Friday, February 28, 2014

Angry Arab file at the Zionist Stand4facts website

This is the file about me at Zionist Stand4facts.

AUB breaking news

AUB source:  "AUB senate has passed a vote of  no confidence on COO deBin over the Cisco affair! Probably first time in history. First victory of aub faculty united."

MERIP Primer on Palestinian problem

This is indeed a useful primer on the Palestinian problem by Joel Beinin and Lisa Hajjar. But I have a few remarks:
1) there is a full account of the 1929 clashes between Arabs and Jews but barely anything about the 1936-39 Palestinian Revolt which is mentioned in passing in one sentence.
2) there needs to be a treatment of the Zionist ideology and its strands.
3) the account of the 1948 war needs to be contextualized: the reference to "an invasion" by Arab armies follows the language of the Zionists who--more than the Arab armies--actually had invaded Palestine.
4) the account of the 1967 war says: "These measures shocked and frightened the Israeli public, which believed it was in danger of annihilation." But could not that said about the Palestinians ever since the Zionists invaded their homeland?
5) I abhor the language of "cycle" of violence but here it appears: "A cycle of targeted killings of Palestinian militants and Palestinian attacks inside Israel culminated in a suicide bombing in Netanya on March 27, 2002, during the Passover holiday. The attack killed 30 Israelis. In retaliation, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield, a full-scale tank invasion of the West Bank that lasted for several weeks. "  Not only that but why does the passage identify the number of Israeli "victims" but does not identify the number of Palestinian victims?


UNRWA is run--as we all know--by the fanatical Zionists in the US Congress who in turn are run by AIPAC. It is a terrible organization that was created to abort the Palestinian cause of liberation.  I don't trust UNRWA one bit, and if it is trustworthy the US Congress would not send a penny to its small budget.  Yesterday, I received a fund raising letter from UNRWA in which they used that horrible picture from Yarmouk as a fund raising pitch. Is that why you took that picture, you merchants of hunger among the Palestinians? You are now commercializing the suffering of the Palestinian people? How low you can sink really?  Do you want to bottle the tears of the Palestinian people to sell it too?  You should be ashamed of yourself but Zionists have no shame.

Compare this passage about the Syrian ambush with the fanciful account of Ms. Liz Sly

"In Syria on Wednesday, government forces killed scores of rebels in an ambush east of Damascus, opposition activists and the government said, dealing a major blow to efforts by rebels to open a supply line to a besieged area. The exact toll remained unclear, with the government claiming it had killed more than 175 rebels, many of them non-Syrian jihadists, and an opposition activist in the area saying more than 40 fighters were killed, with dozens more unaccounted for."   Wait. Is it possible that Ms. Sly counted the non-Syrian Jihadists as civilians?

If there is a dictator anywhere, you know that some American company or firm is doing business with him/her

"It had been known that the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom had compiled a largely sympathetic report in 2012 on the government’s prosecution of Ms. Tymoshenko, even though most impartial observers say it was politically motivated.

Over the weekend, however, street fighters found documents related to this prestigious American law firm’s work in an unexpected spot: on the tiled floor of the sauna in an opulent residence of the deposed prosecutor general, Viktor Pshonka. "

China accused the U.S. of widespread human rights abuses

"China on Friday accused the United States of widespread human rights abuses, including cyber-surveillance and child labor, in Beijing's annual rebuttal of Washington's criticism of its rights record." "The U.S. has carried out 376 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004, causing deaths of up to 926 civilians," it said."

Israelis killed Palestinian, then demolished his relatives' home

"Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man after surrounding a home and firing shells at the property, in Birzeit town, north of the central West Bank city of Ramallah; soldiers also demolished a home that belongs to one of his relatives, and kidnapped three Palestinians."

Reports of sexual assaults in the US military jumped 60 percent last year

"Reports of sexual assaults in the US military jumped 60 percent last year," "About 5,400 cases of sexual assault were reported in fiscal year 2013, or about 15 a day, said Pentagon spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Cathy Wilkinson, citing preliminary statistics."

US liberators

""The Army has disqualified 588 soldiers as sexual assault counselors, recruiters and drill sergeants for infractions ranging from sexual assault to child abuse to drunken driving, USA TODAY has learned."

It is confirmed. The people of the Arctic will be liberated by US Navy

"The U.S. Navy is mapping out how to expand its presence in the Arctic beginning around 2020," "The Navy's updated road map noted that the Arctic has significant oil, gas and mineral resources, including some rare earth minerals now supplied mainly by China, and estimated hydrocarbon resources of over $1 trillion." (thanks Amir)

the secular Sisi republic

"Cairo Misdemeanors Court has sentenced a Shia activist to five years in jail with hard labour for attempting to storm Al-Hussein Mosque and insult the Prophet Mohamed's companions. Shia activist Amr Abdullah was arrested in November 2013 during a fight with Salafists at Al-Hussein Mosque during the commemoration of Emam Al-Hussein's martydom on the Day of Ashura." (thanks Basim)

Wait: when Gen Dr Engineer Pharmacist Salim Idriss was the "leader", we were regaled with articles about his great leadership. Now that he is sacked, you get this:

"Idriss, much like the SMC, was never seen as an effective military leader but rather as a key conduit for lethal and nonlethal aid and money from outside backers, mostly Persian Gulf Arab states, to some of the rebel groups trying to oust Assad."

