Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Lebanese former president of Columbia is wanted by Interpol

And Lebanon could not be more proud.

Saudi-Israeli ties

"Moreover, Israel does not face a threat from jihadist groups, despite the rhetoric and alarmist propaganda of both the Israeli and al-Qaeda-affiliated organizations. Most noise coming from these groups is more focused on eradicating the Shiites and other sects wherever they are encountered." "In the 1990s, then-Grand Mufti Abdul Aziz Ibn Baz issued a fatwa about the permissibility of (sulh) peace with the Israelis, citing various aspects of the prophetic tradition."

Destroyed Palestinian villages

"But before there was the "bible themed" nature reserve, there was the Palestinian village of Hudtha. In 1945 Hudtha's population was 10,310 and after the Nakba it was only 600 according to Zochrot, the Israeli NGO committing to remembering the Palestinian Nakba. Zochrot says Hudtha was expelled on December 5, 1948." (thanks Amir)

Daughters of the Saudi King

Notice that US media still observe a strict policy of ignoring this story. (thanks Marc)

In passing

"The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said jihadist fighters executed 15 civilians in the northeastern province of Hasakeh. At least seven children were among those killed by members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant near the town of Ras al-Ain, it said." (thanks Basim)

The Spell of Israel

"The most powerful nation on earth is continually brought to heel by a small Middle Eastern country which has managed to put a spell on our leaders.  They may think that they have power and agency, but they don’t.  There always, Barak appears to say, will be an Israeli or someone acting on Israel’s behalf looking out for Israel’s interests whether in the halls of Congress or in the White House.  You have no power we don’t give you, appears to be the message." (thanks Michael)

a liquor truck turns over in Saudi Arabia

  So a truck turns over in Saudi Arabia revealing a load of liquor bottles disguised as olive oil bottles.  The best part of the story is that the paper said that people "tampered with the contents" of the truck when it turned over.  Would you like to tamper with a glass?

Thomas Friedman's sophisticated analysis of foreign policy

"What they [Islamic extremists] needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house—from Basra to Baghdad—and basically saying:

Which part of this sentence don't you understand?: You don't think we care about our open society? You think this [terrorism] fantasy [you have]—we're just gonna let it grow? Well, suck. on. this. That, Charlie, was what this war was about. We coulda hit Saudi Arabia....We coulda hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could." (thanks Sinan)

Imagine if this was an ad by a Muslim group: imagine the international uproar

(thanks Thomas)

Sleaze: the last refuge of a falling newspaper (An-Nahar of Lebanon)

  I have been telling you that about the dramatic decline and demise of An-Nahar, which used to be the leading Lebanese daily despite it right-wing, sectarian Christian and racist ideology.  Now, to attract viewers to its website, it specializes in sleaze.  These are the top most read items on its site (according to its own tabulation): "1) Maryam who is accused of adultery and apostasy awaits the death sentence after delivering her baby. 2) A controversial rape. 3) This is how George Clooney pampers his fiance, Amal Alamuddin (in pictures). 4) The daughter of Bruce Lee and Demi Moore shops topless.  5) The legs of Kate Middleton angers the Queen of England."  Now you know why Gulf oil sheiks have been funding the paper.

PS Michele alerted me that I wrote Bruce Lee instead of Bruce Willis.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

Look how knowledgeable the correspondent of the New York Times, David Kirkpatrick, is?

"Mr. Sisi is competing against a lesser-known, underfunded and ideologically similar opponent, Hamdeen Sabahi".  This about a leftist Nasserist who opposes every aspect of US foreign policy. 

Abu Hasan Salameh

"In the most chilling section of the book, Mossad officials told the CIA that they wanted to assassinate Salameh and asked if he was secretly working for the Americans. If he was a formal CIA agent, he would not be killed (but the Mossad would be entitled to see everything he was telling the CIA). Ames rushed to Lebanon and asked Salameh for permission to tell the Israelis he was a fully recruited CIA asset. Salameh said no. A couple of months later, Salameh was killed in a remote-controlled car bombing in Beirut."

The International War on Al-Akhbar

"Al-Akhbar is a newspaper that is banned throughout the Arab World.

Saudi Arabia blocks Al-Akhbar’s website.

Qatar is financing the attempts to empty the newspaper of its personnel and employees.

The Syrian government rejects our criticisms, so they ban the circulation of Al-Akhbar in Syria, while the criminals among the Syrian opposition threaten us with beheading.

France’s Ambassador in Beirut gloats over Al-Akhbar’s imminent closure, as his colleague in the United Nations publicly accuses our correspondent of not being a journalist, but “a security agent.” Why? Simply because we demand the freeing of the international freedom fighter Georges Ibrahim Abdallah who is being held hostage by the French administration - against the decisions of justice and the logic of the law.

Al-Akhbar is a newspaper that is viewed as a threat by the American government after we published the “Wikileaks” cables, which revealed the American conspiracies against our peoples, and the US government is currently attempting to prevent us from publishing the documents that divulge its ongoing espionage against hundreds of millions of individuals.

Al-Akhbar is a newspaper that is described by the government of the Israeli enemy, in its letters to the United Nations, as the mouthpiece of terrorism. "

Where does the New York Times get its native opinion writers from?

From Joseph:  "Where does the Times find Latin Americans to write op-eds like this?  Enrique Krauze impressed the white man by calling for Mexico's oil to be privatized.  The guy who wrote the editorial about Gabriel García Márquez, Enrique Krauze, gets even more right wing when he's writing in Spanish.  Here's his article eulogizing the Mexican cement oligarch, Lorenzo Zambrano.  He claims Zambrano earned his wealth by the sweat of his brow and he uses really gross religious language to justify his wealth.  This is the equivalent of saying Carlos Slim is a self-made man who earned his fortune.  His writing reminds me a lot of oil and gas kingdom regime media.

In reality, Zambrano's wealth was passed down from his great uncle, Francisco Madero, the wealthy right winger who hijacked the Mexican Revolution.  The company he inherited from his great uncle, Cemex, has a monopoly on cement production in Mexico, a fact which is even admitted by the US Embassy in Mexico.

So, the Times purposefully selects Latin Americans who identify with the traditional white right wing power structure, a group which has controlled Latin America since the Spanish and Portuguese conquests.  The people who are vilified in the Times are those like Castro, Chavez, Morales and Correa; who have threatened the power of this institutionalized oligarchic elite."

Obama announces changes in the Arab world

"And watching these trends, or the violent upheavals in parts of the Arab World, it’s easy to be cynical.  But remember that because of America’s efforts, because of American diplomacy and foreign assistance as well as the sacrifices of our military, more people live under elected governments today than at any time in human history.  Technology is empowering civil society in ways that no iron fist can control.  New breakthroughs are lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.  And even the upheaval of the Arab World reflects the rejection of an authoritarian order that was anything but stable, and now offers the long-term prospect of more responsive and effective governance. " He should have added with the exception of our allies in Morocco, Libya, Somalia, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, and the PA.

Lebanon is a recepient? Prepare the bomb shelters

"he called on Congress to finance what he called a Counterterrorism Partnerships Fund, with up to $5 billion to provide training in these operations to vulnerable countries like Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey, all neighbors of Syria."

Wise nugget of the day

"If the United States decided to effectively accept Mr. Assad’s continued rule on the grounds that he can provide a bulwark against terrorism, as some foreign policy thinkers have recommended, “that would crystallize the thinking of all these groups by convincing them that they are under an immediate American threat,” said Emile Hokayem, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“A lot of these groups don’t have a fixed idea about a global jihad, and they could go one way or the other, depending on Western policy,” he said." So the Jihadi Bin Ladenite groups, according to this strain of thought, is not really opposed to the US but may disagree with the US if it refrains from opposing Asad. 

