Friday, June 30, 2017

Human Rights Director wants a massive invasion of Syria: he won't settle for less

The real lesson of Srebrenica is don't send lightly armed troops to protect civilians from murderous forces.

Muhammad bin Salman, as king

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Muhammad bin Salman as King---even for a period".

Thursday, June 29, 2017

How smooth was the transition in Saudi Arabia?

It was so smooth that Muhammad bin Nayif was put under house arrest to guarantee smoothness.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mustafa Tlas

Mustafa Tlas, who has just died, represents all that is rotten and corrupt and incompetent about the Syrian regime.  Wish I have time to write more. When a buffoon like him was made as Minister of Defense by Hafidh Al-Asad you know that the liberation of the Israeli-occupied territories was never a serious endeavor.

What is Saudi/UAE regime's real beef with Qatar?

In this article in Arabic, the Saudi regime advocate, `Abdul-Rahman Al-Rashid, reveals that Saudi regime's real beef with Qatar has nothing to do with terrorism and its combat.  It is all about Qatari support for dissidents and opponents of the Saudi regime.  The article concludes with a threat of violence.

Where do Western correspondents and "experts" find those Arabs?

"Many in Lebanon say, “Lebanon is the front line for the West.” (thanks Basim)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The brilliance of US intelligence agencies

US intelligence agencies could not predict or anticipate the collapse of the Soviet Union. They missed the story of Arab uprisings, and they had no clue that ISIS was emerging but: they are capable of telling you that next week at 3:00PM the Syrian regime will be using chemical weapons because a barrel with a banner saying "chemical weapons" was spotted by US satellite.  

Monday, June 26, 2017

The guy to the right is accusing the guy to the left of terrorism

How Washington Post reports a survey of public opinion

This is the headline: "A majority of Russians don’t trust Putin to solve corruption." (they later added to the headline)
This is the content: "The survey, by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, finds Russians generally confident in their country’s direction, enthusiastic about Moscow’s growing say in world affairs and increasingly sanguine about the economy. A whopping 87 percent of those surveyed said they trust Putin to represent their country’s interests on the global stage."

You may be surprised but I agree with the Saudi regime that supporters and funders of terrorism should be punished

This is from the 1980s, and it says "A Committee headed by (Prince) Salman to receive donations in the Kingdom for the Afghan Mujahidin" 

Look what the human rights poseur faults Netanyahu for

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Netanyahu gives reluctant praise when Booker Prize goes to Israeli author known for criticizing the occupation.

Princeton's Center for Middle East Studies on Muhammad bin Salman's great achievements

"MBS’s second great achievement has been in foreign policy, where he has been able to prove his capabilities to his father. MBS took the initiative to reach out to US President Donald Trump and his team immediately after the US presidential election in November 2016, and his efforts paid off, culminating in Trump’s visit to Riyadh in May 2017.  Trump’s visit was a major victory for Saudi Arabia. US-Saudi relations had reached a nadir during former US President Barack Obama’s tenure, but they have now been reset. During his visit, Trump emphasized the importance of the US-Saudi strategic relationship, offered his full support in Saudi Arabia’s rivalry with Iran for regional primacy, and signed various business and investment deals worth many billions of dollars." What great achievements. No wonder Muhammad bin Salman likes to refer to himself as Alexander the Great.

Weekend at Bernie's? UAE ruler appears after an absence of 41 months.

Oh, please. Don't be so horrified. Americans would pick George Washington and Ronald Reagan (or Trump).