The New York Times on why US occupation of Afghanistan can't end

"Military commanders and policy experts say that without a remaining core of Western troops to support the Afghan government and continue training the security forces, the chances are high that significant swaths of the country will fall back under Taliban control, just as they were before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

After the blood and sweat of the past 13 years of war, that potential return to old realities is seen as a particularly bitter pill."  Colonial powers always sacrifice for the benefit of the natives. It is almost tear jerking. 

Afghanistan warlords: America's puppets

"All 11 of the Afghan presidential candidates say they support the deal, which would allow Western troops to stay here past 2014."  Of course, past and present cash payments to the warlords are not related to this.

Dharfur groupies: where are you?

How come the victimization of civilians in South Sudan is not a popular cause in the US anymore? Is it because Israel has good relations with the killers there?

Ideas to promote war and capitalism don't originate in people's heads: they originates with capital

"One of Washington’s wealthiest is giving $20 million to a top conservative think tank"

When violent protesters are cute--according to Western media

"No one here is hiding the heavy artillery, such as it is. Students camping out on an intersection of this city, which has become a battleground between the authorities and antigovernment protesters, have a variety of homemade weapons — mortars to lob small, noisy explosives, miniature firebombs, slingshots, clubs and nasty-looking things called Miguelitos made from hoses festooned with nails.

“We’re not peaceful here,” said Andryth Niño, 19, toying with a two-and-a-half-foot-long Miguelito one night this week as she sat with companions on the curb near the students’ ragtag camp, which had been rebuilt after being flattened a few nights earlier by National Guard troops. “You can’t be peaceful when they’re always attacking you.”  Yet the appeal to nonviolence had little echo among some of the most determined protesters in this western city, where the rallies started this month and where confrontations with government troops have been most intense."

PS Intense means violent but only when perpetrated by people who follow US policies and interests.

Liz Sly has a world exclusive: but if only it was true

While the international media (and even the Syrian Observatory) have reported about the ambush by Syrian regime forces of Syrian rebel forces, Ms. Liz Sly has an exclusive: she claims based on skype that the victims (who in fact were shown on Al-Manar TV) were civilians in their majority:  "About 100 civilians and 75 fighters had set out shortly after midnight, only to run into a wall of fire along one section of their route, said Hadi al-Munajeed, who spoke on the condition that his exact location not be revealed."  This raises questions: 1) If those were mostly civilians, does that mean that the fighters were trying to sneak in using civilians as human shields, which Syrian rebels have done before? 2) why no one except Ms. Sly reported on the presence of civilians among the fighters?  3) Has there ever been a time when her contacts among the Syrian rebels admitted that they lost fighters? Don't they always tell her that the victims were civilians, even if they were brandishing missiles and rifles?  4) Has Ms. Sly ever considered writing for the publications of the Syrian rebels to attain more freedom of reporting?  This is how the Los Angeles Time reported the same story:  "More than 150 Syrian rebel fighters were killed Wednesday in an ambush by pro-government forces outside Damascus, according to official and opposition accounts."  So while the Los Angels Times (and other media) confirmed that this was an ambush of fighters, Ms. Sly was able to find one person to tell her that those were mostly civilians attacking a position inside Syria. 

Liz Sly: the loyal March 14 propagandist

"The Hezbollah statement disputed Lebanese news media reports that the strike had targeted a missile storage center and killed at least four Hezbollah fighters..."   Do you know which Lebanese news media reported that--which we now know is utterly untrue?  The Hariri family media. Kid you not.  Why does not Sly's reports from Lebanon end with: brought to you by a combination of the press offices of the Hariri family and the Free Syrian Army.

Comrade Glenn Greenwald writes

"Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information” on various forums. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today:...Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups.

Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government. Ironically, the very same Sunstein was recently named by Obama to serve as a member of the NSA review panel created by the White House, one that – while disputing key NSA claims – proceeded to propose many cosmetic reforms to the agency’s powers (most of which were ignored by the President who appointed them)."

AUB scandal: more and more

There is much more to the story.  The American team that leads the university is now acting like a secret police. They are furious at the leaks and one even suggested that my list of friends on Facebook should be scrutinized for "suspects" (yes, even that reached me).  For more info on the scandal, see here.

Israeli terrorist forces kill a Palestinian and this is the headline of the story in the New York Times

"Palestinian Found Dead After Standoff With Israelis".  Found dead? It makes it sound that it is unrelated to the visit of the Israeli terrorists to his house.  There is never ever a case when Israeli forces kill Palestinians--as regular as it is--without the New York Times coming up with a convoluted headline and story that makes the killing rather uncertain in causes.  This is like writing this headline about the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982: "20,000 Palestinians and Lebanese dead in Lebanon but it is unclear whether their deaths was caused by the visiting Israeli Army in Lebanon especially that Lebanese consume a lot of sweets.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Orange "revolution" memories

"For a time, Ukraine was a model. The newly elected president, Viktor A. Yushchenko, was welcomed at the White House and addressed a joint session of Congress. “It was the poster child for ‘democracy can work, we’re on a roll,’ ” said Steven Pifer, a former ambassador to Ukraine now at the Brookings Institution.

