Thursday, March 31, 2016

Colonial and racist Feminism: the French Minister of Women's Rights

The French Minister of Women's Rights Speaks: She compares veiled women to "American negroes" who supported slavery.

My radio interview: Discussing Arab political developments

You can listen to the interview here.

Zaha Hadid and Israel

When the Israeli occupation state wanted to commission a token Arab museum (intended to cover up the crime of the occupation of Palestine), it sought the services of Zaha Hadid.  Hadid refused.  

Zaha Hadid in Iran

This is a hotel under construction in Tehran; designed by Zaha Hadid. It will be the tallest building in Iran.

Regarding Syria and demonstrations

I hate to bother you but it is time to say this.  The day after the cease-fire was announced in Syria, there were a few demonstrations in Syria.  As soon as the first image arrived to Western news bureau, long articles were written about how the "revolution" restarted and that the non-violent peaceful revolution has resumed.  Western correspondents in Beirut and their editors in NYC and DC wanted so bad to validate the thesis of the silly narrative of a peaceful democratic liberal and secular revolution in Syria.  But what happened next? Well, demonstrations died down, and there was a massive demonstration in support of the regime in Damascus, and there was repression of demonstration in "liberated rebel" areas, and today, there was a demonstration against two rebel groups fighting it out in ghutah.  Of course, the coverage of the resumption of "revolution" stopped in its track.  Who will first write the first critical article about the "the shoddy journalism in the coverage of the Syrian war"?

Can you imagine the uproar and the international news coverage if this was against another religion? Stop Islam written on Univ of Michigan campus

"#StopIslam, Trump 2016 written on University of Michigan campus".  And Zionist hoodlums want to convince school administrators around US college campuses that anti-Semitism (and all forms of it should be rejected and condemned) is more rampant than anti-Arabness or anti-Islam.  (thanks Mel)

Did you know that Zaha Hadid even designed jewelry

Zaha Hadid

architect Zaha Hadid dies aged 65

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Zionist propaganda in passing

"The letter’s real impact may be political: Israel’s unusual, if not unprecedented inclusion with Egypt on such an inquiry is likely to rile Israel’s allies in Washington, who bristle at the notion that the Middle East’s only established democracy could be lumped in with a notorious human rights abuser like Egypt." (thanks Basim)

According to Lebanese police, an Ethiopian maid in Lebanon kills herself by stabbing herself repeatedly on the neck

According to the lousy Lebanese police, an Ethiopian maid in Lebanon kills herself by stabbing herself REPEATEDLY on the neck.  

In an elementary school book in Saudi Arabia, women are classified as animals--kid you not

I won't be surprised if the book was translated into English and distributed by the Zionist lobby--the biggest cheerleader of the House of Saud in the world today.

Western-supported war crimes in Yemen

"Although the United States is Saudi Arabia’s biggest arms supplier, it has competition in that field. Just weeks ago, British Prime Minister David Cameron gushed about the sale of more “brilliant” U.K.-made jet fighters to Saudi, even while reports continue to arrive about likely war crimes in Yemen."

Over 900 children killed in Yemen

"UNICEF verified more than 1,560 incidents of grave violations again children in Yemen. As a result, over 900 children were killed and more than 1,300 were injured in the past year alone. On average, at least six children have been killed or injured every day."

Saudi man arrested for 'accidentally' flying gay pride flag

"Saudi religious police have arrested a doctor for flying the rainbow pride flag above his home in Jeddah, despite his claims he was unaware of the flag's LGBT symbolism.

The man, who was bailed after agreeing to take down the flag, said he bought the rainbow banner online because one of his children liked it and that he did not know it represented LGBT pride, local media has reported.

The report also said two men were recently arrested for using social media to find homosexual partners."

Europe is complicit in war crimes

" “Europe is complicit in Israel’s serious violations of international law, including war crimes, by continuing its thriving military trade and joint military research with Israel and its import of settlement products that result from Israel’s theft of Palestinian land and resources, a policy the EU says it opposes,” the BNC’s Nawajaa said."

Radio interview

I am doing a radio interview today at 5:00PM Pacific time. You may listen live.

BDS campaign

"The target of the campaign is quite focused: ten international companies (eight of them American) that “perpetuate apartheid and human rights abuses by providing technology and resources used by the Israeli military and government to attack and kill Palestinian civilians, maintain and build the Apartheid Wall and checkpoints, and destroy Palestinian property for the purpose of building illegal settlements.” " (thanks Amir)

The cult of AIPAC

"The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a cult,"

West's second closest ally in the Middle East launches a war on "sexual deviance" and increase female hormones in men: cutting off heads in SA

Expression of "sexual deviance" (they mean homosexuality or same-sex-sex) in Saudi Arabia will now result in a death sentence (by cutting the head off).  

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Saudi-controlled branch of the Syrian opposition makes concession to Israel before it even seizes power

"It's not a Purim prank: A Syrian opposition figure has turned to the Israeli public in Hebrew, through The Jerusalem Post's sister publication  Ma'ariv Hashavua, in order to deliver a message.
"We call on all of the national forces to oust the tyranny, and only afterward, we will choose the form and character of the state," reads a message to the Israeli public, delivered by a third party to Ma'ariv Hashavua.
The Ghad al-Suri movement (Syria's Tomorrow), led by Ahmad Jarba, was officially established in Cairo last week. The movement expressed great interest in sending a message to the Israeli public upon its establishment. "  Now I see why those pro-Saudi gangs are called "moderate rebels" in Western media.

On the rebels that Liz Sly and Anne Barnard call "moderate secular Syrian rebels"

"Ghassan said his 30-year-old son was kidnapped in 2013 by the Free Syrian Army, a loose coalition of opponents to Bashar Assad's regime.

After six months he was handed over to the al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front.

"We paid a ransom to the al-Nusra Front. But they tortured him and sold him to Daesh (IS) who decapitated him," he said."