Yaroslav Trofimov (@yarotrof)
Asked to name the greatest personality in world history, 38% of Russians pick Stalin. Putin is a runner-up. Sick.…

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The dissent of a Saudi prince: `Abdul-`Aziz bin Fahd

In his own way, `Abdul-`Aziz bin Fahd still expresses in his own ways his disagreements with the Saudi government. Here, he disputes the categorization of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The case of Radwan Ziadeh and the lies of Ambassador Robert Ford (the known Zionist propagandist for House of Saudi)

On the article on Syrian Cicero in the Times.  Several things about this impudent Zionist article: "Mr. Ziadeh is a prominent political opponent of the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. He has received fellowships at Harvard, Georgetown and the United States Institute of Peace".  And these academic fellowships were bestowed on Mr. Ziadeh (who is a dentist) due to his advanced research in dentistry, I wonder, or due to his scholarship in Middle East studies, or were they bestowed for the same reason that an architect (who never finished his degree, Kanaan Makiya) was made a chair professor at Zionist Brandeis University, i.e. due to the political convenience of their political views?  And then: "Mr. Ziadeh said he was shocked. He and his wife have lived in the United States for 10 years on a series of temporary permits, the latest of which expires next spring. Their children were born here." Oh, spare me your Zionist outrage. There are Arabs who are deported to their deaths in the Middle East especially if they are Palestinians and they never receive this sympathetic coverage in Zionist media. There are Arabs who were jailed in this country because they gave money to Palestinian hospitals.  This is the only injustice that you were able to see?  And don't forget that Saudis (men and women) are never granted asylum in the US due to a Faustain bargain between the US and Saudi regime.  And then ambassador Robert Ford lies (which is not rare in his case): "The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Mr. Ford added, has no “administrative connection” to Muslim Brotherhood factions in other countries."  He is either ignorant (which he is on matters of the Middle East despite his promotion by the think tanks of Saudi and UAE and Qatari regimes) or he is lying on purpose.  Of course the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is tied to other branches of the Brotherhood.   You may defend the asylum rights of Mr. Ziadeh but you don't have to lie.  The story of the email is entirely the account of Ziadeh: "he received a frightening email telling him to be “careful” about his mother, still in Syria."  And look at this dumb case he makes: "“What will happen? I have three American kids. I love, actually, the U.S. I visited all 50 states, even U.S. territories. I visited all the presidential libraries.”"  Visiting presidential libraries makes you a patriotic American who deserves asylum?  But what about this: " the Islamic State has him on a list of Syrians it wants dead." Can we see evidence of this please? When did ISIS put him on a list? This has become a common claim made by Americans and non-Americans alike.  Lastly, asylum cases can be legitimate in the case of Syrians as there is a real reason for fear of persecution by Syrian regime against dissidents but there is a similar fear in countries like UAE and Jordan and Saudi Arabia and Israel where the US quickly send people to persecution or death.  And I wish Zionist media would show sympathy for other cases.  

Saturday, June 24, 2017

This Egyptian news broadcast says that Gen. Sisi congratulates Islamic Ummah EXCEPT QATAR

Western leniency with Arab princes and princesses: Imagine if this was an average Arab convicted

"Eight princesses from the UAE have been convicted of human trafficking and degrading treatment of their servants by a Brussels court. They were given 15-month suspended jail terms and ordered to pay €165,000 (£145,000; $185,000) each, with half the sum suspended. They were accused of holding more than 20 servants they brought with them on a 2008 visit in near slavery." (thanks Basim)

What is Arab "reform"?

For US and West, Arab reform means one thing and one thing only: cozy up to Israel.  Nothing else matters.

Saudi/UAE list of demands

The list clearly revealed that the crisis is not about fighting "terrorism" but Saudi/UAE regime attempt to ban any alternative or dissident or opposition views to their rule.  It is all about that plus the attempt to impose Dahlan in Palestine on behalf of Netanyahu.

The Gulf Media War

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The Gulf Media War: Chauvinism of Brothers".

Atlantic Council on Muhammad bin Salman: indistinguishable from crude Saudi regime propaganda

Atlantic Council propagandists weigh in.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Nasser Mocks the Muslim Brotherhood's intention to have the veil imposed in Egypt (translated)

Watch here

All kidding aside, do you deny that Saudi princes are really thrilled with the new Crown Prince?

I mean, the guy to the left (fifth row) has never been happier.  