Yet like other places, the heady days in Kiev eventually gave way to political paralysis and retrenchment. Mr. Yushchenko failed to consolidate support and ultimately was replaced by his nemesis, Mr. Yanukovych, in a democratic election."

US wants the people of the Ukraine to decide, damn it

"On the ground has been Victoria Nuland, an assistant secretary of state who previously worked for Mr. Bush’s administration and is passionate about anchoring Ukraine in the West."

apartheid--not question about it

"From segregated roads, buses, and territories, to checkpoints, a massive separation barrier and the largest open-air prison in the world in Gaza, it has become quite difficult not to declare Israel an apartheid state."

The US embassy in Mexico

"But other Snowden documents showed that the NSA captured and analyzed internet traffic from a US diplomatic post in Mexico City, and that the US embassy hosted agents from the joint NSA/CIA Special Collection Service, a black-budget program dedicated to bugging foreign embassies and government installations."

US would never ever fly its falgs in the Gulf or anywhere around the Middle East (thousands of miles from its shores)

"The White House warned Russia to keep its troops out of Ukraine on Sunday night, amid fears that Moscow may step in with military force following the overthrow of the president, its ally. The Crimean port of Sevastopol may be part of Ukraine, but it is the Russian tricolor that flutters proudly above the port’s barrack blocks and warships. Sevastopol has been a proud part of Russian imperial might since the 18th century, but in 1954 was transferred to Ukrainian control under Nikita Khrushchev, an ethnic Ukrainian. " (thanks Basim)

Who rules Egypt?

The parallel state.

Jared Diamond's theory of environmental suicide

Dr. Mara Mulrooney wants to debunk Jared Diamond’s famous assertion that the people of Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, committed “environmental suicide.”

Mulrooney, assistant anthropologist at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, spent six years collecting and analyzing radiocarbon dates from around the island in an effort to ascertain how the people of Rapa Nui sustained themselves before and after the time of the first European discovery in 1722.

Mulrooney claims that the data paints a picture not of resource decimation but rather of “sustainability and continuity.” Mulrooney goes so far as to say that “perhaps Rapa Nui should be the poster-child of how human ingenuity can result in success, rather than failure." (thanks Michael)

Rock Throwing threat to Zionist entity

"The Israeli military said Amnesty failed to take into account "the substantial increase in Palestinian violence initiated over the past year," which "saw a sharp increase in rock hurling incidents, gravely jeopardising the lives of civilians and military personnel." " (thanks Ali)

Lecture by Filippo Grandi, Commissioner-General of UNRWA on Yarmouk Camp

I don't trust Unrwa and I think it is a mere tool of the Zionist US Congress (see the comments at the end about John Kerry) but some interesting bits about Yarmouk:
"The turning point was in December 2012, when Yarmouk - a Damascus suburb hosting one of the largest Palestinian communities in exile - was overwhelmed by fighting. It suddenly seemed that the deliberate wish of the vast majority of Palestinians to stay out of the conflict was simply not enough to protect them - and this was made worse by the military involvement of some Palestinians - though a small minority - on both sides of the conflict. Many of the twelve Palestinian camps, because they are mostly located in contested areas, are now overwhelmed by fighting and insecurity. In some cases, Palestinians (and indeed other civilians) have left en masse, either fleeing from fighting or forced away at gunpoint...Its relative isolation from the conflict was shattered in mid-December 2012. This is when armed groups came into the camp, the government surrounded the area, and clashes ensued. UNRWA’s 28 schools and three clinics ceased operation. Armed groups also occupied houses, looted hospitals and stores. Those inside Yarmouk and who did not manage or did not want to flee, got caught in a tight stranglehold by the parties to the conflict. And this is a pattern that repeated itself in other Palestinian camps, including Qabr Essit, Ein El-Tal and Sbeineh...Residents whom I saw yesterday emerging like ghosts from the depths of Yarmouk, as in a medieval siege, reported that they subsisted on grass, spices mixed in water, and animal feed. They burned furniture on their balconies to keep warm; they suffered severe malnutrition and dehydration. Many died from readily treatable conditions...Jordan has an explicit no-entry policy for Palestinians from Syria. Approximately 11,000 have sought assistance from UNRWA there. Throughout the region, in support of Palestinians fleeing Syria, we promote humanitarian principles of non-refoulement and equal treatment of refugees, but to little avail in the case of Jordan. Palestinians are also no longer granted visas to Egypt. Some 5,000 fled the Syria conflict there and are in need of assistance. Making it possible has been a complex exercise in a country undergoing its own, difficult transition...We estimate that at least 70% of the Palestine refugee population in Syria have been displaced, whether inside the country or beyond its borders. It is in fact the largest displacement of Palestinians since 1967, although - one should say - displacement and insecurity have been main characteristics of the Palestinian condition: including the expulsions from Kuwait and Libya, the destruction of camps in the Lebanese civil war and more recently of Nahr el-Bared, and the grave violations of human rights against Palestinians that occurred a few years ago in Iraq.
And look carefully at pictures of Yarmouk - of the distribution of small parcels of food to thousands of desperate women, men, children coming out of the besieged area. The stark greyness of the people and the rubble remind me of the black-and-white archive pictures from the Palestinian diaspora in 1948: children in tattered clothes and unkempt hair warming themselves on small fires, old people looking into the camera, their lined and leathered faces deep with concern." (thanks Laure)

the Sisi Kabab Scientist

More on the Sisi kabab medical scientist (thanks Yusuf)

trigger happy Zionists

"A new Amnesty International report accuses Israeli soldiers of being "trigger happy," with data showing that Israeli fire killed more Palestinians in 2013 than the previous two years combined – many in situations where witnesses said the Palestinians posed no serious danger to Israeli forces."