Jordan king making sweet eyes: no wonder Zionists find him irresistible

Saudi regime media insist that Bin Laden was just a patsy and Iranian Supreme leader was directly responsible

Monday, March 28, 2016

Rami Jarrah and Russian military intervention

If there is one symptom of Western and Arab (oil and gas) media coverage of Syria it is inconsistency and ideologically-driven perspective.  Rama Jarrah (who is often called "award-winning"--although I am not sure of the award but it could the Prince Claus award, as the Prince dispenses awards to those who support Western intervention in Syria) called Russia the "airfare of ISIS".  Yet, now I am reading especially this week that it was Russian bombing which drove ISIS out of Palmyra.  Please stick to one spin.  You keep changing.  

This is the kind of ranking that I care about: not about prestige

"Seeing more of its low-income students leave with a diploma in hand has brought California State University, Stanislaus, a measure of fame in recent years. Now the Turlock university tops an unranked national list that could bring it a funding boost as well as glory.
“It’s always nice to be recognized for what we do to serve our students. In this case, being among the best to bring low-income students into a college environment and seeing that they are given the necessary resources to achieve their goal of a college degree is particularly satisfying in that it hits so close to our core mission and responsibilities as a university,” said Stan State President Joe Sheley."

Read more here:"

The Saudi Connection in the Belgium Attacks

"During the 1960s, Belgium’s need for cheap labor and lax immigration policies set in motion a large number of migrants who would make their way to Belgium, particularly from Morocco and Turkey. Seeking to capitalize on the change in demographics, Faisal was able to secure a 99-year rent-free lease of the oldest mosque in Brussels, the Great Mosque of Brussels, and transform it through the monetary influence of the Muslim World League into an Islamic Cultural Center. Originally built in 1880, the building at the time had seen sufficient deterioration. Over an 11-year period, the Muslim World League funded the restoration process culminating in 1978 with its reopening, along with a fresh importation of pious, Gulf imams that began their Saudi-Wahhabi indoctrination. The Muslim World League has continually funded the Islamic Cultural Center in Brussels since the 1967 agreement, but exact figures are not known due to the lack of auditing and private grasp the kingdom keeps on its financial statements. However, over the past 20 years there have been glimpses into the makeup of the program. In 1997, the secretary general of the Muslim World League thanked King Faisal’s successor, King Fahd, for his continued support, indicating that the House of Saud had donated $1.33 billion in funding since 1962. In 2002, the Saudi newspaper Ain Al-Yaqeen published a detailed report on the extent of Saudi-Wahhabi support throughout the world noting, “the cost of King Fahd’s efforts in this field has been astronomical, amounting to many billions of Saudi riyals. In terms of Islamic institutions, the result is some 210 Islamic centers wholly or partly financed by Saudi Arabia, more than 1,500 mosques and 202 colleges and almost 2,000 schools for educating Muslim children in non-Islamic countries in Europe, North and South America, Australia, and Asia.” Furthermore, a 2008 documentary titled The Qur’an by British filmmaker Antony Thomas put the estimate of Saudi-Wahhabi funding at over $100 billion within the last 30 years." (thanks Lincoln)

Robert Fisk is really a joke: he does not know that Sidon is located in South Lebanon

There are no editors to go over the texts of Robert Fisk's dispatches?  "If you drive from Sunni Muslim Sidon to Shia Muslim southern Lebanon, you can travel from Saudi Arabia to Iran in 10 minutes." (thanks Basim)

Syrian Sunni business class and the Syrian regime

From Carol:  "With much of the attention about Syria fixed on the return of Palmyra to the Syrian army's fold, I find it intriguing that to this day most of the big businessmen/cronies have stuck it out with Assad.  This includes most of the big Sunni business syndicates in Aleppo, Damascus, Homs and Hama. Sure, there are reports that some businessmen are playing all sides by keeping shabiha and FSA groups in their back pockets, but I reckon they know something that we don't... that is that Assad's forces are far, far stronger on the ground than they are being represented in world news, and that has been the case, I reckon, since the start of this bloody war. Word is that even the businessmen that relocated to Egypt or other countries are keen to return under the previous terms arranged with the Assad regime when the situation on the ground allows. I reckon these businessmen would have cut ties with the regime altogether if they truly believed that its end was in sight. 

The bolded part is my doing.

Sunnis (and others) who harbor genuine misgivings toward the government may still feel more threatened by the armed opposition. These feelings are likely to have crystallized given the prevalence of radical Sunni Islamist currents within the insurgents. These sentiments are reflected in numerous segments of Syria’s Sunnis. They are most apparent, however, among urban Sunnis, including the middle- and upper-class strata and, in particular, the business and merchant classes that were cultivated by the Ba’athist regime over many years.[25] The armed opposition has singled out a number of powerful Sunni businessmen for their purported roles in helping to sustain the Ba’athists, including the organization of irregular militias; and the smuggling of hard currency, arms, and critical goods.[26]"


A message to people in the US: there is now an excessive use of the word "dystopia". Please desist.

The True Story of the Pentagon Spies Who Posed as Christian Missionaries to Surveil North Korea

"Reporter Matthew Cole discusses his piece for The Intercept headlined "The Pentagon’s Missionary Spies: U.S. Military Used Christian NGO as Front for North Korea Espionage," that looks into U.S. efforts to penetrate North Korea by funding groups like the Humanitarian International Services Group, which was founded by Kay Hiramine, who was a Pentagon spy whose NGO was funded through a highly classified Defense Department program."

Look at this story in the Washington Post about the retreat of ISIS from Palmyra

"Syrian government forces, backed by heavy Russian airstrikes, have reportedly seized three neighborhoods inside Palmyra, a town with famed Roman-era ruins that fell to Islamic State forces last May.  Russian jets had carried out 40 air sorties near Palmyra in the previous 24 hours, hitting 158 targets and killing more than 100 militants, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. Syrian troops and allied militiamen have taken up positions in the three neighborhoods that are part of the modern town, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group."  You would not know from this opening paragraphs that this is ISIS which was defeated.  Liz Sly would still like to refer to ISIS as "moderate Syrian rebels with strong feminist tendencies".

An American professor bashes Che Guevera in the Washington Post: one of his crimes? repressing AIDS victims--before AIDS was discovered

"He also launched a system of labor camps that became home to gay people, AIDS victims and political opponents."  I am sure those labor camps were less inhumane in the 1960s than US Guantanamo in the 21st century.  But look at the logic of the sentence above: so if Che founded a school and the school was later used for torture of prisoners, it is the fault of Che?