The propaganda of Ben Hubbard for the Saudi regime

Look at this article.  For an objective source on the new Crown Prince, he goes to a fellow at the King Faisal Center.  And three of the experts cited belong to think tanks funded (partly at least) by Saudi or UAE government (or is it two out of three?).  Also, he says that Muhammad bin Nayif was "respected" by Saudis. He and his father were the two most hated Saudis by far.  Notice that Hubbard have a policy: to never talk to Saudi dissidents or opposition figures.  Also, do you know that Hubbard's articles get translated and covered in Saudi regime media?  

Can you imagine this human rights poseur using this language about Iranian or Syrian rulers??

To show he represents more than the king favoring his son, new Saudi crown prince should begin real rights reforms.

Nicholas Blanford always finds a way to justify Israeli crimes

"Fighters from Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah organization routinely fired mortar rounds at the outpost or scaled the mountain to launch close-range attacks. The resulting retaliatory Israeli artillery fire often hit the village and its outskirts, killing and wounding residents and causing damage to property." (thanks Basim)

Social mobility and perceptions of social mobility

"People in the US are most unjustifiably optimistic about social mobility: "Interestingly, and this is a finding worthy of additional research, we find that Americans are especially overoptimistic about social mobility in parts of the country where actual mobility is especially low (the south and the southeast), and they are pessimistic where mobility is actually high (the north and northwest)." (thanks Laleh)

Saudi Wahhabi (most senior cleric of the 20th century) Bin Baz says this about the Muslim Brotherhood

He was asked about the Islamic groups which are "closest to righteousness".  The Muslim Brothers were included.

At this rate of Saudi regime progress....

Saudi Arabia is changing!

Who knows. Maybe Saudi regime can--say in a decade--catch up with North Korea and have its own movie industry.  This could happen.  

Syrian regime and Hizbullah are not on the same page regarding the assessment of the Arab uprisings

Hasan Nasrallah just said: "What happened in the Arab world [in the last few years] was a popular authentically patriotic movement and not the product of an international conspiracy".  This runs counter to the view of the Syrian regime and some of its allies.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What is funny is that the man to the left of Crown Prince, senior cleric, Salih Al-Fawzan, had ruled that photography is impermissible religiously

Saudi regime lobbyists in DC

Do you notice that all US newspapers pages and TV screens have been widely opened for Saudi regime lobbyists to make their case?

I am not making this up: McDonalds Saudi Arabia pledge allegiance to the new Crown Prince

The title of the Servitor of the Two Holy Places has been changed.  It now reads:  The Servitor of the Two Holy Places and McDonalds Restaurants.  

How did Muhammad bin Salman broach the topic of his appointment as Crown Prince with his dad?

There must be an awkward conversation which took place between Muhammad bin Salman and his father.  I mean, there certainly was a moment in which Bin Salman went to his father and said: look dad. You don't look good and you are not getting any younger.  I have a hunch you are leaving us soon.  I see that you issue the royal decrees at once.  I don't want you to die before attending to this matter otherwise it will all be over for me.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

`Abdul-`Aziz bin Fahd is clearly not into the new rule

`Abdul-`Aziz bin Fahd has been posting items which are clearly intended against the regime.  He criticized the vulgarity of the media campaign against Qatar and said that his father, Fahd, would not have allowed that.  Look what he wrote today about the new Crown Prince: He did not say I pledge allegiance.  He said: Muhammad bin Salman: you have from us all sincere prayers for what God likes and approves.

صباح الخيرات لخادم الحرمين,وأقول محمدبن نايف جهوده مشكوره,ومحمدبن سلمان لك منا جميعآالدعاء الصادق بمايحب الله ويرضى

Middle East Institute in DC: a reliable source of crude pro-Saudi propaganda

The article promises to show how the elevation of Muhammad bin Salman "raised alarm in Iran".  Here is his evidence that alarm was raised: 

"The promotion of bin Salman has raised alarm in Tehran. The most alarmist reports and opinion pieces were published in outlets affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.). Tasnim News Agency, for example, called the succession announcement in Riyadh a “soft coup” and claimed it was approved by Washington, adding that the Trump administration is pleased with bin Salman’s anti-Iran stance. Fars News Agency, also an I.R.G.C. mouthpiece, called it a “political earthquake in Riyadh.” Another Fars article said President Donald Trump and bin Salman have developed a close rapport – citing the latest arms deal between Riyadh and Washington and the creation of a U.S.-backed “Arab NATO” to counter Iran’s regional ambitions. “Trump’s footprint is apparent in these decisions,” it alleged."  But even Arab media carried such stories and even headlines. Does that mean that they too were raising alarm?

