to pressure pro-government and loyalist militia groups to adopt a cease-fire following a blistering two week siege on the rebels in the neighborhoods of Khaldieh and Bab Houd."

To the surprise of Western journalists only, who take all their clues from pronouncements of Western governments

"To the surprise of many, though, the embattled Assad regime has now outlasted the rule of Qatar’s recently retired Emir."

The new Emir of Qatar

Another indication of the new shift in Qatari foreign policy (in synch with Saudi foreign policy) is the news that `Abdullah bin Rashid met with the new Emir the other day.  The former Emir hated the sons of Zayid and considered them "agents of Israel".

Fascist tendencies of the Tamarrud movement

I say this with great disappointment because the founder is a progressive, anti-Zionist activist.  But here is what the movement has written on its official page (my translation):  "We call upon the mass of the great Egyptian people to gather [in large crowds] in the squares of Egypt next Friday, and to call officially for the trial of Muhammad Mursi and to support the Egyptian armed forces in its upcoming war against terrorism and for the cleansing of the land of Egypt from the agents of the homeland.  We shall fight terrorism, as people and as army".  This is despicable.  (thanks Electronic Ali) 

ندعو جموع الشعب المصرى العظيم للإحتشاد فى ميادين مصر الجمعة القادمة والمطالبة رسميا بمحاكمة محمد مرسي ودعم القوات المسلحة المصرية فى حربها القادمة ضد الإرهاب وتطهير أرض مصر من عملاء الوطن سنحارب الإرهاب شعبا وجيشا.

Sisi looking the role

He looks the role now: like the stereotype of a Latin American dictator.  One like him appears in Woody Allen's spoof, Bananas.  

Legitimacy in Egypt

("Legitimacy").  By Khalid Albaih.

All is well in Syria, what you see with your own eyes notwithstanding

So secular people are holding hands and shooting at the same time:  "Other Christians and Alawites have joined the mainly Sunni-dominated political opposition; and a secular civil society is still actively engaged in Local Coordination Committees."  Also, she says: "Hizbollah is a Shi’a organization and the Alawites have been recognised by Ayatollah Khomeini as a branch of the Shi’as. Nasrallah’s intervention, however, was not prompted by religious affinity but by pressure from his Iranian allies."  Every part of the last sentence is untrue.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Google keyboard and Arabic language

So there is a new Google keyboard to be used in ِِِAndroid-based devices. I have been using it on my Sony Experia tablet. But it seems that some old fashioned orientalist was behind the design. It can type what you can dictate to it but there is an Islamo-centric problem. Whatever you say it will interpret as including the words "Allah" and "the messenger".  It thinks that every Arabic sentence have to include those two words. Kid you not.


What if Hizbullah were to declare the "military wing" of UNIFIL as a "terrorist organization"?  What would happen then?

Muslims and Charity

"Muslims give more to charity than other religious groups, new research suggests.  At almost £371 each, Muslims topped the poll of religious groups that give to charity." (thanks Tariq)

So who are the activists of the Syrian Observatory?

Here is one of them, according to this Syrian dissident website.

Daily Star editorial page

You really have to be an idiot to finish reading an article that begins thus:  "Rumors have circulated recently..."  Call it the journalism of the Hariri family.

Guardian on `Alawites

From Colin:
"I believe media propagandists in Nazi Germany were convicted of facilitating genocide for sectarian incitement?
This is from Guardian, going head over heals justifying a sectarian hate narrative in some country it's editors hardly know about.
Promoting sectarian/racist hate when you yourself have no particular beef with (or barely know the existence of)
 that particular group has got to be just a step lower than the actual racists.
Syrian Sunnis fear Assad regime wants to 'ethnically cleanse' Alawite heartland
Martin Chulov and Mona Mahmood
The Guardian, Monday 22 July 2013 15.06 EDT

It gives exactly one minor counterexample of Sunni rebel "cleansing" Alawites,
yet every single paragraph leads one to the conclusion that the Syrian state/allied militia are uniquely and intentionally pursuing an 'sectarian cleansing' agenda.
No mentioning of the sectarian cleansing of christians in Qusair (before being retaken) or multitudes of other towns, who were told "convert or die".No mentioning of the replete examples of explicit exterminationist sectarian agenda of the Sunni-sectarian rebels.OF COURSE no mention of Sunnis living in government controlled districts and fighting for regime forces.