This is also the "West": "death to the Arabs" chants in Brussels

"But, she added, “there were lots of men who were here and doing the Nazi salute, shouting ‘death to Arabs’ and so we weren’t able to get through.”"

The massive demonstration against House of Saud in Yemen

Watch here.  (thanks Raed)

CIA-armed militias are shooting at Pentagon-armed ones in Syria

"Syrian militias armed by different parts of the U.S. war machine have begun to fight each other on the plains between the besieged city of Aleppo and the Turkish border, highlighting how little control U.S. intelligence officers and military planners have over the groups they have financed and trained in the bitter 5-year-old civil war.
The fighting has intensified over the past two months, as CIA-armed units and Pentagon-armed ones have repeatedly shot at each other as they have maneuvered through contested territory on the northern outskirts of Aleppo, U.S. officials and rebel leaders have confirmed." (thanks Bassam)

Executions in Iran under a "reformist" president

"The Islamic Republic hit the highest rate of executing people since 1989. The official number indicates that Iran executed nearly two times more people in 2015 in comparison to 2010 when the hardline president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in office, as well as roughly 10 times more than the number of executions in 2005.
Approximately 1000 people were executed in 2015, according to the latest report from the United Nations investigator, Ahmed Shaheed, the special rapporteur for human rights in Iran. The unofficial number is higher.
The peak of the executions in 2015 was between April and June in which nearly 4 people were executed every day on average. Most of the executions were carried out in prisons located in urban areas such as Ghezel Hesar and Rajai Shahr in Karaj, and Adel Abad in Shiraz. 
Iran has surpassed China in the number of executions being carried out per capita. Most of the executions in Iran are being done by hanging. In addition to the alarming increase in executions, fundamental rights of Iranians and ethnic and religious minorities appear to have regressed in 2015 as well. In addition, this year witnessed the highest level of disqualification of political candidates, 61 percent, since the establishment of the Islamic Republic, 1979." (thanks Rabih)

The Nazi Who Became a Mossad Hitman

"Moreover, the most astounding revelation is the Mossad agent who fired the fatal gunshots: Otto Skorzeny, one of the Israeli spy agency’s most valuable assets, was a former lieutenant colonel in Nazi Germany’s Waffen-SS and one of Adolf Hitler’s personal favorites among the party’s commando leaders. The Führer, in fact, awarded Skorzeny the army’s most prestigious medal, the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, for leading the rescue operation that plucked his friend Benito Mussolini out from the hands of his captors." (thanks Yusuf)

US Department of State spokesperson tries to explain (or hide) US sympathy (or preference) for ISIS in Syria

"QUESTION: -- over the last many months was, one, that Assad wasn’t fighting Daesh properly and that he was mainly fighting the Syrian – moderate Syrian opposition --
MR TONER: And that’s true.
QUESTION: -- and that carried over to what the Russians were doing as well.
MR TONER: And that’s true.
QUESTION: So now that they seem to be doing some of that. Shouldn’t that be lauded, in your estimation? And then the second thing --
QUESTION: -- was that – well, you can answer the first thing --
QUESTION: -- while I remember the second.
MR TONER: So I’m not going to laud it, and I’m not going to laud it because it’s important to remember that one of the reasons Daesh is in Syria is because Assad’s brutal crackdown on his own people created the kind of vacuum, if you will, that has allowed a group like ISIL or Daesh to flourish. Just because he’s now, given the cessation of hostilities, willing and/or able to divert his forces to take on Daesh doesn’t exonerate him or his regime from the gross abuses that they’ve carried out against the Syrian people.
Again, it is a – it reflects, I think, the complex state of affairs that is Syria today, and it’s why we need a political transition away from Assad to a transitional government that’s supported by all the Syrian people, because we do have to deal with Daesh. So at the same time we support any effort to destroy or dismantle Daesh, I think we have to keep our eyes on the longer-term goal, which is a peaceful transition and political future for the people in Syria."

US complicity with ISIS

"A striking feature of the Isis victory in May last year was that its fighters were able to advance without being bombarded by US aircraft because the US did not want to be accused of doing anything that would help the Assad government,"

Saudi-trained preachers in Belgium

" “Today, in Brussels, 95 percent of the courses offered on Islam for Muslims are operated by young preachers trained in Saudi Arabia,” Michael Privot, director of the Brussels-based European Network Against Racism, said in an interview with an Italian journalist."

Training Bahrain tyrants on repression and murder

"The revelation that elite Royal Navy commandos are running week-long training courses for Bahraini personnel has outraged human rights campaigners, who accuse the regime of using snipers to target protesters during anti-government protests in 2011." "The warship docked at HMS Juffair, Britain’s new naval base in Bahrain, and Royal Marines marksmen trained “multiple groups” of Bahraini personnel and were “awarded” Bahraini sniper badges in return."

Victims of Western violence and terrorism

"Over the past several years, the U.S. has launched hideous civilian-slaughtering strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Iraq." "You’ll almost never hear any of those victims’ names on CNN, NPR, or most other large U.S. media outlets." "That’s by design. It’s because U.S. media outlets love to dramatize and endlessly highlight Western victims of violence, while rendering almost completely invisible the victims of their own side’s violence." (thanks Amir)

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Says non-Jews Forbidden From Living in the Land of Israel

How come those religious kooks never receive the condemnation and mockery that Muslim religious kooks receive?  "Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef argues that Jewish law prohibits non-Jews from living in Israel unless they have accepted Noachide laws, adding that some non-Jews live in Israel to serve the Jewish population."

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Here, Anne Barnard of the New York Times expresses concern over the human civilian toll of the takeover of Palmyra from ISIS

Having ignored the weeks-long battles between Syrian regime forces (and Hizbullah forces) against ISIS forces (because these battles run counter to the narrative promoted by Syrian rebels and Western correspondents in Beirut to the effect that Syrian regime forces (and their allies) never ever engage in battles against ISIS), Anne Barnard suddenly discovers that that the battles are taking place (she had a brief dispatch only a few days ago) but uses the language of Syrian regime forces are "said to take over the city".  But then adds this: "while also enduring heavy shelling on civilian areas by government forces."  But the New York Times never expresses concern about civilian areas in ISIS territory when the bombers are US or their allies in Iraq or Syria?  