Sen. Paul is trying to learn about Israel

"Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America and a close associate of Mr. Adelson’s, said that when he pressed Mr. Paul to explain his position on aid to Israel in a recent meeting in the senator’s Washington office, Mr. Klein left reassured. “He said if there was a vote and for any reason it seemed like it was actually going to be close, he would vote for it,” Mr. Klein said.
The issue of aid to Israel also came up last year in a meeting with the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Members pressed the senator, and he conceded that while he would eventually like to terminate all foreign aid, he knew that would not be realistic now. “You could see he was a work in progress,” said Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary to George W. Bush and a member of the Jewish coalition’s board. “He’s thinking about these issues; he’s trying to learn.” Think harder, Senator.

The US and Gen. Haftar

"The United States has sent confusing signals about the standoff. The State Department has said it does not condone General Hifter’s offensive, and has warned against the use of violence. At the same time, the United States ambassador in Libya, Deborah Jones, said recently in Washington that she could not “condemn” General Hifter’s actions, partly because he was pursuing extremist groups that Washington considers terrorist organizations."

What do you call this guy?

"Mahmoud Abbas: collaboration with Israeli army, secret police is “sacred”"

Another Hollywood Bimbo visits occupied Palestine without knowing it is occupied

And now this guy.  I swear I dont even know if he sings, dances, or acts.  (thanks Michele)

These are US instructions

"U.N. Security Council members are considering a draft resolution to authorize cross-border aid deliveries into Syria at four points without government consent," "All delivery routes must be made available to us – both cross-line and cross-border," Kang told the council, according to a statement after the closed-door briefing on Ban's report.

It is not news even when Israel demolishes a whole village

""Israeli soldiers demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib, in the Naqab (Negev), for what amounts to the 69th consecutive time, on Thursday, say witnesses."" (thanks Amir)

Flash: Sisi news

I was just informed that Gen. Sisi has also won the Colombian presidential election but it was close.

Standards for voting at the Syrian embassy in Beirut

"The rules for voting were lax, with many people casting multiple ballots. "  This is an outright lie.  Rachel Karam, a far better and more professional a reporter, was at the Syrian embassy all day yesterday and she reported on New TV that while people brought several ballots to cast, only one was accepted from each voter.  But then again: take a look at one page of tweets by Ms Sly and you know that it is about propaganda and not journalism for her.

Liz Sly who by far deserves the label of the worst foreign correspondent covering Syria and the most propagandistic, stumbles on yet another theory as to why Syrians in Lebanon voted in such large number

"The large turnout here was spurred in part by a widespread rumor that those who do not vote will not be allowed to return home".  So it was merely the rumor that spurred tens of thousands to line up for two long days under a burning sun.  The rumor.  When I read this yesterday, I thought to myself: how would I treat a college paper by a student with such methods of documentation? How did such writers make it into college?  But worse: she then reverses herself with this: "Many of the voters were diehard Assad supporters who showed up in convoys, honking horns, waving the president’s picture and shouting slogans. “Our blood, our souls, we pledge to you, Bashar,” chanted a knot of men as they climbed the last stretch of hill leading to the embassy."  Wait. So if they were diehard Assad supporters why would they need to be instigated by the rumor? 

What is the leading story in the Syrian regime newspaper, Tishrin?

Bashsar meeting with a delegation from North Korea. But what is amazing about this paper of the regime is that you look at it and it is as if time froze three years ago. 

Syrian voters around the world: according to Anne Barnard they were partly motivated by fear

They do look scared in Spain, don't they?

In Argentina.
  Egypt.  Why can't you just accept that your assumptions and premises about political developments in Syria were not only wrong-headed but purely propagandistic?

Threats agaisnt Syrian voters

Did Western media report that Syrian rebels (the Nusrah Front and the "moderate" Islamic Front) issued a Fatwa calling for the killing of any Syrian who vote in the Syrian presidential election?  They were busy reporting about rumors (see my post about Liz Sly's article in the Post within the hour) about Syrian voters being forced by the regime to vote, while ignoring death threats fatwawawas against Syrian voters. Even the Fee Syrian Army issued a statement which has implicit threats as well.  

This just in

The reliable Al-Ahram newspaper has just announced that Sisi won the Egyptian AND Syrian presidential elections. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bahrain update

From Angry Arab's Bahrain correspondent: "Here's a France24 report on the killing of a 14 year old Bahraini boy by police. The story has been underreported and I've seen almost no coverage. The article has a link to a video where you can see police shooting at a group of young protestors. You then see the victim on a bench bleeding. Since they were caught on video, the interior ministry decided to launch an "investigation." However the investigation has stalled because no witnesses are willing to come forward. Now tell me, who in their right mind is going to go to the interior ministry and say, "so I was protesting and calling for the downfall of the regime and a bunch of your guys started shooting at us?" Obviously the point of this so called investigation is to arrest more people for protesting."

Burning Merkava: ha ha ha

Marc sent me this:
"the best part of stories is the comments. under the ynet story u posted some guy wrote hezbollah will be distressed when they find out tanks dont burn that easily, and then another guy responded with that link below hahahaha


Michael Davison •  Top Commenter • Ra'anana, Israel
I'm afraid that they'll be terribly distressed when they find out (if and when the time comes) that it won't be quite so easy to burn a real Merkava IV as it was to build this one made out of cartons, paint and paper-mache.
Reply • Like • Follow Post • Edited • 16 hours ago
Joe Harb • Follow •  Top Commenter


""In the fall of 2012, a young Pakistani girl named Rimsha Masih was released from a three-week stint in a local prison where she had been held for blasphemy.
Fearing for her safety, the Pakistani government hustled her aboard a military helicopter to be flown to an undisclosed location.

A photographer at the scene, Farooq Naeem, snapped a picture of Masih in the helicopter, ...It’s a powerful image, but it also captured something else – a curious detail that a source familiar with the event recently noted to ABC News: a small red patch on the helicopter pilot’s shoulder that appears to say “Department of State Air Wing” surrounding what looks like the seal of the U.S. State Department."" (thanks Krim)

Young Palestinian girls detained on suspicion of - eating cherries

"Israeli soldiers and police detained four Palestinian girls between the ages of 11 and 15 on suspicion of — eating cherries from trees belonging to the Jewish settlement of Maon in the south Hebron hills on Tuesday. The four were held at the Kiryat Arba police station."

At least Aljazeera English had an accurate report on Syrian voting (the author could be fired)

"This was not an ordinary voting day. It was a parade of Syrians celebrating their embattled president, Bashar al-Assad, and expressing support for him in the battle to quell the uprising that erupted three years ago. 

 Since early morning,    tens of thousands of Syrians flocked to the heavily fortified area surrounding the Syrian embassy in Lebanon as expatriate  voting  began ahead of the June 3 presidential election.

 With some of Lebanon's one million Syrian residents and refugees trying to cast their votes, this was the most visible mass gathering the country has witnessed in the past few years and possibly, the largest-ever gathering of Syrians outside their country.

 Cars and buses carrying Syrian voters thronged the main highway linking Beirut city centre to Baabda, where the embassy is located, while a stream of people trying to reach the embassy could be seen walking uphill for several kilometres in the blistering heat, amid the smell of gas and the loud nationalistic anthems blaring from some cars.

 The trip was not worthwhile for a large number of voters who could not reach the embassy, tucked away in a narrow street in a security complex, as the Lebanese military tried to manage the crowds. "

Wahhabi dress code for Qatar

"Qatar has launched a social media campaign urging tourists to dress “modestly” in public and respect the Islamic country’s values." (thanks Laure)

Rula Amin has yet another theory of why so many Syrians voted in Lebanon

""Some of these people came here to vote because they support Bashar al-Assad. Others are concerned that if they don't vote, their families back in Syria may get in trouble." (thanks Joseph)

Look: the New York Times has a new theroy about Syrian voting in Lebanon

"Ahmed al-Ali, 16, a restaurant worker from Aleppo, marked the ballot in his own blood and then dabbed his face with it, declaring, “My blood type is Bashar.” The voting age is 18."  So that means that all the tens of thousands who voted were under age. Case closed.