It gives a bunch of examples of the regime arming Alawite civilians as proof of sectarian cleansing agenda.
What non-Sunnis are being armed by the rebels?  Get real."The general mood among pro-Assad people started to include the possibility of the fall of Damascus, which leaves them under the rule of the FSA [Free Syrian Army rebels] and the Sunnis ... and for the majority of people here it is better to live in an Alawite state, which they feel should include Homs."
Of course nobody is particularly fearing the fall of Damascus now.  So all the Sunni-sectarian's theories have been proved to be bullshit.
This whole theory was predicated on their triumphalist strategic thinking which implied the functional sectarian cleansing of Damascus BY Sunnis against Alawites.
"There have been obvious examples of denominational cleansing in different areas in Homs," said local activist, Abu Rami. "It is denominational cleansing; part of a major Iranian Shia plan, which is obvious through the involvement of Hezbollah and Iranian militias. And it's also part of Assad's personal Alawite state project."
"The Syrian regime is using a few military men who served during the civil war in Lebanon as military advisers and they came up with this plan of isolating Alawite villages and Sunni districts. A plan they executed in Lebanon is now history repeating itself."

Oh yes, the Lebanon war experience.  SAA fighting Hezbollah.
Involvement of Hezbollah obviously proves a sectarian cleansing agenda.  Except Hezbollah has not been implicated in that at all.
 I mean, if they were, I'd think FSA/SOHR would mention it.  And this is all part of Assad's personal Alawite state "project".
NEWSFLASH: Syria was already Assad's personal state, and he benefitted from including non-Alawite's in it.
No mention of the fact that ALL non-Sunni (and plenty of Sunnis, both Arabs and especially Kurds) are more comfortable with Assad than the "rebels".  Some Alawite state.

"Nine months ago, the regime created the National Defence Army, which is Shabiha [loyalist militia of Shia and Alawite] volunteers," he said. "They are the most bloody killers, even more brutal than the army."
I'm pretty sure the Guardian itself has written of NDA/Shabiha including members of others sects, Christians in particular.  Are Christians now crypto-Shia along with Alawites?
They quote Jumblatt but never mention the position of Syrian Druze.
(I guess the Druze who go along with the regime must count as Shia as well, only the 'good' Druze like Jumblatt are not amongst the Shia dogs?)
Jumblatt: "The crucial point was when the battle of Homs started and it quickly became clear that the regime wanted to clear the whole route to Damascus and beyond.
Wait: When did the battle of Homs start?  When rebels started trying to take it over and shooting regime forces?  Or when the regime started winning?
I thought before fighting started the regime was in complete control of Homs, so what would there be to clear?

"In Homs city, Abu Ahmed, a commander of the FSA-aligned al-Farouq brigade, said: "The regime is encouraging Alawite families in the Homs countryside who have friction with Sunnis to head to Alawite districts in the city. We are pretty sure that the regime wants to take Homs city and countryside and make it just for Alawites."

Hm.  I presume the commander of the al-Farouq brigade would tell us up front if these Alawites were facing difficulties living in Sunni rebel dominated areas, right?
So there couldn't be any reason why they would leave such areas to move to "Alawite districts of Homs" other than sectarian cleansing of Sunni Homs residents.Wait...
How does Alawites moving into Alawite districts lead to sectarian cleansing of Sunnis?  ...But maybe this guy is on to something big...
If Assad is planning to cleanse Homs of Sunnis... We should be expecting a pullout of all Sunni soldiers in the SAA from Homs, right?  That sounds pretty significant.Compare:comments from sources with clear anti-regime agenda are NEVER given any sectarian affiliation at all,
which of course lessens the perception of them as pursuing a sectarian agenda:
"What else could be going on?" asked one resident who refused to be identified. "This is the most secure area of the city and it is the only building that has been burned. A conspiracy is underway."
"There have been obvious examples of denominational cleansing in different areas in Homs," said local activist, Abu Rami. "It is denominational cleansing; part of a major Iranian Shia plan, which is obvious through the involvement of Hezbollah and Iranian militias. And it's also part of Assad's personal Alawite state project."

But Alawites are routinely identified as such, sometimes with NO other information about them other than being an Alawite:
""There was one [supply run] in 2012 and two months ago," one Alawite said. "Now every household in the Alawite villages across the coast receives a government-sponsored package of an AK‑47, two hand grenades and ammunition. If you joined a 'public resistance movement' you'd receive a lot more.""