What Jordanian king says in English is different from what he says in Arabic

"Israeli and Jordanian fighter planes jointly confronted Russian air force jets over the southern Syrian border, according to a briefing by Jordan's King Abdullah to senior members of the United States Congress. The date of the confrontation was not disclosed during Abdullah's meeting in Washington on January 11. The incident was reported by Middle East Eye, who said it had seen an account of the meeting." He would never brag about that in Arabic.  

Who was behind Sep. 11? Saudi regime media now exonerate Bin Laden

Are you aware that based on that stupid NYC judge (based on a non-show by one-side) Saudi regime media are now jubilantly exonerating Bin Laden of responsibility for Sep. 11 and now are blaming the Iranian "Supreme leader"?

Saudi regime media attacks on Obama

By the way, this is not unusual. Saudi regime often go against a sitting US president in his last year. They did the same against Bush in 2007, and even against Reagan in 1987.  Yet, there is more than a tinge of racism in their attacks on Obama.

Who can disagree with Trump here?

"“If Saudi Arabia was without the cloak of American protection,” Mr. Trump said during a 100-minute interview on foreign policy, spread over two phone calls on Friday, “I don’t think it would be around.”"

Wow. Look how brave American journalists are

"But clearly Castro had not been briefed that the two American journalists’ multipart questions would include tart ones for him. "  Wow. How impressive. They don't dare ask probing questions to their own leaders but they can ask probing questions to Castro.  They won't dare ask such questions to Saudi king or to Israeli occupation leader, but to Castro (who has killed none) they can.  How impressive.


Will there be a Je Suis for Lahore? Or its people are not worthy? 

This is incredible: New York Times explains to Donald Trump why US military protection of Gulf regimes is essential

"He made no mention of the risks of withdrawal — that it would encourage Iran to dominate the Gulf, that the presence of American troops is part of Israel’s defense..."

This is the first time I am referred to as a "Muslim activist". Did he mean atheist activist but his Zionist mind got confused?

"As one Muslim activist in the U.S., As'ad AbuKhalil, a political scientist at California State University, Stanislaus, puts it, the aim of the BDS campaign should be to bring down the state of Israel because “Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”  That’s pretty much the way Black Lives Matter sees things, too. "

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Can you imagine the international uproar of the bigot Suu Kyi directed her bigotry against black or Jews the way she speaks about Muslism?

According to the book, Ms Suu Kyi lost her temper after a robust interview with BBC Today programme presenter Mishal Husain and muttered off-air: “No-one told me I was going to be interviewed by a Muslim.” (thanks Basim)

Daniel Byman on Hizbullah: what has happened to Georgetown University (and to Brookings)?

This guy who never studied the Middle East is director of Middle East policy at Brookings.  Remember when Brookings used to house liberal Middle East experts (like William Quandt).  This guy authored a book I nominated as one of the worst books ever on the Middle East in the last decade or two (his A Hight Prince: the Triumphs and Failures of Israeli Counterterrosim".  He testified recently before Congress on Hizbullah. This sums up his wisdom:  "Finally, the United States should work with Israel to ensure its deterrence of Hizbollah".  This now passes as Middle East expertise in Washington.  Back in the 1970s, the Middle East experts at Brookings defied Washington conventional wisdom and published a book on Palestinian nationalism which rejected the paradigm of terrorism.  And now this guy teaches at the foreign service school at Georgetown. 

The writings of George Tarabishi

My weekly article for Al-Akhbar: "Some Remarks on the Writings of George Tarabishi".

Not in the US press: demonstration against Saudi-US war on Yemen

Friday, March 25, 2016

I have an odd fascination with North Korean political rhetoric: who writes this stuff?

"Keeping up its drumbeat of colorfully worded threats, North Korea warned Wednesday that it may launch an “ultra-precision strike” to “scorch” the South Korean president’s office....In its latest missive, the North’s organization in charge of relations with the South declared that Pyongyang’s forces were prepared to “annihilat[e] the enemy without mercy.” “We do not hide the fact that it may start inside the Cheong wa Dae or near it,” the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a statement carried Wednesday by the North’s Korean Central News Agency, using the Korean term for South Korea’s presidential Blue House. President Park Geun-hye lives and works there."

If there is a job to kill or to occupy or to repress or to censor or to break in or to violate, Israel will always be ready to help

"According to the Justice Department, an “outside party” approached the agency Sunday with the offer of assistance, prompting it to ask a federal court in Riverside on Monday to postpone a hearing that had been scheduled for Tuesday while the department vetted the merits of the approach. Ha’aretz, an Israeli newspaper, suggested that Cellebrite, a technology company from Tel Aviv, might have come to the agency’s aid.
Representatives for the Department of Justice, which is pursuing the order on the FBI’s behalf, and Cellebrite declined to comment on the report." (thanks Terry)

Caption says: "Believe me he is good but those around him are bad"

Finally: the Washington Post's Liz Sly and her team heard of the advances of Syrian regime army against ISIS in Palmyra

Look how much space for this story in the WP: "Syrian army reaches outskirts of Palmyra: Syrian government forces backed by Russian airstrikes have advanced swiftly in central Syria, seizing high ground around Palmyra and positioning themselves to recapture the historic town, held by the Islamic State militant group. The troops, supported by Lebanese Shiite militiamen, reached within 1.8 miles of the town, according to the state TV broadcaster." That is the whole story.  

Who better than Israel to violate the rights and privacy of humans? Israel's dirty hands in the IPhone encryption matter

"Israel's Cellebrite, a provider of mobile forensic software, is helping the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's attempt to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California shooters, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on Wednesday. The two sides were set to face off in court on Tuesday, but on Monday a federal judge agreed to the government's request to postpone the hearing after U.S. prosecutors said a "third party" had presented a possible method for opening an encrypted iPhone." (thanks Basim)

What is happening on the southern front in Syria: not in the US press

It looks that even in the southern front, where we are told that Jordan and US have propped up a group of moderate Syrian rebels, many of those groups have been pledging allegiance to ISIS.