the US and Syrian refugees

"Perhaps the easiest way for the U.S. to staunch the humanitarian crisis is to take in more Syrian refugees. There, the measure of how much the U S cares is pretty disappointing. Since the start of the civil war, only 90 people have been granted permanent stays in the U.S."

the US diplomat who organizes war criminal rebels

"Meanwhile, Robert Ford, the American diplomat who has been the chief US organiser for the Syrian rebels – herding them in and out of negotiations during the failed Geneva talks two weeks ago – has also got the chop."

foreign workers in Qatar

""Foreign maids, cleaners and other domestic workers are being subjected to slave-like labour conditions in Qatar, with many complaining they have been deprived of passports, wages, days off, holidays and freedom to move jobs, a Guardian investigation can reveal.""

Israeli war crimes

""The 87-page report focused only on violence in the West Bank, not the adjacent Gaza Strip. It highlighted a number of the deaths, including that of 21-year-old Lubna Hanash, who was shot in the head on January 23, 2013 as she left an agricultural college near the flashpoint city of Hebron." "A few days earlier, 16-year-old schoolboy Samir Awad was shot three times, including in the back of the head, after staging a protest near the Israeli separation barrier that divides his village from its historical farmlands. A third killing saw 15-year-old Waji al-Ramahi shot in the back from a distance of some 200 meters in December 2013 near the Jalazun refugee camp, Amnesty said."" (thanks Amir)

Another Israeli missile test: the propaganda and lies continue

"The Defense Ministry said it successfully completed final testing on a system that protects commercial planes from missile attacks. "  Has there ever been a test by the Israeli terrorist military that has not been successful (and 100% mind you)? And is this success similar to the announcement by the same Israeli terrorist offensive military that the Iron Dome system had a success rate of 98% before scientists in the US revealed that the success rate was maybe 15%?  And is there a lie by the Israeli terrorist regime that does not get automatic airing in US press?

That picture from Yarmouk

I stare in amazement and disgust at that picture from Yarmouk.  I can only say: to hell with the Syrian regime and with the Syrian armed groups, and to hell with the pro-Syrian (regime) Palestinian organizations and with pro-Saudi/Qatari (regimes) Palestinian organizations. And to hell with Fath and with Hamas.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Ba`th Party is not dead

Bashshar Al-Asad yesterday said that the Ba`th Party has improved and that it was subjected to "cleaning of its internal structure".  So the party will be released to the public after a few cycles of washing and drying.

From Yarmuk: this is the work of the criminal Syrian regime and the criminal rebel gangs



Lately I discovered that I can eat frozen yogurt with a spoon while driving. You should try it. Next challenge for me? Cooking while driving.

You know who is more lame and cliche filled than Thomas Friedman? His best friend Michael Mandelbaum

"The biggest geopolitical divide in the world today “is between those countries who want their states to be powerful and those countries who want their people to be prosperous,” argues Michael Mandelbaum, professor of foreign policy at Johns Hopkins. "  So the US has not made the goal of making the US more and more powerful ahead of making the people prosperous? Who edits those articles in the Times? Is there no logic or intelligence editor for those articles?

Ethnic Cleansing in Jerusalem

From Jadaliyya: Ethnic Cleansing in Jerusalem.

Exclusive: the response to AUB president Dorman from the Executive Committee of AUB Faculty United