On Live Saudi TV: a guy was talking to MbS with a pointed finger but was then forcibly removed

Watch here

With great pleasure and thrill, the Saudi Muftiti endorsed the Crown Prince

The Muftiti of Saudi regime has spoken: he supports Muhammad bin Salman

Where are the tears of the ostensibly humane Western correspondents in Beirut over this?

31 out of 34 votes in the Acclamation Body

I am rather suspicious of this number.  It does not sound credible at all.  Aljazeera just changed to 31 versus 34, which is not at all what is being claimed by Saudi regime media.  

What was the last order of Muhammad bin Nayif?

His last order hours before he was sacked was a directive to grant vacation time for the `Id for the former terrorists who are now beneficiaries of the rehabilitation program.  

The pro-Saudi Pakistani clerics welcome Muhammad bin Salman

This head of pro-Saudi Pakistani clerical shop welcomes Muhammad bin Salman.  Don't judge on appearance.  This man is a very moderate very feminist version of Islam--according to the Saudi-US alliance.

And now a word from UAE regime propaganda outlet: the National welcomes Muhammad bin Salman

What I like about those propaganda outlets is this: I mean, if Muhammad bin Nayif was declared King yesterday, they would have written the same words in his support: "In the new Saudi Arabia, bold and dynamic policies inside and outside it will probably strengthen its role in the Middle East in the coming years."

PS Tahrir Institute is "partly" funded by UAE.  

‘Devastating’ survey shows huge loss of Israel support among Jewish college students

"Since its initial coalescence in 2002, Brand Israel has commissioned a large-scale segmentation study in 2010 and a followup in 2016. For anyone with the slightest Zionist impulse, the downward slope of Israel support is disturbing. While in Israel to present the recent 2016 BIG segmentation study, “Sounding the Alarm: The American-Israeli Relationship,” Oppenheim repeatedly used the word “devastating” — each time without hyperbole.  In sum, the gap between Israel-supporters and detractors is widening. The current Israel advocacy programs are not working, and Jewish college students are the leading defectors from Israel support."

Saudi Aljazeera journalist, Ali Dhafiri resigns

The pressure on Saudis who work for Qatari companies is so strong that many forced to resign. The long time Aljazeera presenter, Ali Adh-Dhafiri, resigned yesterday and expressed loyalty to the Saudi regime.  The weird thing is that he never resigned even when Aljazeera was most vocal against the Saudi regime.  I knew Dhafiri and his resignation surprised me a great deal.

Smooth transition?

Of course, Saudi media are going out of their way to stress the smoothness of transition.  The Saudi regime media made the Acclamation Body (Hay'at Al-Ba`ah) sound like it is an elected representative body.  There is a clear danger for the regime: the base of power has never been narrower.  The coup of 1964 brought various brothers together.  Muhammad bin Salman, in contrast, has even excluded his half brothers who have had good reputation and attained real education (a rarity in that lousy family).  Furthermore, by becoming the sole ruler, he has to own by himself all the lousy decision of recent years.  He does not have someone else to blame for his blunders and adventures.  To be sure, there will be propagandists of the House of Saud (like the New York Times correspondent Ben Hubbard or Washington Post's David Ignatius) who will tell you how popular the new Crown Prince on social media--in a country where a mere retweet or tweet in disagreement with the government can land you a long jail sentence and where an expression of sympathy for Qatar can land you 15 years in jail in UAE.  Also, the scene of the meeting between Bin Nayif and bin Salman was a bit overdone and manufactured.  Muhammad bin Nayif was way too hurried to finish and was looking as comfortable as when the son of King Abdullah of SA realized that it was too late to change the succession line upon his father's death.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

House of Saudi: those who oppose them are cheering

No one has ever shaken the usually united Saudi Family like this Muhammad bin Salman.  Opponents of the regime are counting on him to bring the regime down.  March on.