Not in US press: French defense minister cheers Russian attacks on ISIS

Liz Sly and the US media chorus--not to mention the US administration and Congress--are still insisting that Russian bombs are falling on "moderate rebels" while French defense minister praised yesterday Russian focus on ISIS.

Saudi ambassador at UN explains why he wants democracy in Syria but not in Saudi Arabia

I asked the Saudi ambassador to the UN why he supports democracy in Syria but not in Saudi Arabia - clip:

Thursday, March 24, 2016

can you imagine the international uproar if the roles were reversed? Graphic video appears to show Israeli soldier shooting Palestinian man in the head

"Graphic video appears to show Israeli soldier shooting Palestinian man in the head"

U.S.-backed war brings Yemen on the brink of famine

"In December, the U.N. said Yemen was on the brink of famine." "There has been almost no acknowledgement of the ongoing U.S.-backed war in the American political system, and it has not been mentioned in any of the presidential debates."

a WikiLeaks cable revealed that a staff member of the Saudi embassy in Belgium was expelled years ago over his active role in spreading the extreme so-called Takfiri dogma

"in August, a WikiLeaks cable revealed that a staff member of the Saudi embassy in Belgium was expelled years ago over his active role in spreading the extreme so-called Takfiri dogma. The cable – between the Saudi King and his Home Minister – referred to Belgian demands that the ICC’s Saudi director, Khalid Alabri, should leave the country, saying that his messages were far too extreme, and that his status as director meant he should not be preaching anyway."

From Brussels: Rejecting the fake solidarity of Israel

"Most of the messages sent to the people of Brussels this week were heartfelt and appreciated. A few, however, were cynical. One was contemptible; it came from Israel. The Israeli government as a whole claimed it “stands with Brussels.” As a resident of Brussels, I refuse that solidarity." "The most fitting tribute to victims of violence is to tackle its root causes. That means fighting imperialism, bigotry and inequality. It means defending multiculturalism, a beautiful idea that Israel has rejected." (thanks Amir)

Mahmoud Abbas getting ready to eat

George Tarabishi and Western correspondents in the Middle East

One of the manifestations of the inadequacy of Western reporting on the Middle East is the ignored passing of one of the most influential or read Arab intellectuals of the 20th century, the Syrian George Tarabishi.  He died a week ago and I didn't see any reference to him in any Western media.  His intellectual transformation took him from Ba`thism to Marxism to Existentialism to a mix of liberalism/Freudism.  He was silent about the Syrian war because he--like the Syrian Adonis--never was a fan of the Syrian "revolution".  But, also like Adonis, he avoided criticizing the Syrian regime.  He authored and translated many works: almost a 100 books. He translated (not always adequately) works of Western thought (Freud and Marcuse among others) but from French translations and not from the original German or English.  He was a great stylist who wrote on many topics.  I, of course, disagreed with him politically and only met him once briefly in London.  For those who are interested  in learning more about him, the writings of Michaelle Browers of Wake Forest University include references to him.  Michaelle, who has an excellent command of Arabic, is one of the few Western experts of the Middle East who keep track of Arab intellectual debates and trends.

PS Of course, the fact that most Western correspondents can't read Arabic and can't follow Arabic intellectual debates explains the omission in coverage.

PPS Forgot to mention that his most famous intellectual battle was against the works of Muhammad `Abid Al-Jabiri.

PPPS There are also critical references to Tarabishi in Joseph Massad's Desiring Arabs.

Saudi-Qatari relations: a Saudi channel moves to Doha

So former Ben Ladenite-turned Saudi Wahhabi liberal, Jamal Khashuqji (who worked for various Saudi princes over the years) decided to move the new news channel that he will be running on behalf of his patron prince, Al-Walid, from Bahrain (where it lasted for one day before it was shut down by the Bahrain tyrants) to Doha.  The amusing thing is that Khashuji during the conflict years between the Saudi and Qatari regimes was one of the most loud voices against the Qatari regime. In this interview he defines the role of the new channel:  "And he confirmed that the stances that will be adopted by the Al-Arab channel will be to serve to the policies of Saudi Arabia which we believe in".  Kid you not. 

Representative of the Israeli terrorist regime offer callous advice to Belgium

"“If in Belgium, they continue to eat chocolate and enjoy the good life with their liberalism and democracy, and do not understand that some of the Muslims there are planning terror, they will never be able to fight against them," Israel’s minister of intelligence and atomic energy, Yisrael Katz, told Israel Radio on Wednesday morning." (thanks Fred)

Russian bombing of ISIS: in comparison to US bombing

There is no question that Russian bombing of ISIS has been far more effective in crippling the capabilities of ISIS than US bombing.  The destruction of ISIS oil export abilities was undertaken by Russian bombing.  The US failed (or didn't even try to) in destroying their truck and expert facilities.

The conservative reactionary country of Jordan: the Foreign Minister didn't dare hug the crying EU foreign minister for fear of offending Muslim reactionaries

Watch the vide: the cowardly foreign minister avoided hugging the EU foreign minister because he wanted to respect the silly reactionary conservative values of Jordan's religious establishment.  

The war between Syrian regime forces and ISIS around Palmyra

After weeks--by the admission of the New York Times--of ferocious battles between Syrian regime forces and ISIS the New York Times just today decided to write a brief story. You see this contradict the conventional narrative about Syria, in which the story holds that there were never battles between Syrian regime forces (or their allies) and ISIS.  

Saudi King: his days are numbered

As-Safir published this week what it said was a medical report about the degenerative mental state of the Saudi King.  The Saudi ambassador in Lebanon issued a stern warning and denied the report and insisted that the King is in excellent health. You know what that means? The King is on the verge of dying any second now.  

UC and free speech: a victory for democracy?

Last night, after I wrote my brief post about the UC Regents decision regarding free speech and anti-Zionism, I thought about the matter. I felt that we should not be really celebrating the decision as a victory for free speech.  It should be seen as a regression of democracy.  The matter should not have come to that in the first place.  We should not celebrate the basic and axiomatic right to criticize a foreign government and an ideology.  The harm to democracy has already been done by deliberating the matter.  This was a setback for democracy regardless of the outcome.  