"Residents of Alawite strongholds in Tartus and Latakia confirmed that arms had been offered to them three times since the uprising began in March 2011."
But Tartus and Latakia are majority Sunni.  So how can they be Alawite strongholds?  In fact, they are REGIME strongholds, not Alawite strongholds.
(the sentence could be read differently if it were alawite sectarian strongholds within a divided city, but that isn't the case, there is no contested control in those regions)
How is this much different than Nazi propaganda identifying a few Jewish hate-figures as synonymous with Jewish people at large?
Of course the recent battles of regime and armed rebels indicate rebels ARE running offensive operations in this area, thus a reason for security.
When rebels like car-bombing in civilian areas, that means regime security in civilian areas, simple enough.

Even within the article it acknowledges that the "Alawite State retreating to ethnically cleansed homeland when Damascus falls" doesn't match up with current reality,
even though they rely on that premise for much of the article as a plausible rationale for much of the commentary and conclusions drawn. 

You would be amused that Israel manages to play a special cameo role, supposedly negotiating over the  (now revealed to be very unlikely, but don't let that affect your judgement of the reliability of FSA sources) "Alawite retreat from Damascus" scenario: what was the negotiation?  Returning or revealing the location of a handful of Israeli military who were captured in Lebanon (ON OFFENSIVE OPERATIONS, obviously). as well as the body of Israeli spy caught and executed in Syria.  The article didn't make it clear how hard of a bargain Israel insisted on driving in order to cooperate with a religious minority not being subject to an exterminationist sectarian cleansing."

Zionist fanatics at Frontpage and Campus Watch

Somebody should tell those Zionist hoodlums at Frontpage and at Campus Watch that this quotation they attribute to me is not my words but was sent to me by a reader:  "Taking it a step further, As’ad AbuKhalil, a political scientist at California State University, Stanislaus, posted the following at his “Angry Arab” blog: “[I]nteresting that while Obama was in deep trouble over the NSA spy scandal suddenly a revolution in Egypt bursts out . . . wiping out or at least putting lower on the front page news about the NSA spy scandal.”"

sectarian objections of Rand Paul

"“I, for one, will fight with every ounce of my energy to prevent arms, American arms, that you paid for, from being used against Christians,” Paul said." (thanks Robert)

Agent Orange and depleted uranium

"To this day, dioxin continues to poison the land and the people. The United States has never accepted responsibility for these victims – it denies that Agent Orange is responsible for diseases among Vietnamese that are accepted as Agent Orange-caused among American veterans – and it’s unclear when this chain of misery will end." (thanks Rob)

Zionists want a really long war in Syria

"" "It's not a shift, but it's recognition that the administration's policy goals will not be achieved during this presidency," said Andrew J. Tabler, a senior fellow and a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy [WINEP]. "We're in this for a long slog." ""

Congressional concerns eased

"President Barack Obama can go ahead with a plan for the United States to arm the struggling Syrian rebels after some congressional concerns were eased, a key Republican lawmaker said on Monday."

Drone attacks

"The United States has consistently claimed only a tiny number of non-combatants have been killed in drone attacks in Pakistan – despite research by the Bureau and others suggesting that over 400 civilians may have died in the nine-year campaign." (thanks Amir)

Forgotten Iraq

I started this blog back in 2003 largely in response to the lousy Western media coverage of the invasion, occupation, and brutalization of Iraq.  Here we are ten years later and the Iraqi people still die in the hundreds due to policies and actions set by the US invasion of the country. 

I say Arab liberals deserve Al-Baradei

"Once proud of their networked, leaderless structure, the liberals eventually embraced former U.N. nuclear inspector Mohamed ElBaradei as their figurehead. It was a disastrous choice: Arrogant, vain and more comfortable in a Viennese salon than a Cairo slum, ElBaradei was polling in the single digits when he withdrew from last year’s presidential race.
Without their own candidate, the liberals were faced with a choice in the runoff between a military-backed candidate and the Islamist Morsi. Most chose Morsi. A delegation of youth leaders met with the Brotherhood nominee and extracted promises: Secular ministers would be included in the cabinet, and the new constitution would be forged by a consensus among secular and Islamist parties."