The US puppet Hamid Karzai has more dignity than all Arab tyrants combined

"A Karzai spokeswoman, Adela Raz, said that the U.S. Embassy tried to arrange a meeting during Obama’s visit to Bagram but that the Afghan president declined. Raz said Karzai invited Obama to the presidential palace instead. Afghan officials indicated that asking Karzai to meet at the U.S. military base, rather than his own home, was a sign of disrespect."  And do you notice that US media turned negative on Karzai only in the last year when the latter turned negative on the US?  Do you remember the laudatory press about him when he was the obedient puppet?

Washington Post--like the New York Times--justifies car bombs by Syrian rebels

"A car bomb went off in a pro-government neighborhood in the central Syrian city of Homs, killing at least 10 people, activists and a government official said. The blast in the Zahra district, predominantly inhabited by Alawites and Christians".

Liz Sly, having shown her ignorance of Lebaonn and Syria, now reports on Saudi Arabia

"over the subsequent six decades the succession passed  from brother to brother roughly in order of their age."  How do I put it, Ms. Sly, it is not true.  Not the older prince took over.

Ukraine versus Syria

When the Ukrainian government (even before the recent staged election during the reign of a democratically elected--albeit corrupt--president who was ousted) bombs rebels in the East, it is portrayed in the Western media as a legitimate fight against terrorism and protests.

Women in the US (not in Pakistan)


History of Lebanon in the Washington Post

"Israel invaded Lebanon repeatedly, including in 1982 in an offensive that initially was meant to drive PLO fighters from southern Lebanon.

The war turned into a drawn-out military occupation of parts of the south, where Israel carved out a “security zone” meant to serve as a buffer against cross-border attacks by the Lebanese Hezbollah militia."  So Israel invaded Lebanon and occupied the country where Hizbullah did not exist.  But according to the Post, Israel "carved" a security zone to defend against Hizbullah attacks? This is like saying that the Nazi regime occupied France to defend Germany from the French resistance.

classic intimidation tactics


This woman was voting in Lebanon either because 1) she was afraid and was forced to vote (see the reporting of Anne Barnard today); 2) she wanted to vote because she was afraid that the Syrian government would sabotage her documentation papers (see the tweets of Sam Dagher of WSJ).  3) She was forced to vote by Hizbullah (see the headlines in Saudi/Qatari/Hariri media.  The fear is visible on her face. 

Attack on the international chemical weapons inspectors team in Syria

Read all the accounts in the Western press about the attack on the international chemical team.  Those reports all fit into the strict orders that the US government has sent to all UN agencies to refrain from blaming the Syrian rebels for any attack.  Read the details of the attack: as soon as the inspectors left the escort of the Syrian regime forces, they were subjected to attack and then the media cover up and the convoluted reports which--typically in those cases--tried to bury the truth under regime-said-rebels-said.

The US really cares about elephants and democracy in Africa

"Under the new Africa plan, the Pentagon is spending nearly $70 million on training, intelligence-gathering equipment and other support to build a counterterrorism battalion in Niger and a similar unit in nearby Mauritania that are in their “formative stages,” a senior Defense Department official said."

Jay Leno explains why he has not been funny in more than twenty years

"Leno, for whom it will be his first trip to Israel, said he didn't have "any problem" with his decision to perform in Israel, despite growing calls on famous artists by many pro-Palestinian Arab activists to boycott the Jewish state.

"It's a great honor. It's a great country. It's a great people," he said, adding that while he sees both sides of the Israeli-Arab conflict, he considers himself to be "very pro-Jewish, very pro-Israeli." Leno himself is not Jewish.

"At some point in your life, you have to sort of take sides. I tend to side with the Jewish point of view on many things, especially issues like this one. I realize how important Israel is," said Leno, according to Fox News."  Now, I understand when one is pro a political regime or a state but what does it mean when someone says that "I am pro-Presbyterian"?  What does it mean? (thanks Mohammed)

Religious freedoms in the Zionist entity

"Benedictine monks at the Dormition Abbey who share the compound complained of being spat at almost daily. A year ago, two of the abbey’s cars were destroyed and crosses were smashed at the mount’s Protestant cemetery."

Who can vote in Europe and why?

From Joerg in Berlin:  "in Germany Syriens were not allowed to cast their vote at the embassy, only Egyptians and Ukrainians.

And of course the Europeans were allowed to cast their ridiculous "vote" ".

By the way, who is the "foremost Palestinian intellectual and political leader of our time"? Just wodering

 "Sari Nusseibeh, who as one of the foremost Palestinian intellectual and political leaders of our time and the President of Al Quds, has vigorously abjured resorting to violence in the struggle against Israel. Sari Nusseibeh is a strong believer in the unity of civilizations and in the potential for Israelis and Palestinians to be natural allies."

The US will withdraw from Afghanistan but...

"An invisible army of American diplomats, intelligence personnel, civilian government officials, and contractors will remain in Afghanistan well in the future, likely outnumbering the 9,800 troops that will be there next year and the smaller numbers of troops that will be there in the years to come." "By the Pentagon's latest count, there are 61,452 contractor personnel supporting the Defense Department in Afghanistan, including 20,865 civilians."

The US wants the Libyan people to resolve their differences without foreign intervention, damn it

"The U.S. military has ordered the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, with 1,000 Marines on board, to move toward the Libyan coast, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday,"

European democracies would love Arabs to vote...except

""France, Germany and Belgium have banned Syrian citizens" from voting, along with the United Arab Emirates,"

universal values

"New data from NatCen Social Research's British Social Attitudes survey shows that 30% of Brits describe themselves as either "very" or "a little" prejudiced against people of other races." (thanks Amir)

Where does the New York Times find those natives from the around the world?

I used to think that those agreeable and docile Arab natives are of the Zionist search for stooges but this search seems to be universal in the paper's coverage.  Look at this guy for example:  "But for me and many other Latin-Americans, his undeniable literary achievement has been overshadowed by a moral failing: his long, intimate friendship with Fidel Castro and (far more important) his unflinching acceptance of the worst abuses of the Cuban regime."  I mean, who in Latin-America was ever bothered by the friendship between García Márquez and Castro except you and few other right-wing loons? Who?  If anything, his friendship with Castro added to his aura, and did not diminish from it.  The New York Times editorial page the product of a universal search to find natives from the around the globe who can sound like mainstream American journalists.

The Ban of Bassim Youssef

Bassem Youssef was banned by an order from the Servitor of the two holy sites (and the unholy Ikea Store in the kingdom).  (thanks Yusuf)

Another Saudi fatwawawa

"A prominent Saudi cleric has declared that online conversations between men and women are religiously forbidden and has warned that they may lead to committing sin. According to Saudi daily al-Eqitisadiya, Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the Saudi Committee of Senior Scholars, said that chatting online through social networks falls under the forbidden “khulwa” (a religious term describing a situation where a man and a woman are alone in a private area).

Whilst some users praised the cleric and said that he was right, most other users ridiculed him and his views by saying things such as “why don’t they (religious clerics) just ban women all together?”"

Read the headline of the New York Times: that some Syrian refugees in Lebanon voted out of fear. She looks terrifed doesn't she? She looks like she was brought to the embassy against her will. Scary really.

Qatari, Saudi, and Hariri media with the same message

Look at this image.  The same headline (that Hizbullah somehow was able to force Syrian refugees in Lebanon to vote for Bashshar in Beirut) appears in all those publications.

A message from Zionists to Sari Nusseibeh

The message from Zionists to Sari Nusseibeh is clear.  It says:  No matter what you do and how much you prostrate, we shall humiliate you.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Glenn Greenwald on NSA's role in the Middle East

"yes, one of the things we want to work on are documents that detail NSA cooperation with some of the worst tyrants in the Gulf region, both to augment their own domestic surveillance capabilities and also for the NSA to share with those regimes information they get about those countries. This is definitely a big story that remains to be told that we want to work on now…. All I can say is there is a lot more reporting to do on that region of the world....'"

Sisi won

After nail biting moments, Egyptian regime TV is reporting the unexpected: that Gen. Sisi won with 120% of the votes.

This could become the standard theory of Western correspondents in Beirut

Hariri TV stumbles upon the truth: they found A Syrian refugee who revealed the secrets. He said that "Hizbullah forced us to vote for Asad".  Kid you not.