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

FLASH: Zionist censors in US--biggest enemies of democracy in the country--lose: UC regents reject blanket censure of anti-Zionism

"University of California regents said Wednesday that anti-Semitism has “no place” on a college campus but declined to issue a broad condemnation of anti-Zionism as a form of discrimination.  Instead, they unanimously approved a report on intolerance that decried only “anti-Semitic forms” of the political ideology, which challenges Israel's right to exist in Palestine." 

This is basically a reiteration of our stance in the pro-Palestinian community in the US: we reject any and all forms of anti-Semitism of any kind, and we don't welcome any anti-Semites in our midst.  We remain steadfast in our stiff and categorical opposition to all forms of Zionism, which is a form of racism and segregation.  This victory for free speech should energize the anti-Zionist movement worldwide.  States based on racism, exclusion, and occupation have no place in the modern world.  Furthermore, all states based on an exclusive religious identity--whether Muslim or Jewish--should be opposed as relics of medieval times.  

US partners in war crimes in Yemen

"Around midday on March 15, fighter jets from a Saudi-led coalition bombed a market in Mastaba, in Yemen’s northern province of Hajjah. The latest count indicates that about 120 people were killed, including more than 20 children, and 80 were wounded in the strikes — perhaps the deadliest attack yet in a war that has killed more than 6,000 civilians." "While the horrific terrorist attacks against civilians in Europe receive extensive media coverage, the U.S.-supported bombings of civilians in Yemen get scant attention."

U.S. media cover-up of close ties between US-armed gangs & Al Qaeda

"The twists and turns in the three major newspapers’ coverage of the issue of relations between US-supported opposition groups and Al Qaeda’s franchise in Syria thus show how major news sources slighted or steered clear of the fact that US client armed groups were closely intertwined with a branch of Al Qaeda"

Conspiracy in Syria? What conspiracy? And isn't Google in Syria part of civil society and "revolution"?

"An interactive tool created by Google was designed to encourage Syrian rebels and help bring down the Assad regime, Hillary Clinton's leaked emails have reportedly revealed." "WikiLeaks has previously been responsible for publicising links between Google and high-ranking State Department officials, and founder Julian Assange's 2014 book When Google Met WikiLeaks accused the company of helping to further the US government's foreign policy agenda." (thanks Amir)

Hannah Arendt "Zur Person" Full Interview (with English subtitles)

I am dying for someone to name for me those "democratic revolutionary forces"? who are they? I would love to know them to cheer them, really

"Its murder spree has greatly weakened the democratic revolutionary forces".

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

What is happening in Palmyra

This is rather curious.  There are ferocious battles going on around Palmyra between the Syrian regime forces and ISIS forces but the Western media does not cover it because it does not fit into the Liz Sly narrative: that there are no battles between Syrian regime forces and ISIS.

Saudi regime media war on Obama

The front page of Al-Hayat (mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan) carried this headline: "Obama bows down to Catro".

Saudi Lobby in US

"When Nimr al-Nimr, a peaceful government critic, was executed in January, the Podesta Group helped the regime shape media coverage, providing a quote to the New York Times to smear Nimr as a “terrorist.” Other American consultants working for the Saudi Embassy used social media and other efforts to attack Nimr and justify the execution."

Differences between Obama, Hillary, and Sanders

Obama relies on UAE* ruling dynasty to promote a moderate version of Islam.  Sanders relies on Jordan ruling dynasty to promote a moderate version of Islam.  While Hillary relies on Netanyahu to promote a moderate version of Islam.

*I am not making this up. The US administration has assigned UAE regime to be in charge of promoting a moderate message of Islam on social media to combat ISIS.

BDS stickers in stores across Canada

"Stickers calling for the boycott of Israeli products have been spotted in stores across Canada." "They read: “Warning! Do not buy this product. Made in Israel: A country violating international law, the 4th Geneva Convention, and fundamental human rights…#BDS.” "

Saudi Arabia remains one of Britain's closest allies worldwide

"The official title of the religious police is the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Chillingly, only two other movements in the world — the Taliban in Afghanistan and Islamic State in Syria and Iraq — have organisations with the same name. The Saudi government has always denied that it has any connection either with Islamic State or with Al Qaeda. Nevertheless, both jihadist organisations endorse the state religion which Saudi Arabia has spent an estimated $70 billion (£48 billion) exporting around the world."

Western governments and the dangers of terrorism

Western governments will spend years and years trying to deal with the dangers of terrorism but they will finally realize the ultimate contradiction in their policies: that they are aligned with the Saudi regime which remains the Number One source of terrorism i noted world (directly or indirectly, materially or ideologically).  

Basically, Western governments are relying on Saudi regime and its Jihadi fanatical Wahhabi clerics to promote a moderate version of Islam

life in Saudi Arabia

"Saudi Arabia Uncovered aims to reveal the hidden reality inside one of the world's most secretive and strict Islamic regimes and questions Britain's relationship with the country." "Saudi Arabia is a key ally of the West," "The documentary was filmed for six months undercover and also exposes the extremes of wealth and poverty in Saudi Arabia. Women are considered to be second-class citizens and police beating women is the norm."

U.S. support for apartheid regime

"Palestinians must travel on separate roads, which are patrolled by Israeli soldiers. They often walk under enormous nets that look like cages, and settlers drop objects — and even urinate — on them from their windows above. Levy described Israel’s occupation simply as a form of apartheid. “It looks like apartheid, it walks like apartheid, it behaves like apartheid; it’s apartheid,” he said." (thanks Amir)

Among the training of Syrian rebels in Syria are home-made explosives: Western responsibility

Western governments (notably US but also France and UK) have secret and not-so secret programs to train Syrian rebels: we know now (see yesterday post here) that 50% of US arms in Syria wind up in the hands of Nusrah (the official Al-Qa`idah branch in Syria).  Among the training that ISIS and Nusrah give is to make home-made explosives (from hair bleach and nail polish, as we learned from an investigation by the NYT of the Paris bombing).  Those graduates then spread around the world.  Western governments ignored those same Jihadi Syrian rebels when they were sending car bombs into Lebanon: they thought as long as they are hitting Lebanese, they don't have to worry about them.  