An inside source shared this statement by the Executive Committee of AUB Faculty United:  "Dear President Dorman, We have read both the official report posted on the Office of the President Webpage, and the leaked version posted on Al-Akhbar website of the Faculty Working Group (FWG) that was formed in the aftermath of allegations that the entire database of faculty and staff email records had been copied and given to the Office of Internal Audit (IA) last year. As stated in the FWG’s findings, these allegations sadly turned out to be true. We also learned, to our dismay, that the IA has been receiving logs of all outgoing and incoming phone calls of campus telephones, in addition to email communication logs. While we welcome your clear endorsement of the FWG’s recommendations, we deem your response as incommensurate with the gravity of the FWG’s findings and the apparent ill-conceived exercise of authority in a manner that potentially compromised a large amount of sensitive private data at AUB. We find it disturbing that you appear to defend the actions of those involved, rather than holding them accountable. Reading the published report, we note the following: - Although the FWG report seems to have been completed weeks if not months ago, it appears as if it took the Al-Akhbar leak on Saturday February 21, 2014 for it to be disseminated by the Office of the President. Principles of transparency necessary for the good governance of the University would have dictated that the report be issued by the Office of the President in a timely manner, avoiding this public embarrassment to the University and its faculty members. - The FWG findings provide no assurance of the statement in your email of Monday February 24, 2014 that “[…] no email access occurred other than in the context of an approved investigation, and then with specific authorisation” (page 2 of your statement, point 2). To the contrary, the report explicitly states that there was no traceable chain of custody for this very large and sensitive dataset. Indeed, the protocol developed between the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and the Internal Auditor was not implemented as agreed (section D, point 12). Furthermore, there is no evidence that the disks were destroyed or that they were not shared with third parties except for the unrecorded testimony of the Internal Auditor (no members of the IA office were allowed to be interviewed by the FWG to corroborate the Internal Auditor’s statements). The refusal by IT to stand witness to the destruction of the disks is also a telling statement (broken chain of custody; section D, point 14). - The report states that IA has “wide reaching” power and authority over communication within AUB, and this power may be used without checks or accountability: “These powers were exercised [italics added] without a clear mechanism for oversight during the audit investigation”. Paragraph 3 of same section states that “since January 2012, the IA office has regularly received phone logs of all [italics added] outgoing and incoming calls to AUB extensions” (Section C, Page 7). Given that faculty members and staff are not informed of this NSA-like practice, we believe that it constitutes an unjustified violation of their privacy rights. - The report also highlights that the “IA was intending to mirror the complete email system of AUB in order to obtain immediate real time access to mailboxes. Real time access was also requested to the telephone logs” (italics added; Section D, point 3). We are outraged at this allegation of unrestricted real time monitoring of faculty and staff when the IA’s role is limited to risk management. Moreover, we are shocked to learn that copies of email log files are provided to IA and to VP-Legal Affairs. - Section D of the report focuses on the actual “Incident” of transferring the AUB email database outside the IT Data Center. The report highlights the following points that are worth considering: a. AUB’s CISO clearly objected to removing the email archive from the IT Data Center, and felt compelled enough to write the administration “questioning the appropriateness” of such an action (Section D, paragraph 8). b. This “cautionary” note did not prevent someone higher in the administration hierarchy (not explicitly named in the report) from ordering CISO to “comply and provide the two hard disks to the IA” (Section D, Paragraph 11). We would like to know who issued these orders. - The report states that the FWG was not allowed to meet with key actors or to access key documents deemed “relevant” in its inquiry: “Although the FWG met with the University Auditor, the request by the group to meet with the IT Audit Managers at the IA offices was denied. The FWG was also denied [sic–by whom?] access to what it deemed to be relevant documents that were in the possession of the IA office and the VP-Legal Affairs” (page 5, paragraph 3). No justification was provided for why the FWG was not allowed access to key staff and documents. - Similarly, while all interviews were audio-recorded, both VP Legal Affairs Peter May and Internal Auditor Andrew Cartwright refused to follow this procedure. Why did these two key administrators refuse to comply when the AUB President, Provost, COO, and others followed this procedure? President Dorman, we believe that the absence of explicit policies and procedures does not constitute sufficient grounds to violate common-sense security protocols and override the CISO’s concerns. The absence of a clear “chain of custody” of the hard disks is alarming considering the sheer volume of sensitive data involved that if placed in the wrong hands could harm AUB. Furthermore, you mention in your message the data privacy challenges faced by universities worldwide, including Harvard University in 2013. We note that the controversial email search at Harvard University is widely believed to have led to the departure of the former Dean of the College Evelynn M. Hammonds shortly after the event garnered criticism of faculty, students, and the US media. We hope that you will hold your administration to the same high standards and accountability that you expect of your faculty and staff. The report is clear in that the actions of Internal Auditor Andrew Cartwright in moving the data out of the IT Data Center were questionable at best, and the actions of another person not named in the report in forcing CISO to unwillingly hand in the hard disks may constitute an abuse of authority. We are appalled that this serious breach of data privacy is being handled at the “policies and procedure” level, when a stronger message needs to be communicated to the AUB body: A culture of unchecked use of authority and disrespect for the basic human right of privacy should be discouraged. We urge you to hold those who violated this right and mishandled important AUB data accountable.
The Executive Committee of AUB Faculty United."

AUB scandal and the statement by the president

The statement by the president of AUB about the data theft scandal is quite deceptive and dishonest.  There were IT people who were forced out of the university for discovering the data theft and the matter is much bigger than the lame statement. The president would have been quite happy to keep the story under wrap especially as he reversed himself (to put it mildly) and did not want to release the committee report after having promised to release it. He only released after Al-Akhbar published a story on the matter. His statement makes the entire affair purely technical when it is rather political and possibly espionage by a foreign country (take your guess here):  one of my sources summarize it for me:  "The whole thing was orchestrated to take the data on a particular date to Cyprus to hand it to a specific party in Cyprus. I think the top two IT executives CIO and ACIO have proof of this."  None of that is mentioned in the statement to the community.  There will be more coming out and my sources tell me that the US embassy in Beirut is (allegedly) intimately involved in the cover up and the management of the affair. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

the Dr. Sisi AIDS device

Apparently the Sisi medial device that can detect and cure ADIS (among other diseases and illnesses) can detect an AIDS person in from outside of his hospital bed. 

Nusrah Front

Let me predict this (in fact it has started already): the US media will now suddenly start peddling articles to the effect that Nusrah Front was unfairly classified as a terrorist organization and that it is in fact a moderate terrorist organization that the US government can do business with.