PS This just in. Hariri TV is reporting that A Russian citizen revealed that Hizbullah forced the Russian people to vote for Putin.

Western reactions to Syrian voting

I have never seen such Western dismay over voting before. 

Syrian voting in Jordan

March 14 racism against Syrians: May Chidiac

This is the major March 14 figure (who has a media foundation named after her) from today (translation by Fadi): ""In 2005' we expelled 35000 Syrian soldiers from Lebanon, and we naively allowed MILLIONS (refugees) of Assad supporters to reinvade our country ... Let them go home and die for Assad, they suck the oxygen out of Lebanon!""

Syrian voters in Stockholm

Chanting for Bashshar in Stockholm.  Why can't Sweden ban Syrian voting like other advanced Western democracies, damn it?

More voting at the Syrian embassy in Lebanon

 Embedded image permalink
But don't be alarmed: Anne Barnard has a theory that a Syrian told her interpreter something that he (or she indirectly) mistook to mean that they were forced (see below).

Glenn Greenwald in his first interview with Arab media

Comrade Glenn speaks to Al-Akhbar (English and Arabic).

a Syrian voter in Europe

A Syrian voter in Europe was reporting to me her disgust at Syrian intelligence.  She said as she went to vote in the embassy that the mukhabarat atmosphere has not changed, as if a brutal war has not been taking place, and as if things in the regime has not changed.  But when I asked her who she voted for: she said she voted for Bashshar. 

What if?

The Syrian regime and the resistance camp will be really pissed if all those Syrians who voted in Lebanon today supported the presidential candidate, Mahir Al-Hajjar. 

This in Mecca

رجل أمن سعودي يتكئ على الكعبة ويضع قدمه على الحجر الأسود
This picture is widely circulating by Arabs: it shows a Saudi security man leaning against the Ka`bah with his shoe against the black stone.  House of Saud may feel embarrassed enough to behead the poor man.

PS Oh, the man is now under investigation by the House of Saud's military.

Syrian embassy in Stockholm

(thanks Rihan)

PS A witness told me that ten supporters of the opposition showed up to sabotage the vote but were clearly overwhelmed by the numbers of the other side. The police came and they were dispersed.

Syrian voters in Lebanon bragging

I read a comment by a Syrian on FB: he was bragging that at least Syrians in Lebanon--unlike the Lebanese--vote for free and not in accordance with cash payments from the Hariri family.  Good point.

Egyptians in Lebanon and their election

Responding to Western correspondents in Beirut, Sanaa Khoury (editor of media section of As-Safir) wrote to me on FB saying if those thousands of Syrians were forced to vote, how come the Egyptian voters in Lebanon could not be compelled to vote for Sisi at the Egyptian embassy this week? 

They love them, but dead

Somebody on Facebook was commenting on the grotesque manifestation of racism against the Syrian people by March 14 folks today: she wrote that those love the Syrian people but only when dead.

Syrian voting in Lebanon


According to Anne Barnard and other Western correspondents in Beirut those were forced to vote against their will.

Why Syrians in Lebanon voted

It is quite amusing to watch Western correspondents in Beirut on Twitter scrambling to find theories to explain the unpleasant (for them) footage of throngs of Syrians voting in Lebanon at the Syrian embassy.  (One even wondered if Syrians are voting in other places in Lebanon as if the Syrian embassy has consulates around the country).  Every hour you see another theory introduced.  Many of them simply copy the propaganda spin of March 14 media (their latest tale is that Hizbullah members are voting--kid you not but you have to excuse March 14 media today, they went ballistic all day today as the scenes defied their expectations and desires).  The Syrian ambassador in Lebanon in fact was candid when he said that they did not anticipate those numbers and that they were ill-prepared and did not even had enough ballot boxes.  By the way, did you see pictures of Syrians voting in Stockholm? Were those Hizbullah as well? Now I know why France, US, UAE and other countries banned Syrians from voting.  I guess the cult of voting is a Western ritual to be celebrated except in those cases when voting goes against US agenda.  Al-Mayadin TV is reporting that some 250,000 Syrians in Lebanon voted. 

Syrians voting in Lebanon today

The lesson judging from already Western nervousness, displeasure, disappointment, dismay, discomfort, perplexity, confusion, and alarm regarding the massive voting by Syrians in Lebanon is that it is really lovely and praiseworthy when Arabs vote in US-managed and staged election, but it is disgusting when Arabs vote in large numbers against the wishes of Western agenda. How dare they?

Covering the Syrian vote in Lebanon: Anne Barnard builds a theory on the basis of a phrase uttered by one Syrian in a language that

I knew that Western correspondents in Beirut would spin the massive voting by Syrian in Lebanon.  And I knew that they all have that last refugee of lazy and incompetent Western reporters: to reproduce the propaganda spin of the local side that is sponsored by Western governments.  That usually does the job.  I thought I would visit Anne Barnard on Twitter to see how she was spinning the situation and here is a sample:

 Anne Barnard (@ABarnardNYT
"could be obligation, pressure, could be "we had to come." not clear what he meant. then he said "it's our duty."
"some yes some no. Pressure could be in people's minds or subtle and deniable. Some very enthusiastic, others less."
"and many are clearly acting of their own accord, while for others feeling of coercion might be subtle not overt."
"But another friend in beirut said her Syrian manicurists believed in the threats and felt they had to go vote /6"
"Did these ppl overinterpret what they were told out of own fears or was threat explicit? Hard to say, but telling either way. /4"

Now notice how she strains to provide her friends among the Syrian "rebels" and their supporters with explanation to undermine the significance of the show of force by Syrian voters in Lebanon.  And who in the right mind would really believe that Syrians in Lebanon could be intimidated into supporting one side or another when: 1) Lebanon is deeply divided and any Syrian could easily find a side to sponsor; 2) when Syrians in Lebanon have been so free to place bombs and to go fight in Syria on this side or another over the last two years; 3) how on earth could anyone force a Syrian in Lebanon to go and vote? How does that work?  Now I know that methods of documentation by Ms. Barnard are rather comical (along the lines I heard from a "friend" or "a Syrian" I spoke to, etc) but I also know that she stumbled on a phrase uttered BY ONE SYRIAN in Lebanon that she spoke to through an interpreter.   My informants in Lebanon (you have no idea how many I have), tell me that her Syrian interpreter is a vocal supporter of the Fee Syrian Army.  So what was the phrase in question? She heard one Syrian tell her (through an interpreter) that "jina bil-quwweh", which Ms. Barnard took to means were came here forced or compelled while it most likely means we "came against all odds".   But most importantly: who can look at the enthusiastic crowd today in Lebanon and think: they were brought against their will or that they were intimidated to come? How dumb is that, really?

A Ukrainian friend posted this on FB

Western correspondents in Beirut and Syrian voting in Lebanon

Go to Twitter and you find that early morning several Western correspondents were assuming (or predicting) that no Syrians would go to the Syrian embassy to vote. That is the extent to their knowledge of Syria. 

Today is a field day for the March 14 racism against the Syrian people: they let it all out.

"Israeli army planned to use Paris synagogue as recruitment site"

"French Jews have condemned the Israeli army for its plan to use the Paris Grand Synagogue as a recruitment site."

The racist campaign against Syrians in Lebanon

Most Western correspondents don't know Arabic but they would not report to you this even if they knew Arabic: March 14 media in Lebanon have started a racist campaign calling for the expulsion of Syrian refugees in Lebanon because of the scenes of long lines of refugees waiting to cast a vote in the Syrian embassy in Lebanon.  This one is only a sample.  It is titled: "Return them to Syria".

Maya Angelou

What Western (or oil and gas Arab) media won't tell you about Maya Angelou is that she moved to Cairo in the 1960s and worked in Nasser's English language media.  She was a huge fan of Nasser and always spoke fondly of him.

Since this won't be covered by the Western correspondents in Beirut

Do you know that the leadership of March 14 Movement (what is billed as "pro-Western" in the silly Western media although the movement includes a Jihadi element) has just called for the eviction of all Syrian refugees in Lebanon who are supportive of the Syrian regime?