Repression and Censorship: the refuge of Zionists

Zionists are desperate in the 21st century.  They know that anti-Zionism is spreading among the youth of the world.  The only response they have is to try to censor expressions of anti-Zionism.  They make force the US Department of State to introduce a new ridiculous definition (since when the US Department of State become the headquarters of philosophical and political definitions?), and they can pass new laws and regulations to censor voices of anti-Zionism.  But they will never succeed in silencing our anti-Zionist voices.  And their most vulgar and crude and anti-Semitic tricks is to conflate anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism.  Those are the same people who tolerate anti-Semitism when it comes from the pro-Zionist camp (as in the evangelical Christian crowd).  Do you remember when US House member, Robert Dornan (a right-wing loud mouth of the 1980s and 1990s) referred to Soviet spokesperson (Vladimir Posner) with a grotesque anti-Semitic slur? The Zionists came to his defense at the time because of his pro-Israeli voting record.  

MESA's response to UC's attempt to muzzle criticisms of Zionism

"If anti-Zionism is conflated with anti-Semitism or treated as a covert manifestation of it, then any criticism of Israel might conceivably be perceived as harassment under these policies. This would surely constitute a violation of the First Amendment rights of students, staff, and faculty at the University of California as well as a violation of the university’s own academic freedom protections under Policy 010 of the Academic Personnel Manual. It would also undermine the principles of academic freedom that all institutions of higher education have a duty to respect and defend."

Raul Castro

It is fair to say that Raul Castro has the charisma of a Ted Cruz.  

Apologists for Al-Qa`idah?

Do people notice that US Zionists have become apologists for Al-Qa`idah and its variants (especially in its Syrian branch) as of late?
Matthew Levitt (@Levitt_Matt)
Don't think this is unrelated 2 Brussels attack... Assad May Bet Russia & West Need Him More Than He Needs Them…

Terrorism in Europe: how US and Western governments nourished and encouraged Al-Qa`idah terrorists in Syria

You can really trace the current problem of terrorism hitting Europe to the beginning of the Syrian war in 2012 and the insistence of Western governments--against all available evidence--on creating the myth of "moderate Syrian rebels".  Western propaganda glamorized a non-existing Syrian "revolution" and romanticized those Muslims in the West who took the trip to fight with the various Jihadi group.  The myth of the moderate Free Syrian Army was in full swing at the time, and any opinion which warned of the dangers of rise of terrorist groups in Syria was immediately dismissed as pure Syrian regime propaganda.  The dangerous propaganda ploy of Western media continues. Look at this map from this article in Bloomberg.  Look how the areas designated as "Syrian rebels" is so widely expanded.  In fact, if you look at the areas around Idlib, the dominant force there is Nusrah Front even if it works with other militant Jihadi groups under the banner of Jaysh Al-Fath.  So basically, whenever Nusrah Front (the descenents of the terrorists of Sep. 11) align themselves with other rebel groups, Western propaganda and media outlet regard the rebels in that area as "moderate Syrian rebels" because they are not fighting under the banner of Nusrah although the banner exists.  This is one of many example but it gives you an idea.  And Zionists have been most active in this regard and in spinning this propaganda but they are not alone: some liberal and leftists have also been spinning this fable.

PS This article by the research arm of the Israeli lobby concedes the point about Nusrah Front in Idlib.

Some more additional information about Trump's foreign policy advisers

"On his LinkedIn page, Papadopolous lists among his awards and honors that he was U.S. Representative at the 2012 Geneva International Model United Nations."

The text of Bernie Sanders speech at AIPAC (which was published but not delivered)

I can't believe that some progressives are hailing the speech.  His vision of Middle East peace is exactly that of George W. Bush with an added love and admiration for the King of Jordan.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Well, Bernie Sanders does not rule out US war on Iran for Israel's sake

"we should re-impose sanctions and all options are back on the table.  Moreover, the deal does not mean we let Iran’s aggressive acts go unchecked. The world must stand united in condemningIran’s recent ballistic missile tests as well as its continued support for terrorism through groups like Hezbollah."

Flash: Bernie Sanders calls on the only Social Democratic states of the Middle East to lead the Middle East region

"What I am saying is that the major powers in the region – especially the Gulf States – have to take greater responsibility for the future of the Middle East."  If this is what the US socialist candidate thinks, imagine how bad the rest would be.

Here it is: text of the speech by Bernie Sanders to AIPAC

Let me summarize the speech for you in one sentence from his speech: "I agree with Jordanian King Abdullah".

Foundation for Defense of Democracies and Dictatorships supportive of Israeli wars and occupation

I think that people often miss how influential this shop has become in US foreign policy debates.

US Presidential candidates and foreign policy

Why don't they all make the task of reporters easier: why don't they all declare that Netanyahu is their collective and sole adviser on foreign policy?

Hillary asks: why has it taken the US so long to elect a woman who would order fighter jets to bomb children in refugee camps

"And, of course, some of us remember a woman, Golda Meir, leading Israel’s government decades ago and wonder what’s taking us so long here in America?"

Donald Trump reveals foreign policy team in meeting with The Washington Post

"“Walid Phares, who you probably know. Ph.D., adviser to the House of Representatives. He’s a counter-terrorism expert," Trump said." Some background on Walid Phares.

Saudi cleric arrested

Did I not predict to you below that the Saudi Shi`ite cleric who defended Hizbukkah would be arrested? He was arrested today. 

Only in America

Only in America is neutrality toward a conflict is considered a bad word.

When they talk about the next level of US-Israeli relations: what do they have in mind? Sexual relations?

"That’s why I believe we must take our alliance to the next level."

At AIPAC: Hillary pledges to combat freedom of speech

"and the growing effort to de-legitimize Israel on the world stage — are converging to make the U.S.-Israel alliance more indispensable than ever.
We have to combat all these trends"

Some people should avoid joking as they are very unfunny: Hillary at AIPAC

"although I don’t think Yitzhak Rabin ever forgave me for banishing him to the White House balcony when he wanted to smoke."  Who wrote this joke for her?  