Awful Al-Akhbar commerical

 This TV advertisement for Al-Akhbar newspaper is appalling and repulsive.  It basically makes the act of reading a newspaper an affair between the wise father and the bright son.  The wife, however, makes an appearance in the short clip: she appears from her back washing dishes. Kid you not. 

Nazis in Ukraine

"The most aggressive element of the opposition is a group calling itself Pravy Sektor, a right-wing nationalist organization that critics liken to Nazis.

It was Pravy Sektor that took the initiative in January as political leaders of the opposition wavered and came under criticism for inaction. Its helmeted members marched off the Maidan in Kiev and entered into a street battle with police a few blocks away.

They seized the initiative, and that moment paved the way for the much deadlier violence, and then governmental collapse, of this past week.

What to do about Pravy Sektor now is a problem. Sadoviy said that the new interior minister has to try to establish communication with them and channel their energy in legal directions. It could be a daunting task, now that so much blood has been shed."

A Ukrainian leader who lives in luxury

"Tens of thousands of ordinary Ukrainians poured onto the grounds of Yanukovych’s abandoned presidential compound, 12 miles from downtown Kiev, to gawk at the manicured lawns, small zoo, golf course, botanical gardens and classic cars."  Don't they see how US presidents live in modest dwellings?  Don't they know that US presidents have been poor?

How do you define political naivite?

Are you serious Emad?  "Under U.S. law, to maintain aid to Egypt, Secretary of State John F. Kerry must soon certify to Congress that the pro-coup government is moving toward a democratic transition. Events in Egypt since last summer make clear that democracy and the rule of law are in serious retreat. Kerry should inform Egypt’s generals that the United States cannot fund a regime that kills peaceful protesters, tortures political detainees, arrests journalists, stifles dissent and reverts to a repressive military rule."  You mean the way the US speaks sternly to Israeli occupiers?

Did you know that Schwarzenegger is in Algeria?

سلال لدى حضوره "الندوة الأفريقية حول الاقتصاد الأخضر" متوسطاً المندوبة الأفريقية لشؤون الاقتصاد الريفي والزراعي توموسيم رودا بيس (يسار) والحاكم الأسبق لولاية كاليفورنيا الأميركية أرنولد شوارزنيغر (يمين) في وهران أمس الأول (رويترز)

Meet the new freedom loving leader of Ukraine

"Mr. Turchynov, a veteran lawmaker who served previously as acting prime minister and as head of the security service".

Now the New York Times is admitting the obvious

"The new chaos in the rebel leadership comes as internationally backed talks aimed at ending the war have failed to make progress and as the Obama administration searches for new ways to pressure Mr. Assad.

But the disorder within the council, the umbrella group for moderate, Western-backed rebels, leaves the United States and its allies with one fewer reliable partner to work with to try to affect the course of the war.

Since its formation in December 2012, the Supreme Military Council has never lived up to its name. Although it served as a conduit for foreign military support flowing into Syria, it never received enough aid to fully equip its brigades. This left fighting groups scrambling for support and developing independent networks of wealthy Syrians or Persian Gulf patrons, granting them independence from the council."

Gas princess

"In the post-Soviet 1990s, she became extremely rich in the bare-knuckled energy industry, first as chief executive of one company and later as president of another. "

Curious: the New York Times does not mention that Abu Khalid As-Suri was also part of the Islamic Front

"In Syria, Mr. al-Suri was a leader of Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamist rebel group that is close to the Nusra Front".  And to call this terrorist a "mediator" is like calling Bin Laden a "peace envoy".

Book Review Byline Tally Shows Gender Disparity

"In its annual count of male and female bylines in book reviews, magazines and literary journals, VIDA, a women’s literary organization, revealed that in 2013, the publications still largely favored men over women.

At The New York Review of Books, there were 212 male book reviewers and 52 female; at The Atlantic, there were 14 male book reviewers and three female; at Harper’s, there were 24 male book reviewers and 10 female.

VIDA tallied bylines in 39 publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, Granta and The New Republic.

Since it began several years ago, the VIDA count has been a reliable conversation-starter about gender disparity in the literary world.

The New Republic followed up the 2010 VIDA count with its own tally of who was writing the books in the first place. The numbers it found, wrote Ruth Franklin, then a senior editor at the magazine, “show that the magazines are reviewing female authors in something close to the proportion of books by women published each year. The question now becomes why more books by women are not getting published."

Sisi Science: we take the AIDS virus and insert it in Kabab and feed it to the patient--kid you not

Meet Elias Ghanem is the director of the Middle East and North Africa division of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Saudi papers provide both sides:  "I need to know what’s going on around my region, so I tend to read the Arabic newspapers. Asharq al-Awsat and Al Hayat deal with the whole region — Arab countries and the Middle East. They provide good analysis. I don’t mean that all the time it’s objective, but at least it’s got the two sides".
It pays off--literally--to work with refugees:  "I never smoked in my life, but in my position in the Middle East when I meet with the leadership and get them together, most of them, they smoke cigars, so I felt I needed to participate. And I got fully engaged in it. Of course, I don’t smoke at work. But in the evening when I’m traveling, I do. Personally, I smoke Romeo y Julieta. When I go out, I smoke Cohiba...the first thing I did was get a boat — a Wellcraft Martinique 2600. It’s docked in Jounieh Bay. There are now restaurants in the Mediterranean that you can access by boat. I enjoy sea cruising when I have the time.
How he first heard of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon:  "Recently, one of the Arabic newspapers made some reference to the 1982 invasion of Lebanon by Israel. I found a lot on YouTube.""