Syrian and Egyptian elections

There are so many misconceptions spread by Western media about the Arab world. In the last two days, two were shattered: 1) that Sisi was going to sweep the election in Egypt and that he has wide support. 2) judging by the scenes of Syrians flocking to the Syrian embassy to vote, support for Bashshar Al-Asad has always been disregarded by Western media.  Furthermore, while the election in Syria is a sham, it has not necessarily been perceived as such by all Syrians.  The reason however has to do with the desire to return to their homes.  The Syrian armed groups and the exile opposition failed to inspire hope among the refugees (or many of them) regarding their ability to restore order to Syria (regardless whether you think that Bashshar can or can't d that).  So many of the assumptions of Western media coverage of Syria have been shattered today.  Lebanon is the only place where the host government can't impose the intimidation tactics on potential Syrian voters as in other Arab or Western countries and those scenes should be studied.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Lies, ignorance, misinformation, and fabrication of Israeli media: the burning of the replica of Merkava in Sidon, Lebanon

The Israeli tank on fire in Sidon First, look how this Israeli paper bills the story: "Hezbollah destroys mock Merkava on withdrawal anniversary" when Hizbullah had nothing to do with the affairs. Comrades from the Marxist-Leninist Popular Democratic Party (a small local party) worked on the replica for months.  Then the experts on the Middle East at the Israeli media went to work: they had to offer what they know about the "Popular Democratic Party", here is the account: "more than 25 members of one of Lebanon's most popular political parties".  Ha ha ha ha.  The Israeli Arabists heard the word "popular" in the name of the very small (tiny, in fact) party, and assumed that it is popular as in popular.  So they billed the tiny party as "one of the most popular parties" in Lebanon.  How dumb and how ignorant are Israeli experts on the Arab world?  

The humiliation of Sisi

While Western and Arab media were busy reporting on the public adulation of Sisi, young Egyptians on social media were quietly preparing for this public humiliation of Sisi.  It has to be said that his asinine TV interviews sealed his fate among the young: he came across as nothing but a kook. 

Sisi republic

Vote for Sisi or pay a fine.  (thanks Yusuf)

Human Rights Watch's petition for the release of Syrian activists from the jails of Syrian rebels

This is quite hilarious (if it is not so tragic).  Human Rights Watch assembled signatories to this petition without mentioning that: 1) some of the signatories are fronts for the Syrian rebels themselves, i.e. the captors. 2) So Human Rights Watch is calling on groups which call for arming of the Syrian rebels to implore them to release their captives.  3) Some of those groups (especially the Lebanese groups mentioned) are mere right-wing fronts for Hariri and Saudi interests.  Enjoy.

PS One of the signatories is the Samir Kasir Foundation. It claims to monitor press violations in the region but it bizarrely excluded all Gulf countries from its definition of the region although its definition includes Israel.

Mocking Sisi

Bassem Youssef famously refrained from mocking Sisi.  He not once mocked him to date. Yet, Egyptian youths in social media have been mercilessly mocking him and it stared long before the "Vote for the Pimp" campaign.

The last two days in Egypt

They show that much of the Western and Arab media have been wrong: that Egyptian youths have already become alienated from Sisi and that the stories of his wide support were highly exaggerated and fabricated. Basically, for all intents and purposes, the young Egyptians of the "revolution" effectively boycotted the election. The debate among them was strictly about whether to boycott or to vote Sabahi.

Egyptian youth casting their vote

Comrade Hossam posted this.

"Egypt elects"

This was posted on FB by Sudanese artist Khalid Wad Albaih.

Michel Sulayman's presidency

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English:  The end of Michel Sulayman's presidency".

Prince Turki on Bin Laden and the plot against the Marxist South Yemen government

"BLITZER: And you're one of the few leaders who's actually met Osama bin Laden.

AL-FAISAL: I did. I met him when, if you like, he was a good guy. This was --

BLITZER: This was in the '80s?

AL-FAISAL: In the mid-'80s when we were all fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.

BLITZER: And did you continue having a relationship with him in the '90s?

AL-FAISAL: The last time I saw him was the end of 1989 or the beginning of 1990, when he came to me with a proposal, at that time, that he wanted to bring his army, as he called it, to fight against the communist regime in South Yemen, which later on became united with North Yemen."

Monday, May 26, 2014

Prince Turki Al-Faysal

Somebody should correct this entry on Turki Faysal and correct the reference in Lawrence Wright's book.  Prince Turki Al-Faysal did NOT graduate from Georgetown in 1968.  He did not complete his studies.  Georgetown, as is customary with those schools chasing wealthy contributors, later conferred a bogus degree on him.

Khalid Mish`al sets the record straight

Waiting full five days, Khalid Mish`al has suddenly decided that his comments made to the Iranian official in Doha, Qatar were "distorted".  His statement attempted to set the record straight by releasing a most convoluted statement ever produced.  Let me translate: Mish`al is trying to lie to both sides simultaneously and he is not sure how to proceed.

Israeli hackers and the Egyptian election

Sisi supporter, actor Husayn Fahmi (a most classist right-winger), trying to explain the embarrassing low turnout claims that an Israeli hacker is warning people to stay away out of fear of trouble.

Wailing Wall

When people look at pictures of video footage of the Wailing Wall they need to remember that the Israeli occupiers created that open space adjacent to the Wall after the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967 by demolishing an entire residential Arab quarter (the Moroccan quarter).

Liberals and Islamists

In this long tedious article, you need to bear in mind this: Islamists refers to clients of Qatar and liberals refers to clients of Saudi Arabia. Good night.

Somalia under US liberation

"But along with training, Danab and the Alpha Group, which is known locally as “Gashan,” meaning “the Shield,” the U.S. also gets an important partnership with both Somalia’s army and intelligence wing. For critics of the program this is seen as an incursion on Somalia’s sovereignty"

prominent American evangelicals introduced a strain of zealous social conservatism—including an especially vicious condemnation of homosexuality

"If you've followed the story of Uganda's infamous "Kill the Gays" law over the past few years, you're probably aware that prominent American evangelicals like Scott Lively and Lou Engle have been harshly criticized for their role in introducing a strain of zealous social conservatism—including an especially vicious condemnation of homosexuality—to Africa."

Most U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan attack houses

"Over three-fifths (61%) of all drone strikes in Pakistan targeted domestic buildings, with at least 132 houses destroyed, in more than 380 strikes." "At least 222 civilians are estimated to be among the 1,500 or more people killed in attacks on such buildings." "The Bureau's analysis found that strikes on mosques and madrassas – religious schools – are the deadliest. At least eight strikes have hit such targets, killing over 17 people on average in each attack. At least 99 civilians have reportedly been killed in total."

Syrian girls forced to marry foreign rebels

"In al-Dana in Idlib, Mohamed Hussein, an activist who conducted research on this subject, told Al-Monitor that a large proportion of these marriages end in divorce after two months, at which time the foreign fighters marry another woman." (thanks Amir)

Sisi Republic

An Egyptian was stripped of his citizenship because his father is Palestinian. (thanks Yusuf)

sectarianism in the House of Saud

"A sectarian campaign was launched by a number of Twitter users against the appointment of Dr. Lamia Al-Brahim, a Saudi Shiite female citizen, as a director of health education in the Ministry of Health in Riyadh on May 14.

Mohammed Al-Mahmood, a writer in Al-Riyadh Newspaper, demanded on May 22, to replace the traditional religious discourse with a moderate one, explaining that sectarianism is the result of Salafi extreme culture. He said that “he had never heard a Shiite preacher calls to kill Sunni Muslims, whereas he confirmed hearing such calls from Salafi advocators”." (thanks Basim)

Prince Charles on Christians in the Middle East

Prince Charles writes an article on the plight of Christians in the Middle East in the mouthpiece of Prince Salman as a tribute to the tolerance and religious coexistence represented by the House of Saud. 