The fate of Aleppo's two bishops

From Ali, chief Angry Arab correspondent in Turkey:  "The fate of Aleppo's Greek Orthodox Bishop Boulos Yaziji and Syriac Orthodox Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim is still unknown since they were kidnapped in the west of Aleppo, but Turkish media today reported a strange news.
According to the news, the two bishops were killed and Turkish security forces arrested the three murderers in Turkish province of Konya.
It is said that the murderers have different nationalities. One of them is from Russia, the other one is from Chechenya while the third one is bearing the Syrian nationality. According to the same reports, Turkish authorities extradited three killers to their countries.
On the same day pro-opposition Syrian observatory claimed that the fates of bishops are still unclear.
Some Turkish sources claimed in May that the two bishops were kidnapped by a group close to Turkey, who are also responsible of kidnapping 11 Lebanese pilgirms. Some sources in Syriac community in Turkey told daily Sol that before the kidnapping of Yohanna İbrahim, Turkish Foreign Minister tried to convince them to move their center from Damascus to Turkey. And he was kidnapped just a week later they returned the offer of Davutoğlu. They claimed that there should be a relation between Davutoğlu's offer and the kidnapping. Turkish goverment has been trying to convince Syriacs, offer them citizenship and houses to defect from Syria to show that "even Christians flee from the dictatorship." 

Look how modest and non-lavish this Iftar by Palestinians at the Aqsa mosque is

Talal Asad in Jadaliyya: when he speaks, I listen

"AÇ: Coordinated by whom?
TA: I mean the army as well as the fuloul—that is, the beneficiaries of the Mubarak regime. I think they knew exactly what they were doing, I think that they took advantage of a certain amount of popular dissatisfaction, and there was a lot of mutual coming and going between them. For example, Mohamed ElBaradei had conversations some months ago in Saudi Arabia with Ahmed Shafiq, the old candidate who stood unsuccessfully against Morsi and was the last prime minister under Mubarak’s rule, and who represents (or at least one of the people who represents) interests of Mubarak’s beneficiaries–including the army. And they certainly made all sorts of agreements there as leaders of the National Salvation Front, and I cannot believe that the army was not aware of that communication. I think perhaps that most of the young people in the Tamarod Movement were probably not aware–although it now turns out that some of the biggest millionaires, like Naguib Sawiris, for example, were bankrolling the movement and supporting it in other ways. So I think there was a “coordination”–if not a “conspiracy” as many now allege–to make the opposition effective by fair means or foul. What worries me really is the intervention of the army, something that was not anticipated by everyone (although some NSF leaders had publicly called for it), and the consequent suspension of the constitution that had been approved by a substantial majority in a referendum. I am worried that now there is a total vacuum that will be filled for a long time by the army, despite the fact that the temporary president, appointed by the army (and who was head of the pro-Mubarak Supreme Constitutional Court), has been accorded powers that exceed those which the suspended constitution gave to Morsi, the elected president."

Christian domestic violence

There was recently a case in Lebanon where a man beats his wife to death.  But the man and the victim are Christians.  I was thinking: this would have been an international story had the two been Muslims.  But because they were not, the story did not generate Western media coverage.  It is a very simple principle in Western media coverage of the region.

Family Violence Law in Lebanon

Feminist groups in Lebanon should not be hailing this lousy new law about Family Violence Law (originally it was supposed to be about Domestic Violence Against Women law).  Lousy Hariri movement and lousy Hizbullah succeeded in changing the original draft law beyond recognition.  The two movements disagree on everything except on hostility to women and their rights.  The original draft law was supposed to ban marital rape while the new law in fact permits marital rape. Look at the language, as it calls for punishment against "he who in the attainment of his marital right in copulation or due to it, hits his wife or causes her harm".  So marital rape is now officially legal in Lebanon provided the man does not leave bruises on the woman.  

«من أقدم بقصد استيفائه حقوقه الزوجية في الجماع أو بسببه على ضرب زوجه أو إيذائه".

Monday, July 22, 2013

Al-Arabiyya: Saudi sleaze media

This is an actual headline of a story on the website of the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law: "Al-Arabiyya Station: The Strength of Our Influence Expose us to a permanent campaign of distortion".  Kid you not.