Flash: Muhammad bin Salman made Crown Prince

Muhammad bin Salman is now Crown Prince.  He will be the next king--if he survives.  

For those who don't think that UK press is Islamophobic

Thus Spoke Fadlo

"“Mistakes were made and are being made, but people in the region did not lose faith in the American intellectual agenda.” " What is the American intellectual agenda which the Arabs still believe in, as he claims??

You know that repression in the UAE has been ratcheted up when...

When Sultan Al-Qassemi is made to disappear from social media, it is a sign of how rigid and and tight the repression in the UAE has become.  Is the Minister of Happiness still smiling? 

Syrian jihadists wouldn't have survived without Israel's assistance

" "Israel stood by our side in a heroic way," a spokesman for the rebel group Fursan al-Joulan, or Knights of the Golan, Moatasem al-Golani, told the Journal. "We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s assistance." Abu Suhayb, a nom de guerre of the commander who leads the group, told the newspaper he receives approximately $5,000 a month from Israel. According to the report, the group made contact with Israel in 2013 after a raid on regime forces and turned to Israel for help with its wounded. The group said it was a turning point as Israel then began sending funds and aid, assistance soon extended to other groups." (thanks Amir)

The fight against ISIS

This has become clearly a pattern: Western media downplays and even conceal from their readers stories of fighting against ISIS by non-friends of the US (like Hizbullah, Hashd, Syrian regime and certainly Russians). Whether one supports the roles of those groups in Syria or not, their fighting against ISIS can't be disregarded and ignored except by propaganda outlets of the US, Saudi regime and Israel.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

How Israel can solve US political problems

"A number of former top Trump campaign officials and prominent Democrats say that their trip last week to Israel helped them dial down the bitter partisanship of current-day Washington." (thanks Basim)

I don't plan to read this book and...

I was never impressed with her journalism ever, and you should not judge a book before reading it but I have a feeling that I would really be annoyed by this book.

Look at this idiot: the King of Jordan carried a fire extinguisher for the cameras and...

The entire Jordanian regime and ints PR and intelligence service promoted stories on how the buffoonish king helped extinguish a fire in Amman.  Look at him.  Would you trust a country the size of your living room to this man? Not that he is running the country, of course.

Ambassador Ford on US early support for the militarization of the Syrian rebels

In his own words to his favorite media--Saudi regime media which sponsors people like him in GCC-funded DC think tanks.

From the occupation state which has the filthiest, nastiest, dirtiest, and smelliest airline:

Children living in poverty
Israel 36%
Turkey 32%
Spain 31%
US 29%
UK 20%
Germany 15%
Finland 11%
Denmark 9%

The not occupied occupied Gaza strip

From a reader:
"here's an interesting piece in the NYT by a friend of mine...About how the NYT controls use of language. His article was about the use of the word "Gay," but he doesn't even mention the most interesting part of the photo that is appended to the article:  That it was (and likely still is) actual NYT editorial policy to not describe the Gaza Strip as "Occupied," as of 05/03/1994...

I am a heretic. Come and save me.

I am kidding but was just making sure that you have fake tears on the ready.