Youth Boycott of the Sisi Election in Egypt

Young Egyptian supporters of revolution are mocking the lack of youth among the voters today.  They are saying that the youth of `Urabi and 1919 revolution were in fact represented

Crimea under Russian rule

Now that the Crimea has been under Russian rule for WEEKS, it is time to assess its economy.  Well, you guessed it: it is in shambles.

Standards of the New York Times

Those who report on the Middle East for the Times can report on Russian affairs, and vice versa. This explains why the Beirut bureau chief of the Times had studied some Russian--not Arabic--in college. 

Did anyone notice this except me? When Anne Barnard reports (always in passing) crimes against civilians by Syrian rebels she always refers to them as insurgents as if to ditinguish them from rebels

"a mortar shell fired by insurgents struck the busy square just outside, killing 12 people."

Ben Hubbard is now expert on Syria AND Lebanon: make room

This is his first work on Lebanese political affairs in the Times. 1) "Correction: May 25, 2014 
An earlier version of this article misstated the year the Lebanese civil war ended. It was 1990, not 2000."  In fact, it was in 1989 but who is counting and what is a decade or more in the lives of people? 2) "Under the agreement that ended the 15-year civil war in 1990, the president must be a Maronite Christian, the speaker of Parliament a Shiite Muslim, and the prime minister a Sunni Muslim."  Well, this sectarian distribution of power was not the product of the Ta'if Agreement in 1989 (not 1990) but was part of the National Pact of 1943. But hey: what are several decades in the lives of people?  I read this and then learned about the expertise of Western correspondents in the Middle East what I knew not before.

The racist separation wall

That Zionist wall does not need to be visited, or prayed on, or blessed, or inspected or even described as "unacceptable".  It needs to be destroyed, brick-by-brick, just like the Zionist entity of occupation.

Working for Human Rights Watch and vomiting racism

Mahmoud sent me this link which has a post by a Human Rights Watch employee (originally Syrian, according to Mahmoud) mocking the Yemeni people. (Read the racist festival underneath).

Dancing for Sisi

(the one to the left is secular).

Sisi was asked whetether he would put the armed forces' budget under parliamentary supervision: his answer

The Qur'an, put to music

The Qur'an, put to music in Indonesia.  Incidentally, the Egyptian musician, Muhammad `Abdul-Wahab, had a project to put the entire Qur'an to music. But the objections of fanatics made him reconsider. 

Prince Turki Al-Faysal with former head of Israeli military intelligence: fitting

The lies of the Maronite patriarch

The Maronite Patriarch claimed (among many recent lies as of late) that he would not be escorted by Israeli police or military during his visit to occupied Palestine. This picture exposes his lies.

The humiliation of Israel: in Sidon, Lebanon

A local Marxist-Leninist party in Sidon (the Popular Democratic Party) worked for months on building a replica of the Israeli tank, the Merkava, to reproduce the humiliation of the Israeli army in South Lebanon.  On the anniversary of liberation of South Lebanon yesterday, the party had a donkey lead a procession of the replica of the Merkava.  At the end of the procession, the people of Sidon were invited to express their feelings toward the Israeli enemy.  Rocks, pebbles, rotten eggs and tomatoes hailed over the Merkava.  But there was a poor comrade from the Party who played the role of the Israeli commander of the tank. Suffice to say, that he suffered a large number of injuries--serious.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Nabil Rajab is free

From Angry Arab's Bahrain correspondent: "Nabeel Rajab was released today! He just completed his two year sentence.

Here's a video of him meeting his family just moments after his release. "

Now honestly: if this story was about four Muslim clerics, wouldn't this story be front page and center?

"Four Orthodox Jewish rabbis and one of their sons conspired to kidnap and force Jewish men into granting their wives religious divorces, according to a federal indictment handed up Thursday."

Russian TV versus US TV in the Middle East

Right-wing, House of Saud advocate, Samir Atallah (a columnist for the mouthpiece of Prince Salman, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, and a columnist for the dying Lebanese daily, An-Nahar) admits the obvious: that Russian propaganda TV (RT) in Arabic has been a success while US propaganda TV, Hurra TV, has been an abysmal failure.  Can we tax payers stop funding it for potato's sake especially that no one is watching, literally no one.

Palestinian children

"Palestinian lives cannot be reduced to dehumanizing, abstract numbers. That each of the 1,400 Palestinian children slain by Israeli forces and settlers since 2000 has a name and leaves behind an incomplete family who loves them. That the 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners held by Israel in an attempt to break the liberation movement have children who haven't been hugged by their fathers or mothers who haven't been kissed by their sons in years. That the testimonies of the survivors of the 1948 ethnic cleansing of Palestine will be told and never forgotten. And that robbed of their cultural heritage and property, Palestinians' history will be recorded, honored and preserved despite Israeli effacement and enforced exile."

Germany also exports democracy to the Middle East

"The top ten buyers of German weapons include Singapore, Brunei, Saudi Arabia, and Algeria, all of which have been accused of major rights violations by human rights organizations."

Dubai Model

"A major British building contractor has been accused of handing striking construction workers over to Dubai police who then beat, imprisoned, and deported them." "Many of those arrested described being slapped, beaten and kicked at the largest prison in Dubai, which shares federal labour laws with Abu Dhabi. Some begged the company to intervene. Several said that a British manager informed of the abuse refused to act to stop it."

Fate of occupation collaborators: despised and humiliated

Palestinian comrades inside the Zionist entity tell me that the restaurant run by Antoine Lahd has closed down due to lack of customers.  The man failed in serving the occupation just as he failed in serving Hummus.  He now lives (in disguise) in France: humiliated and despised. 

Khiyam Prison

"More than 500 women were once held in Khiam. The youngest prisoner was said to be 12-year-old Rabi' Shahrour, who was detained for eight months. Many prisoners died as a result of brutal torture within the prison walls." (thanks Amir)

Israeli ambassador in Canada protests against an art exhibit: only Zionist "art" should be permitted, he insisted

""Israel's ambassador to Canada is condemning an art exhibit at Ottawa's City Hall he says glorifies men and women connected to attacks on Israelis.

The exhibit Invisible — on display at the Karsh-Masson Art Gallery on the ground floor of city hall — is the work of Canadian artist Rehab Nazzal.

Nazzal describes her mix of photographs, audio and video as based on her memories of living as a Palestinian under Israeli occupation and describes it as more concerned with "the brutality of war."" (thanks Sultan)

The listening skills of Anne Barnard and Ben Hubbard

I just listened to a long speech by Hasan Nasrallah (not much new really) and I thought to myself: Anne Barnard (who does not know Arabic) and Ben Hubbard (who knows Arabic) will now claim, yet again, that Nasrallah spoke about "fighting the kakfiri Sunnis", which he never ever said.  But this fabrication has become a standard in the Syrian rebel propaganda in English (because it is obviously not true for Arabic speakers).  Yet, neither Barnard nor Hubbard once spoke about the blatant sectarian rhetoric of Saudi, Hariri and Syrian rebel media and neither ever commented on the speeches by rebels and "intellectuals" in the Syrian exile opposition declaring exterminationist intentions toward the Alawites of Syria.

Jarba and his ilk

Ahmad Jarba now has an alliance with the terrorist group, Mujahedin Khalq.  Fitting really. 

Huwaydi tells his story

Fahmi Huwaydi on the travel ban against him. (thanks Yusuf)

This should be emotional and touching

Former head of Saudi intelligence meets with former head of Israeli military intelligence

An Arab-American candidate for US Senate in Oregon: her views on Israel

Monica Wehby:  ""Monica also believes that the bond between the United States and Israel must remain rock solid. We must always stand by our strongest allies, especially in a region that is going through such turmoil.  As the nuclear negotiations proceed with Iran we must be ever mindful that whatever deal is struck does not jeopardize the security of Israel."" (thanks Joseph)

The Sisi record--thus far

"41,163 people have been arrested and prosecuted since July, independent statistical database Wikithawra said in a report issued Sunday. The report reveals that only 4 percent of the arrests are connected to acts of terrorism, with 89 percent related to political participation. The report also states that 53 individuals detained within this period have died in custody. "

At the Lebanese-Palestinian border: who is scared of whom? Ha ha

Khalid Mish`al pays tribute to Bashshar Al-Asad

I wrote in Arabic before that Khalid Mish`al is the Walid Jumblat of Palestine, that he can't be believed in anything he says.  He was not sincere when he implied--merely implied--that his movement was in support of the Syrian armed revolt, and he is not sincere when he now says that he is grateful to Syria and Iran.  This is a man who is desperate for a role and for a political cover. Now that he no more calculates that the Syrian regime is about to fall next week, he wants to ingratiate himself with that regime.  This is a man who does not care one bit if the Syrian people or any other Arab people is repressed by a tyrant as long as he receives support for his lousy leadership.  This is a man who can't dig himself out of the hole that he has placed himself in ever since he thought that the Muslim Brotherhood will be sweeping the entire region.