Aljazeera America

This just in.  Aljazeera America has announced that Abraham Foxman will serve as chief anchor for the network. 

racist from an early age in Israel

"Boy suspected of writing 'death to Arabs' on cars"

So who is a good judge on whether Indyk, the fanatic Zionist, is qualified to do the job? An Israeli who was hired by Indyk at WINEP

"Mr. Indyk, a veteran of Middle East diplomacy, is currently the foreign policy director at the Brookings Institution. Ehud Yaari, the Arab affairs analyst for the Israeli news channel and a fellow of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said on Sunday that Mr. Indyk “knows all the players very well and has their respect.”"

The New York Times can't understand Pakistani suspicions because the CIA offered fake hepatatis faccine and not polio

In the middle of last year, it became known that in 2011, the C.I.A. had paid a local doctor to try to get DNA samples from children inside an Abbottabad compound to prove they were related to Bin Laden.  Even though the doctor, Shakil Afridi, who is now serving a 33-year sentence for treason, was offering a hepatitis vaccine, anger turned against polio drops.  Leaders of the polio eradication effort could not have been more frustrated. They were already fighting new rumors that vaccinators were helping set drone targets because they have practices like marking homes with chalk so that follow-up teams can find them. Now, after years of reassuring nervous families that the teams were not part of a C.I.A. plot, here was proof that one was.  “It was a huge, stupid mistake,” Dr. Bhutta said. Anger deepened when American lawmakers called Dr. Afridi a hero and threatened to cut off aid if he was not released. The W.H.O. and the Unicef, afraid of offending the United States, did not protest publicly. Unicef’s executive director, Anthony Lake, is a former White House national security adviser, which put the agency in an awkward position, an agency official said on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue."

Zionism is always racism

"Under the Prawer plan, their land will be confiscated in order to establish a wedge of Jewish communities separating Arab communities in the western and eastern parts of the Naqab. This is an intensification of an already ongoing assault. As the video notes, in 2005, 30,000 Bedouin homes had an Israeli demolition order. In 2011, about 1,000 were demolished." (thanks Amir)

Hasan Nasrallah and the EU ban

So what are some of the consequences of the EU ban on the "military win" of Hizbulla?  Well, it means that Nasrallah won't be able to spend his summers at the French Riviera anymore.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights admits (finally) that its activists are armed men

"Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activist martyred". (thanks Asa)

adventures of Saudi princes

"A Saudi prince allegedly threatened to behead a business partner and ship his body parts back to his family in Jordan, it was revealed in contested court evidence as part of a legal battle currently before the High Court in London." (thanks Tariq)

Racial discrimination against Israelis?

"Earlier this week, New York Public Advocate Bill de Blasio condemned the Saudi airline’s decision not to allow Israelis on board and said that it was “racial discrimination.” He warned that he would work to ensure the Saudi airlines does not land in American airports."

Yusuf Abdalki

There are two reasons why the lousy Syrian regime arrested Yusuf Abdalki: 1) because he is a talented artist; 2) because he is a principled leftist secularist.

CORRECTION: Somebody will be fired over this: Al-Arabiyya (the station of King Fahd's brother-in-law) shows protesters beating the portrait of Saudi King with shoes--SHOES, I am telling you

The video was removed.  ha ha ha

PS: I am told that this was fabricated.

Gay killings in Yemen

"It’s possible that they don’t happen very often but it’s equally possible that some go unreported because of the taboos and shame associated with homosexuality in Yemen."  So it is possible that they don't happen very often--and there is no evidence to the contrary WHATSOVER--and even when there are no killings, we can claim that there are killings but that they go unreported?  But why not report them (but not as gay killings) by their parents?  But here is the deal: one has to be sure when reporting that a killing is "gay killing", even if the victim is gay.  I mean, it is logic: if an Arab is killed in a fight in a bar in the US, it does not mean that he was killed because he was an Arab, right? Even if he was Arab.  The same thing about killing of a gay person in the region: a person may have been killed for a whole variety of reasons and not necessarily because he is gay, and even if he were gay.  It could be due to tribal or political or personal reasons, even if neighbors and security officials later said that the victim was gay.  We don't know if it was a gay killing without a trial of the killer and an examination of motives.  Those killing for example we know are gay killing because the killers reported their motives and it was reported in the press.  I just call for a bit of caution and responsibility in this highly trendy and sensational topic in Western liberal media.