The Kennan Diaries: a white supremacist

"Writing on a flight to Los Angeles in 1978, Kennan thinks about how few white faces he will see when he lands and laments the decline of people “of British origin, from whose forefathers the constitutional structure and political ideals of the early America once emerged.” Instead, he predicts, Americans are destined to “melt into a vast polyglot mass, . . . one huge pool of indistinguishable mediocrity and drabness.” Kennan at times displayed conventional racism. His views on South Africa were strongly shaped by his feeling that blacks were simply not capable of handling liberty and democracy. “I would expect to see within five or 10 years’ time,” he wrote in 1990, “only desperate attempts at emigration on the parts of whites, and strident appeals for American help from an African regime unable to feed its own people from the resources of a ruined economy.” But for the most part, Kennan’s racism was a product of his conservatism, which is to say that he was profoundly mistrustful of the modern multiethnic ­nation-state with its “mingling of the ­races.” He did not look down on the Chinese, Indians, Russians or Jews, believing that they would succeed better in their own coherent communities than in a mixed-up melting pot. The tone of his comments about nonwhites, however, always has a sharp and derisory edge."

covering Syria

"Lynch said the study found that discussion of the Syrian conflict in Western media generally originated with a small group of English-speaking journalists and analysts who are more or less isolated from the action. Speakers of English and Arabic can bridge the journalists’ gap in knowledge, but they often have an agenda.

“People bridge because they want to accomplish something,” he said. “If you were a Syrian activist trying to build support for international intervention in Syria or the funding of the Free Syrian Army, of course, you are going to highlight the peaceful pro-American nature of the Free Syrian Army and downplay sectarian acts.” (thanks Laure)

The killing of one Christian in CAR two weeks ago made headlines in US papers but not this

"Christian militiamen killed at least 70 people in the remote southwest of Central African Republic, at one point ordering a group of Muslims to lie on the ground and shooting them one by one, witnesses said Monday."

Not in the US press

"A Palestinian detainee from occupied Jerusalem died in an Israeli hospital of injuries suffered nearly two weeks ago, after Israeli soldiers violently assaulted him while at the Beersheba Israeli prison."

A UN investigator on Israeli apartheid

"Israel's policies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip appear to amount to apartheid due to its systematic oppression of the Palestinian people and de facto expropriation of their land, a United Nations investigator said in a report."

these are acceptable crimes against humanity

"An independent human rights group said Tuesday it has obtained official documents that directly implicate the Myanmar government in abusive and discriminatory policies targeting the country's long-persecuted minority Rohingya Muslim community." "It represents a level of planning and knowledge among Myanmar authorities that raises the abuses to the threshold of crimes against humanity," said Smith."

Does it really get sillier and more petty than this?

"What we ate at the Sochi Olympics"

Another Nazi-Zionist alliance

"Svoboda's openly pro-Nazi politics have not deterred Senator John McCain from addressing a EuroMaidan rally alongside Tyahnybok, nor did it prevent Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland from enjoying a friendly meeting with the Svoboda leader this February. Eager to fend off accusations of anti-Semitism, the Svoboda leader recently hosted the Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine."

ECHELON infiltrates the net to manipulate, deceive & destroy reputations

"Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable."

American evangelicals agitating against gays in Africa

""In these extracts from director Roger Ross Williams' documentary God Loves Uganda, undercover filming by a Boston-based Anglican priest, Kapya Kaoma, shows how anti-gay evangelical campaigners from the United States have been influential in the debate, pushing Uganda to pass measures that would be unthinkable in the US."" (thanks Amir)

"anguish" and Israeli dancers in Washington DC

"So what is Israeli about this work? Plenty: the atmosphere of anxiety, and the corresponding air of hard-shelled resistance. The space-filling physicality, which even one or two dancers alone on the bare floor could achieve by the way they dislodged themselves, projected their bones, rose before us with the mysterious, compelling force we call “presence.” " What on earth is that?  Would a dance group from any other corner of the globe get this kind of review?

A message from a Ukrainian colleague/comrade

A comrade/colleague from the Ukraine (she does not want to be identified), wrote this on her Facebook page (I cite with her permission):
"I wish useless co-opted US media would stop commenting on events in Ukraine, it is completely silencing that the struggle is not just for the rule of law, political rights, and transparent courts, but also for fair and just distribution of resources, for fair economy, against oligarchs and wealth concentration. And shut the fuck up already, American government with your bloody hands, nobody cares what you have to say, you cannot possibly understand or care about the plight of ordinary people who want to have a decent life for their families, decent salaries, pensions, free education, cheap food, be able to cross borders freely; you can’t take care even of your own fucking people, you just want to install a government in Ukraine that will be giving you blow jobs every day. Go to hell. And arrogant Kremlin with their non-recognition of Ukraine’s revolution; you are not the coolest kid on the block who owns neighboring blocks, you are just a pathetic bully with no moral pedigree other than force and showdowns, at least for once in history act humane and give a salute to people when they are trying to stand up from their knees. And I wish idiotic Ukrainian nationalists would stop spitting on the Soviet Union and pissing on Lenin statues and Moscow, Lenin is fucking dead already, let it go, ok, and Soviet Union does not exist; live in the present; you want to be relevant and consistent, piss on a dollar bill, Adam Smith or Obama’s statue, criticize idols of greed and profit; you found a freaking ghost, easy target from the past and acting all righteous and rebellious - ridiculous. And World Socialist Website nearly shedding tears over poor tiny Yanukovich, then whining how Ukraine’s revolution is a Western imperialist conspiracy helped by Ukrainian fascists and the right wing, that it is ALL there is to it - so, do you just only care about saying anything and distorting as long as it makes the West look bad, missing the tragedy and complexity of everything that is happening in that country and its people?"