Zionist classification

Tell those Zionist hoodlums who are fundraising by using my image (among others) that the quotation attributed to me is not accurate: I never said that the aim of BDS is "to bring down the state of Israel".  I said that the aim of the movement should be to bring down the state of Israel but it is not yet that.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Nabil Al-`Alam

My weekly article for Al-Akhbar: "I Eulogize to you, the Unknown Man: Nabil Al-Alam". 

Flash: Saudi King who has been dying for the last decade is dying in Morocco

According to Mujtahid.  

Monica Wehby

Does anyone know anything about the Arab background of the new Republican candidate for Senate in Oregon, Monica Wehby?  I heard that she knows Arabic.  Has she spoken about her background at all? Not that it would help her fortunes.

Israel and apartheid South Africa

"White reminds readers that Israel's association with apartheid South Africa was longstanding. Both emerged in 1948, and the South African Jewish community heavily funded the Hebrew state in its infancy. In 1961, then South African prime minister and architect of apartheid, Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd, observed that "Israel, like South Africa, is an apartheid state". The two states maintained a close political and military relationship, with Israel enabling South Africa to become a nuclear power following a secret 1975 military co-operation agreement signed by Shimon Peres and P.W. Botha."

Greenwald on Kinsley

"Do I need to continue to participate in the debate over whether many U.S. journalists are pitifully obeisant to the U.S. government? Did they not just resolve that debate for me?"

Scorecard of the American-Iranian financial war

"Rickards concludes, "Iran had fought the United States to a standstill in its financial war, despite enormous disruption to the Iranian economy. The U.S.-Iranian financial war of 2012–13 illustrates how nations that could not stand up to the United States militarily could prove a tough match when the battlefield is financial or electronic." "Sanctions only made them more defiant," he tells the Los Angeles Times." "Back then, Iran had only 164 nuclear centrifuges; by 2013, it had 19,000."  Does that mean that the Iranian economy is not in "shambles"?

American global pacifism: The United States exploded 67 nuclear weapons there between 1946 and 1958, including a bomb 1,000 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima

"This tiny Pacific nation's firsthand experience with nuclear devastation compelled it to take a stand. The United States exploded 67 nuclear weapons there between 1946 and 1958, including a bomb 1,000 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima. Marshall Islanders still suffer high cancer rates and environmental poisoning as a result." (thanks Amir)

Celebration of former leftists in the reactionary press

In the Western reactionary press, like in the New York Times and the Washington Post, as well as in the Saudi press, there are regular features for celebration and veneration of former leftists as they denounce their former beliefs and their former comrades.  But in this case Galeano makes it clear that he has not changed and yet there is a long feature in the Times about his criticism of his own work. 

Syrian and Egyptian presidential "elections"

So I read that Saudi Arabia will dispatch elections observers to Egypt, while North Korea is dispatching election observers to Syria. 

American Military Bases around the world

[US+Military+bases+world.jpg]  When will Russia stop interfering in the affairs of its neighbor? When?

The Nicholas Blanford school of Journalism in Arabic

In the right-wing rag of Liyas Murr, Al-Jumuhuriyyah, they have a story about the shrinking budget of Hizbullah.  The sources are as follows--kid you not:  "Western sources informed the Saudi daily, Al-Watan", and Al-Watan informed Al-Jumhuriyyah. 

Hamid Algar on Abbas Amanat: a delicious book critique

This is a most delicious book critique--one of the best I have read in recent times.  Read for example this passage on the coinage of the "Great Satan":  "Amanat finds worthy of quite lengthy analysis the designation of the United States as the Great Satan in the lexicon of the Islamic Revolution. His discussion of ΟμΓ^ηίο verses concerning Satan leads him to the conclusion that there is no hierarchy among devils; the fact, however, that in sixty-eight verses shaytan is preceded by the definite article does suggest that one among them incorporates satanic qualities more fully than the others. He then moves on to a consideration of the polluting qualities of Satan as detailed in Majlisi's Hilyat al-Muttaqin and a reminder that in Zoroastrianism the believer must preserve himself from Ahrimanic befoulment. But, he informs us, there is a source closer in time for this particular revolutionary slogan - Radio Moscow. For Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas recalls in his memoir, Strange Lands and Friendly People, that after he visited Iran in 1949 and 1950, Radio Moscow denounced him as 'the Big Devil' and his son as 'the Little Devil'. Now, surmises Amanat in characteristic fashion, 'it is safe to assume that the mullas in Qom were listening' to the broadcasts of Radio Moscow (215 - with added emphasis).32  the broadcasts of Radio Moscow (215 - with added emphasis).32 The implied conclusion is that 'the mullas', their ears glued to the radio, were so impressed by Moscow's description of Justice Douglas that they thought it might come in useful one day, which indeed it did, thirty years later on the occasion of the Islamic Revolution. Thus does Radio Moscow join the Reverend Henry Martyn as a remote and unsuspected source for the Islamic Revolution."  My favorite part is this appendix:
We append here a small sample of the misspellings, mistranslations, and associated errors of language that pervade the work. We leave unnoticed numerous errors of English grammar and usage.
p. 3 Nazari should be Nizari.
p. 11 Mutisharri'a should be Mutasharri'a.
p. 45 faki is a modified form not offaqir but oïfaqih.
p. 49 al-Sahib al-Zaman should be Sahib al-Zaman.
p. 50 al-Bihar al-Anwar should be Bihar al-Anwar.
p. 59 taharri-yi haqiqat does not mean 'truth liberation' but 'searching for the truth'; here, Amanat has confused tabarri with tahrir, which is derived from an entirely different triliteral root. He does, however, translate the word correctly on p. 224 as 'investigation'.
p. 59 Ederna should be Edirne.
p. 62 rawh should be ruh.
p. 95 Mawira' al-Nahr should be Mawara' al-Nahr.
p. 114 man uzhurullah should be manyuzhiruhullah.
p. 134 khatam al-nabVin should be khatam al-nabiyin.
p. 153 al-a'lamfi al-a'lam should be al-a'lamfa al-a'lam (meaning 'the most learned, and then the next most learned').
p. 155 Bushher should be Bushehr (or the Anglicized form of the name, Bushire).
p. 156 muqtadi should be muqtada.
p. 161 Mu'tamid al-Dawla should be Mu'tamad al-Dawla.
p. 175 maraji'-i 'uzam should be maraji'-i sizam.
p. 181 a'dal not 'most judicious' but 'most just' or, in this context,
Apocalyptic Islam - A Response to Amanat
Hamid Algar
'most morally upright',
p. 189 Sangilagi should be Sanglaji. p. 202 nijasat should be najasat.
P· 35 fisaha should befasaha. p. 203 Muna should be Mina,
p. 218 dalla means not 'despicable', but 'misguided',
p. 224 a'laim should be 'ala'im. p. 224 muballiq should be muballigh.
As for the maze of misprints found in the endnotes, we content ourselves with a mention of the comical downgrading of Nikki Keddie, professor emerita of Near Eastern History at UCLA, to 'Kiddie' (271, n. 66)."  (thanks Hussein)

Friday, May 23, 2014

limits of liberalism: Michael Kinsley on Greenwald

Yet another liberal attack on Glenn Greenwald after the attack by David Cole.  This is quite revealing about the true limitations of Western liberalism.  Their loyalty to the imperial project has never been in doubt.