Crimes of the Syrian regime: from Al-Akhbar's editor-in-chief

Can Western correspondents in the Middle East read English at least?  "In these areas, the most dangerous elements, particularly for the regime, are those who cloak themselves with the legitimacy of the state and work from within the folds of government for their own benefit, thus exacerbating the crisis.
Even before the Syrian uprising broke out, there was an army of corrupt officials operating like mafias in all aspect of the state bureaucracy. They are the ones to blame for having alienated a sizeable section of the Syrian population in the first place.
They come in all shapes and sizes: those who hoard goods to raise prices, who gamble with the country’s currency, who smuggle and sell Syria’s heritage on the black market, who are outright thieves and criminals dressed up as soldiers. They can carry on because they enjoy political cover from officials with influence in government.
Some have even committed the ugliest massacres like the one in the town of al-Baidaa (Banyas), in the name of the Popular Committees tasked with defending their localities. Has anyone in the upper echelons of the state heard of Hilal al-Assad and his gang? Do they actually think his presence on the ground actually helps Syria?
And what about the security forces and their many criminal practices, be it kidnapping protesters they filmed at demonstrations for ransom, to arresting and harassing people for voicing the slightest objection to government policies, to the mistreatment of those imprisoned in the regime’s notorious detention centers."

The Story of Bahrain

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English:  "the Story of Bahrain".

Sunday, July 21, 2013

How to Keep Israeli myths alive

Somebody should write a book about how Israeli archeology has been used by the state to keep Israeli myths alive.  Every year or so, Israeli acheologists announce some new discovery, along the lines of: look.  You see this pebble? It was part of the throne on which King David napped.   Now this: "A team of Israeli archaeologists believes it has discovered the ruins of a palace belonging to the biblical King David, but other Israeli experts dispute the claim."

Those are Muslim slaves of Israel who attended Iftar at Shimon Peres House

  How come all Muslim attendees of Israeli Iftars are people that no one has ever heard of? Probably these are hired servants (literally and figuratively) of Zionist leaders of Israel.

Mini-Hariri, looking particularly smart while praying


Al-Khayyir is safe and sound

I have received information from a source related to `Abdul-`Aziz Al-Khayyir, the Syrian leftist dissident, that he is not dead and is not ill. 

The New York Times smears Helen Thomas

How many lies can you squeeze in a sentence?  "But 16 months later, Ms. Thomas abruptly announced her retirement from Hearst amid an uproar over her assertion that Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and go back where they belonged, perhaps Germany or Poland."  In fact, she called on Israelis to leave Palestine.  And she did not name only Germany and Poland because she also mentioned the US.  Look how the entire sentence was changed by the Times to make her sound like an anti-Semite.

`Abdul-`Aziz Al-Khayyir

I have received unconfirmed reports that the brave leftist struggler, Al-Khayyir, died in his prison in the Air Force intelligence branch.  Anyone has confirmation?  It has to be stated that the lousy, repressive Syrian regime is far more cruel and vindictive against leftists and communists (especially the Communist Action Party which has a sizable `Alawite membership) than it has been against Islamists.  It is far easier for the regime to paint the whole opposition as religious fanatics.

what happened in Aleppo

And who do the people of Aleppo blame for the destruction of the Old City?  "They fear the example of Aleppo’s Old City in the north, where centuries-old mosques and markets have been destroyed in the fighting."

Obedient US courts

"according to congressional reports, between 2001 and 2012 FISA judges approved 20,909 requests to monitor individuals or search properties, turning down only ten."

The UC Berkeley library

So I was at the Berkeley library yesterday.  As I entered the Moffitt library, I looked at the display of newspapers from around the world outside.  I saw that of all the Middle East newspapers, there is only one cover sample from...Israel.  I was furious.  Here are some 6 million Israeli Jewish settlers who are seen, always in the US, are far more significant in every way and at every level, than the more than 400 million of the Middle East.  Just think about it.  When I came to the US, I could not even believe that many colleges in the US would even offer courses on Israel when there were no courses on India or Iran.  So it is not really the number: it is the quality of the population.  When you encounter something like that, always remember what Lord Balfour told journalists in his Hotel room after the release of the Balfour Declaration: that "numerical self-determination was excluded". 

PS Yes, I went to the librarian to protest but was told that the person in charge was not available.