"Is the US backing neo-Nazis in Ukraine?"

"White supremacist banners and Confederate flags were draped inside Kiev’s occupied City Hall, and demonstrators have hoisted Nazi SS and white power symbols over a toppled memorial to V.I. Lenin. After Yanukovich fled his palatial estate by helicopter, EuroMaidan protesters destroyed a memorial to Ukrainians who died battling German occupation during World War II. Sieg heil salutes and the Nazi Wolfsangel symbol have become an increasingly common site in Maidan Square, and neo-Nazi forces have established “autonomous zones” in and around Kiev.

An Anarchist group called AntiFascist Union Ukraine attempted to join the Euromaidan demonstrations but found it difficult to avoid threats of violence and imprecations from the gangs of neo-Nazis roving the square. “They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists,” one of its members said. “There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult.”

“There are lots of Nationalists here, including Nazis,” the anti-fascist continued. “They came from all over Ukraine, and they make up about 30% of protesters.”"

Anne Barnard's school of journalism

Even the pure propaganda speculation by Syrian rebels are fit to print, by the standards of Ms. Barnard:  "He said he believed the convoy was headed into Syria with weapons to back up the Syrian army in its ongoing battles there, in which Hezbollah is participating."

Explosive: The US government removes the name of the leader of Nusrah Front from its Most Wanted list

As-Safir reveals that the US government's Justice Department has removed the name of Abu Muhammad Al-Julani, the leader of the Nusrah Front, from its list of the Most Wanted list of terrorists. He used to occupy the number six on the list.  Is this part of the rapprochement that the Obama administration is seeking with "reasonable" terrorists in Syria?

"Israel lobby group compiles secret dossiers on pro-Palestinian speakers"

"Other speakers on the website include: Asad Abu’Khalil; Anna Baltzer; Dalit Baum; Phyllis Bennis; Norman Finkelstein; and Nadia Hijab." (thanks Mohammed)

PS Comrade Joseph Massad is also in those files. 

Abu Khalid As-Suri: the Bin Ladenite with whom the US governmnet can do business with

This is the picture of Abu Khalid As-Suri, comrade of Usamah bin Ladin, `Abdullah `Azzam, and Ayman Adh-Dhawahiri, who was assassinated two days ago.  Dhawhiri offically tasked him to resolve the dispute between Nusrah Front and ISIS.  I noticed in the Western press they mentioned that he is the leader of Ahrar Ash-Sham without mentioning that it is a major constituent element of the Islamic Front, which the US has been elevating in status and treating as a moderate Islamist organization.  There is even discussion of opening official talks between the US government and the Islamic Front, heavily favored by the Saudi regime.  

Monday, February 24, 2014

US non-interferences in the affairs of Ukraine and Venezuela

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English:  "US non-interferences in the affairs of Ukraine and Venezuela"

Oil and gas media

I am not making this up: are you aware that Qatari and Saudi media are feigning outrage over the luxurious lifestyle of the Ukrainian president? I am not kidding.

Breaking news from Egypt.

This just in: Gen. Sisi has just invented a cure for the flu. 

The toppling of Lenin's statues in Europe

What does Lenin's statues have to do with anything--the man died in 1924. And some of the toppling of Lenin's statues happen under governments that are more anti-communist than the US itself. I mean the governments Russia and Ukraine are hardly socialist.  Of course, there is a covert American hand in those spectacles, carrying bitter traces from the Cold War and impulses of revenge.  We now know that the US army orchestrated and choreographed the toppling of Saddam's statue in Firdaws square in Baghdad in 2003, after hiring thugs from Ahmad Chalabi's gang.
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This is cute: fascists and Nazis are called "hard-core protesters" in the WP

"The self-defense militias, composed of hard-core protesters wearing military surplus helmets and mismatched body armor, were enlisted to guard government buildings and direct traffic."

On the NSA from 5 years ago: Before Snowden

"" The National Security Agency (NSA) is developing a tool that George Orwell's Thought Police might have found useful: an artificial intelligence system designed to gain insight into what people are thinking.

With the entire Internet and thousands of databases for a brain, the device will be able to respond almost instantaneously to complex questions posed by intelligence analysts. As more and more data is collected—through phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, even E-Z Pass toll records—it may one day be possible to know not just where people are and what they are doing, but what and how they think." (thanks Krim)

beware of adveturism, please

"Officials also say that a smaller military could invite adventurism by adversaries.” (thanks Michael)