China after the veto

Now that China has vetoed a US resolution at UNSC, will US papers start referring to the Chinese economy as being "in shambles"?

If this bigotry was by a Muslim group, it would have been on front pages

"FOR Jerusalem’s Jewish municipality, the photograph of a merry pope in a white skullcap waving at passing crowds from the walls of the Christian Information Centre was a step too far. Officials asked the Franciscan fathers who run the place to take it down. The monks said they could not in good conscience oblige, and invited the police to do it themselves. The police diplomatically stayed away. The municipal authorities did not opine."

NYU on the government of UAE

""NYU's early experience at its portal campus in Abu Dhabi provides support for the claim that the global network structure will be attractive to talented cosmopolitans. Abu Dhabi is a crossroad city, containing in microcosm (but in different proportions from New York) a blend of all the world; it is blessed with a visionary government, economic dynamism, and an increasingly tolerant and welcoming society; and, it is both a repository of a great culture and a symbol of that culture’s adaptation to modernity. We expected our initiative there to be attractive to academic leaders, senior staff (necessarily, the first NYU personnel to arrive on the scene) and faculty (both faculty from NYU in New York and faculty recruited from other universities); however, even our very high expectations proved modest compared to what happened."" (thanks Richard)

PS  See Section II, Subsection C for the quote.

Hate crime in Israel

"After a recent spate of hate crimes, the Israeli police on Wednesday issued restraining orders requiring that several right-wing Jewish activists stay away from the pope and Jerusalem’s Old City during the visit."  Look how the Times does not even mention who those haters are?  If they were Muslims, they would be named in the headline as MUSLIM HATE GROUPS. 

Brotherly Saudi people

A few weeks ago, I held a talk via Skype to a group of young Saudis (inside the Kingdom).  They are a secular non-sectarian Arab nationalist group.  I addressed them as: o brotherly people of Saudi Arabia.  Ha ha.

PS In reference to the last statement by Saudi King when he addressed his people as "the brotherly Saudi people".

The US is not in any way involved in the Khalifah Haftar's war

"He has also vowed to uproot Islamist factions which, he claims, are trying to hijack Libya’s wobbly democracy and have been infiltrated by foreign jihadists. The first to be hit in Benghazi was Ansar al-Sharia. This group, designated a terrorist organisation by America in January, is widely blamed for the attack on an American diplomatic compound in 2012 that resulted in the deaths of the ambassador and three other Americans."

FLASH: Fahmi Huwaydi was banned from leaving Egypt

(Truly moderate) Islamist, Fahmi Huwaydi, has been banned from leaving Egypt. He is by far the most widely read Arab columnist. 

The New York Times brings you the news before it even happens

This is the headline of the New York Times a day before the historical Russia-China gas deal:
"China and Russia Fail to Reach Deal on Gas Plan".  Thank you, o New York Times, for being up to speed on the news.

Central Prison of Aleppo

The prisoners of the Central Prison of Aleppo has been (until yesterday) subject to a brutal siege and bombardment by Syrian rebels.  Did you hear one word of condemnation in the West? Did you read one line of protest from any of the Western human rights organizations which double as an arm of US foreign policy apparatus?

Syrian rebels shell a tent: where is the outrage??

"More than 20 people were killed when Syrian rebels shelled a tent being used for election campaigning in the southern province of Deraa, a monitoring group said on Friday. At least 11 civilians, including a child, were among those killed in the attack which occurred in the al-Matar district of Deraa city on Thursday night, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said." (thanks Amir)

The US is aghast

The US is aghast. The US can't understand how China and Russia can use the veto power to protect war crimes. The US would never ever do such a thing. 

This man may win the Nobel Prize for peace

"During his sermon, the clergyman said: "Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell." He also likened Muslims to the IRA, saying there were cells spread right across the UK." (thanks Basim)

Sultan Al-Qassemi: please say this is not you

I could not believe this article and its language by Sultan Al-Qassemi in the mouthpiece of sons of Zayid.  The language is not even his: "If a few good men, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, in the face of many odds founded the USA, decades later the onus was on Abraham Lincoln and others to protect it. Similarly, if a few good men including Sheikh Zayed and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, in the face of the odds, founded the UAE, decades later, the onus is on Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid to protect it."  Those words will live in infamy really and will come back to haunt you whenever you speak about democracy in the region.  And then here you pay tribute to the GCC force of repression that placed the people of Bahrain in bondage?  "and of Lieutenant Tareq Al Shehhi whose killing earlier this year united all Bahraini factions in its condemnation".  So you are like GCC dynasties? For democracy only among the enemies of House of Saud?   And when you write this:  "Of course, such vile drivel on social media will not have a real effect on the UAE and is nothing but a sad reflection on the fact that a tiny minority of our close friends and family in the Gulf tolerate Twitter snakes in their midst and allow them to continue to spew venom about the UAE." or this: "It can’t expect that if an editor is allowed to spew venom in his tweets and his articles day in and day out, we, the ordinary citizens of the UAE, will simply shrug our shoulders and ignore his insults. "  So what do you suggest is to be done with the editor? Are you in favor of beheading?  Also, Sultan, when you write such piece, do you really think that you sound different than the editors in Tirshrin who defend Bashshar Al-Asad? The language is the same, almost to a word. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

US assets

"But in sifting through the long-dead embers from the embassy bombing, Mr. Bird makes a startling assertion: that an Iranian intelligence officer who defected to the United States in 2007 and is still living here under C.I.A. protection, oversaw the 1983 bombing, as well as other terrorist attacks against Americans in Lebanon."

Look how nice. Look how humane

"Three years after the Central Intelligence Agency set up a phony hepatitis vaccination program in Pakistan as part of the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the Obama administration told a group of American health educators last week that the agency no longer uses immunization programs as a cover for spying operations."

US and economic espionage

"Even before Mr. Snowden walked out of the Hawaii facilities of the N.S.A. with a trove of documents, it was clear that the United States was not above economic espionage, as long as it was not for the direct benefit of specific companies.

For example, the United States spies regularly for economic advantage when the goal is to support trade talks; when the Clinton administration was locked in a high-stakes negotiation in the 1990s to reach an accord with Japan, it bugged the Japanese negotiator’s limousine. At the time, the chief beneficiaries would have been the Big Three auto companies and a smattering of parts suppliers. It is also widely believed to be using intelligence in support of trade negotiations underway with European and Asian trading partners. But in the view of a succession of Democratic and Republican administrations, that is fair game.

Companies can also be targets. Documents released by Mr. Snowden showed that the American government pried deep into the servers of Huawei, one of China’s most successful Internet and communications companies. The documents made clear that the N.S.A. was seeking to learn whether the company was a front for the People’s Liberation Army and whether it was interested in spying on American firms. But there was a second purpose: to get inside Huawei’s systems and use them to spy on countries that buy the company’s equipment.

Huawei officials said they failed to understand how that differed meaningfully from what the United States has accused the Chinese of doing."

Death toll in Syria

This is from an opposition source: "Mr. Abdul Rahman claims to have contacts among government supporters and the security forces, and has provided rare estimates of the toll among pro-government forces: currently 61,170 Syrians, including 37,685 from the military and 23,485 from pro-government militias.

The Syrian Observatory also said that it had tallied 438 dead from Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia fighting on the government side, which has not cited a figure for its own losses. And the group said that 1,224 non-Syrian, pro-government fighters had also died. Iraqi and other foreign fighters, most of them Shiite Muslims, have flocked to the government side, much as foreign Sunnis have joined the insurgents.

The group also said that 42,701 antigovernment fighters had been killed, including more than 13,500 from jihadist groups like the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, both of which are affiliated with Al Qaeda. It has also documented more than 2,000 deaths of people whose names and affiliations could not be determined."  In US media, these details are summarized as: Bashshar has killed 150,000 of his own people.  Notice that Mr. Abdul-Rahman rarely reports the murder of civilians by Syrian rebels.