Anne Barnard from Damascus

I know that you go for a day or two to Syria, but maybe you should talk to resident beside Mr. Lotof:  "has returned after years in America for what he sees as a mission to defend its ancient streets, relatively unscathed by two years of war."  Not really unscathed unless you discount car bombs and shells by your beloved rebels.

Corrupt PA collaborationist clique explains why it has agreed to talks with Israel

"“Financially, we are going to solve our problems,” he said."

How could the Palestinian negotators headed by the chief Buffoon have doubts when the Americans provided guarantees?

"..but that the “Americans agreed to provide guarantees which would not turn our faces red” regarding the future borders."  How could any Arab not trust American guarantees when given to Arabs?  Just ask the victims of Sabra and Shatila massacres about American guarantees to protect the camps after the withdrawal of PLO forces from Lebanon.

Final status issues

"Ahmad Abbas, director of the Palestinian Authority planning ministry, said in an interview that “all the big issues — Jerusalem, settlements, refugees — have been postponed until further notice,”"  Well, so peace is at hand, after all.

What has the PA collaborators agreed to

"Mr. Kerry said the sides had agreed not to disclose details of the deal."  You read this and you conclude that the PA collaborators must have made yet another set of concessions that would be way too embarrassing to reveal.

Seniro Palestinian negotiator

I am against negotiations with Israel on principle, and I am for the full liberation of Palestine but even if one is for negotiations--which I am not--how could one trust a process in which a buffoon (Saeb Erekat) represents the Palestinian people?

Look at the tortured language of the Times when it covers a story of persecution and repression in Israel: it is always about complexity and anguish and pain

"As is often the case in Israel, one citizen’s open refusal to serve spoke to issues that cut deep into the complex character of a state whose identity and survival are so closely intertwined with its military. Mr. Blanc posed a challenge for the military in its sometimes clumsy attempts to balance security needs, individual rights and the principle of equality."  I swear: texts of dispatches about Israel in US newspapers should be taught in journalism classes in classes about Dump Propaganda 101.

The Nation Magazine and its Zionists staff will tell people how to state their views on Israeli brutality lest they offend Israeli occupiers

"It was sad to see her final years mired in controversy after her ill-spoken comments (at the age of 88) sharply critical of Israel led to her forced retirement.  Her views on brutal treatment of Palestinians, and unbalanced media and DC treatment of them, were not wrong, of course, if poorly stated." (thanks Sam)

PS The lousy Nation magazine first inserted a sentence explaining that her passion for Palestine was due to her heritage but later changed it.  

How Israel was founded: the US media version

""Many Jews were offended by her suggestion that Israelis should "go home" to Germany, Poland and America because Israel was initially settled in 1948 by Jews who had survived or escaped Hitler's attempt to kill all the Jews in Germany and in neighboring conquered countries."" (thanks Marc)

Farah Antun on the US

Here is the full text of the speech by Farah Antun in 1907 about the US.  (Warning: the site is in Persian and you need to register before you can access it).

Those are the Muslims who attended the Iftar at the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC

"The distinguished crowd was indeed mixed. It included Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to the U.S. House; Farah Pandith, the State Department’s special representative to Muslim communities; Duke University’s Imam Abdullah Antepli; author and professor Akbar Ahmed of American University; New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and his wife, Ann; and various ambassadors and rabbis." (thanks Jamal)

let the puppets do the job

"Asked how the United States could avoid getting sucked into the conflict, Shedd said: "I believe relying on allies in the region is our best solution." "

700-year-old Plain of Jars civilization

"I learned firsthand about the realities of executive branch power 40 years ago, when I discovered that a handful of U.S. executive leaders from both political parties, liberals and conservatives, had secretly destroyed the 700-year-old Plain of Jars civilization in northern Laos without congressional or public knowledge, let alone consent."

careful selection

"Analysts appearing on Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya are selected carefully to back their positions, says Shamry." (thanks Amir)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The coup in Egypt: its impact on Palestinians

"Palestinians in Gaza are feeling the impact of regime change next door." "At the height of the black market trade between Gaza and Egypt there were thought to be more than 1,000 tunnels employing around 7,000 people – providing Hamas with an income from taxes and permits of millions of dollars a month, estimated at 40% of the government's revenue. But Egypt is thought to have closed or destroyed around 80% of the tunnels."