The woman to the right claims that she is a global supporter of women's rights

Gulf regimes buying influence in Washington DC think tanks

"By 2014, the Gulf money in Washington had become unmistakable. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), for example, had opened a towering, gleaming new office downtown, financed with a $1 million donation from the United Arab Emirates.
The New York Times, that year, published an investigation on foreign government funding at think tanks, which the paper found had risen dramatically. It identified millions in donations going to many of Washington's most influential institutions, which were "producing policy papers, hosting forums and organizing private briefings for senior United States government officials that typically align with the foreign governments’ agendas."  The Times investigation detailed several incidents in which donations from foreign governments had seemed to directly influence think tank behavior:
  • Saleem Ali, a former visiting scholar at the Brookings center in Qatar, said he had been told not to write critically of the Qatari government. 
  • Emails between the Center for Global Development and the Norwegian government seemed to indicate a quid pro quo in which Norway would "donate" to CGD, which in turn would help persuade US government officials to increase funding for global forest protection efforts by $250 million. 
  • The Japanese government gave to CSIS, which now sponsors Japanese officials as "visiting scholars" who are granted access to US government officials by way of CSIS events and preexisting relationships. 
  • The United Arab Emirates, also a CSIS donor, got its ambassador to the US invited to participate on a public panel alongside then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey, whom the ambassador grilled about US commitments to the UAE."

American and Saudi war crimes in Yemen: they will live on the resume of human rights poseur, Samantha Power

"But when US intelligence agencies checked the list against their own information, they found that many of the targets had little or no military value, according to a report at the time by the Wall Street Journal's Maria Abi-Habib and Adam Entous. Many were civilian structures in or near population centers.  The US warned Saudi Arabia off the targets, and Saudi officials said they complied. But when the air war began, Saudi bombs fell heavily on "hospitals, schools, a refugee camp, and neighborhoods," according to the Journal.  The US initially held back from the war. But soon, in an apparent effort to purchase Saudi acquiescence to the nuclear deal with Iran, the US substantially increased support for the Saudi-led campaign, providing midair refueling, weapons and supplies, targeting information, and 45 dedicated intelligence analysts."

In this picture, Obama is seen telling Saudi King that he is a free rider and a dictator

Explosive report about US role in assisting Al-Qa`idah in Syria: 50% of US arms in Syria land with Nusrah Front

There is so much here about how US wittingly or unwittingly has been helping Al-Qa`idah in Syria.  Furthermore, it seems that Jamal Ma`ruf (who at one point was hailed as the last hope of US foreign policy in Syria and who was hailed as a moderate and secular rebel leader by David Ignatius and Liz Sly among many others in the Western press) had pledged allegiance secretly to Abu Muhammad Julani.  

Europe's alliance with the sponsors of terrorism

"Not one of the EU nations has, to date, taken on Saudi Arabia, the promulgator of hardline Islam and zealous intolerance. Saudi Arabia went into Belgium in the late sixties and spread Wahhabism among the newly arrived Muslim migrants. To date, $70bn has been spent on this global brainwashing and destabilisation programme. This Tuesday evening on ITV, a secretly filmed documentary investigates the nefarious kingdom. Will this exposure alter Europe’s special relationship with the most evil of empires? No." "The European crusaders who attacked Iraq and Libya and play hidden war games in Syria have never accepted responsibility for the churn, chaos, rage and violence that they left in their wake. Western sanctions and bombs wiped out more people in Iraq than Saddam ever did." (thanks Amir)

Patrick Cockburn on Western responsibility for ISIS

" Al-Qaeda is expanding in Yemen, where Western leaders have given a free pass to Saudi Arabia to launch a bombing campaign that has wrecked the country." "By taking up the cause of the Syrian and Libyan opposition and destroying the Syrian and Libyan states, France and Britain opened the door to Isis and should share in the blame for the rise of Isis and terrorism in Europe."

This is what I call safe human rights advocacy: like those who fly in private jets but insist on recycling

"Clooney mentioned countries such as Sudan, Iran and North Korea in her 12-minute speech, however she made no specific references to rights abuses in Gulf Arab countries or the humanitarian toll of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, which the UAE is taking part in."

Obama in Cuba: by Emad Hajjaj

Elliott Abrams: advising Ted Cruz

Elliott Abrams is now considered a Middle East expert.  Back when I came to the US in the 1980s, he posed as a Latin American expert in the Reagan administration.  Of course, he had studied neither the Middle East nor Latin America.  In the US, zealotry makes up for lack of expertise.

AIPAC speaker: on non-violence: one of two Arab speakers at AIPAC

Is it not hilarious that AIPAC would feature this (unknown) Palestinian speaker who runs a non-violence shop but AIPAC would never feature an Israeli advocate of non-violence. But this is Zionism: violence is endorsed for one side one the conflict only.  "Mr. Ali Abu Awwad:
Founder, Taghyeer (Change) Palestinian National Nonviolence Movement
Co-Director of Roots/Judr/Shorashim: A Local Israel Israeli-Palestinian Initiative for Understanding, Nonviolence and Transformation".

This Saudi Shi`ite cleric will be arrested: he defends Hizbullah (see the last ten minutes)

This is a punishable crime in Saudi kingdom of horrors.

Amal Clooney offers advice to Gulf tyrants on how to best repress their people and manage the PR problem of Oppression

""Governments must be prepared to be transparent and get their message out first."
Clooney mentioned countries such as Sudan, Iran and North Korea in her 12-minute speech."  How brave of her to mention human rights violations in Iran and North Korea and Sudan while in the Gulf. How courageous of her.

Joe Biden rails against wall builders forgetting that he was speaking to a pro-Israeli audience

"“As the Jewish people know better than any other people, any action that marginalizes one religious or ethnic group imperils us all,” Biden said to loud applause from the crowd of more than 18,000. “It is incumbent on all of us to stand up against those who traffic in pernicious stereotypes, who seek to scare and divide us for political gain, because the future belongs to the bridge builders, not the wall builders.”" (thanks Mick)