This is the media of Prince Salman

(thanks Sultan)

military justice in the US

"Hutchins led an eight-man squad accused of kidnapping an Iraqi man from his home in April 2006, marching him to a ditch and shooting him to death in the village of Hamdania. Hutchins has said he thought the man — who turned out to be a retired policeman — was an insurgent leader. None of the other seven squad members served more than 18 months." (thanks Amir)

You can beat an Indian driver in Dubai, but you can't witness it

"An Asian man has been arrested for filming a video that has gone viral on the Internet showing a UAE citizen beating up an Indian van driver in Dubai, local media reported Thursday. The witness, whose nationality was not known, was arrested for defaming the UAE man who beat up the Indian driver, the reports said." (thanks Basim)

Helen Thomas

She was the most courageous and most principled of all the Washington, DC-based correspondents.  It was a joy for me to watch her on C-Span when I came to the US.  Her defense of the Palestinian cause was louder than all the lousy Arab ambassadors combined.

Al-Akhbar and Syria

It is not my intention to defend Al-Akhbar newspaper: I write for the paper but I have had disagreements with it.  On four occasions, my articles were not published in the paper (and two of the four articles dealt with the Syrian situation).  But I have come to notice that Western journalists refer to the paper as "pro-Syrian", which is quite inaccurate but those non-Arabic speaking reporters get their labels from their friends in the Hariri press office in Beirut.  They judge a paper that they don't read.  What is more hilarious is that they come to refer to newspapers of Saudi princes as "pan-Arab" (whether Al-Hayat or Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat).  But Al-Akhbar's position on Syria is more complex and nuanced.  It has placed free ads calling for the release of communist prisoners in Syrian jails, for example.  You wont know that the front page of Al-Akhbar today is about the arrest of Syrian communist artist, Yusuf `Abdlaki.   Do you think that any of the Saudi or Hariri papers will ever dare devote the front page of the paper to a Saudi dissident, EVER?  Moral (it is moral and not morale as is commonly written) of the story: do your homework.

Lebanese Sunnis heart the US

"Lebanese attitudes toward the U.S. differ sharply among the country’s religious communities, with Lebanese Sunni Muslims (66% favorable) and Christians (56%) expressing much more positive views than Shia Muslims (9%)."

America and the Muslim "world"

"As has been the case in recent years, America’s image is the most negative in parts of the Muslim world, especially Pakistan (11% favorable), Jordan (14%), Egypt (16%), and the Palestinian territories (16%). Only 21% of Turks see the U.S. positively, although this is actually a slight improvement from last year’s 15%. But the Muslim world is hardly monolithic, and America receives largely positive ratings in predominantly Muslim nations such as Senegal in West Africa and Indonesia and Malaysia in Southeast Asia."

The Democracy Coup in Egypt

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The Democracy Coup in Egypt: Claims of Secularists".

Friday, July 19, 2013

Getting rich in the US

" "The "human capital" consisting of black men and women held as chattel in the states of the south was more valuable than all the industrial and transportation capital ("other domestic capital") of the country in the first half of the nineteenth century".

Rapists and child molesters put to use by the FBI

" "The FBI is under pressure to capture terrorists, even where none exist. So they work with some of the worst criminals to entrap losers that likely pose no real threat." (Thanks Amir)

Divestment at UC, Berkeley

" A student senate at the University of California, Berkeley narrowly passed a measure calling on the school to divest from three companies with dealings in the West Bank.  Following 10 hours of sometimes heated debate, the Associated Students of the University of California senate early Wednesday morning passed the resolution in an 11-9 vote, the student newspaper, the Daily Californian, reported." (Thanks Osama)

Kissinger and legality

From AK: " Kissinger: Before the Freedom of Information Act, I used to say at meetings, "The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional
takes a little longer." [laughter] But since the Freedom of Information Act, I'm afraid to say things like that."

This guy must be talking to Nicholas Blanford's secret Hizbullah sources

" other Hezbollah leaders may be skeptical of Mr. Nasrallah’s decision to go all-in in Syria." Yes. I am sure that Na'im Qasim is opposed.

The UN White Man stands in judgment of Syrian refugees

" Fleeing from the brutality in Syria, many of the refugees, Mr. Kleinschmidt said, “have a disturbed relationship with authority” and distrust people in uniform." You want them to trust Syrian regime and Jordanian regime men in uniform? Disturbed relationship with authority? You mean unlike the Nazi masses who had a healthy relationship?