Maybe this explains Western media love and affection for Syrian rebels

"Israel Gives Secret Aid to Syrian Rebels"

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What does it mean when stupid Western media refer to a non-believing Muslim(born) as "heretic"

How stupid is it for the Independent to refer to this woman as "heretic"? Heretic comes from a Christian or Jewish religious culture when actual authoritative religious rulings would be issued to declare someone as "heretic".  It has no meaning here.  If you are referring to the fact that she is non-believing, there are millions of people in the Arab world who are non-believing and no one refer to them as heretic.  It does not even have an Arabic counterpart here.  It is stupid and intended to promote the imagine of an all-powerful Islamic government which does not allow people to leave the faith.  I and many others in the region are explicitly atheist and no one ever declared us "heretic".  This is actually a schtick used by Muslim-born Arabs in the West who want to attract attention of Western media and who wish to go on Zionist-sponsored/Christian-sponsored  Islamophobic tours.  And why is she in hiding? Who knows of her? No one in the Arab and Muslim world ever heard of her. Even Muslims in the West don't know who she is.  I know she wants attention but come on. 

An Israeli accident victim in NYC featured in the New York Times only because he is Israeli

Eyal from occupied Palestine sent me this:

"And has the NYT mentioned yet another murder of an Israeli woman by her spouse this Tuesday? Henriette Qarra was stabbed to death on Tuesday. On Sunday, two days before, Maya Dagan was found dead in her apartment in Bat Yam and her life partner said he murdered her and was arrested. There were two other murders of women this week. The numerous murders have prompted several medium-size demonstrations  across the country today and in the past few months.

But what's that compared to an Israeli cyclist being hit... or to US police shooting up people like ducks in a range.  (By the way - this is murder of both Hebrew/Jewish and of Arab women)"

People who work for Saudi regime media are now required to make a contribution to the propaganda effort--no matter how silly

Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam)
Cows 🐮 in #Qatar impacted by crisis, "feeling exhausted" to make up for milk shortages…

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Israeli cyclist hit by bus in nyc, gets an article in the times.

From Jar: "Cyclists are killed nearly every week in New York City, with rarely a mention.  But, this one gets a story in the Times". 

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Project of Muhammad bin Zayid

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The Project of Muhammad bin Zayid: The Arabization of the Israeli Model".

Brotherly Qatari and Saudi members of the GCC engage in a fist fight today

The Israeli lobby does not approve of the Saudi arms deal, it seems

The mouthpiece of f the Israeli lobby is not pleased with the latest Saudi arms deal.

A Lebanese professor digs legal holes in the US government case against two ostensible Hizbullah operatives

There are many holes in this story.

What if the Russian really managed to kill Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi?

If that happened, then I can assure you that all US media will invite various pundits from GCC think tanks in DC, and they will all say in unison that, in fact, Baghdadi was not really the leader and that his cousin, Tom Baghdadi was the real caliph.  

Never seen before pictures of Hajj Amin

Every few years, the Zionist movement decide to revive the case of Hajj Amin.  The one or two meetings he had with Hitler generated far more literature than Hitler's meetings with European leaders.

The Shabbihah of the Syrian regime are still alive and well--and kicking

This article in Al-Akhbar talks about the resurgence of Shabbihah

David Fromkin

Never studied the Middle East, did not know one of the languages of the region, but after finishing his law studies, became a historian of the Middle East. It never matters what people of the region have to say about it in their own languages.

It was Europe and the US which attacked the Russian revolution

Not the other way round.

Did you know that the Jordanian regime banned a Lebanese musical group because it has a gay member?

The Jordanian regime banned the Lebanese musical group, Mashru` Layla, because it has a self-identified gay person.

It worked. Saudi regime pressures worked

After a long silence, many of the Saudi clerics and preachers finally spoke in support of the regime. There were many stories of passport confiscations and direct pressures.

Adventures of riding on an Israeli occupation airline

Stop saying that Qatar (or Aljazeera) welcomed the "Arab spring"

This is not true. Qatar welcomed the uprising in Syria but not in Bahrain; in Egypt but not in Morocco.  

A local restaurant review describes her first experience eating chicken with the Middle East-style garlic paste

"The shawarma – a pita-wrapped sandwich filled with chicken, lettuce and tomatoes – is elevated by owner Licha Abounaoun’s own garlic sauce, a smooth, cooling counterpoint to the warm, spiced chicken. That garlic sauce is a point of pride at the cozy cafe, resting at a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it spot on Yosemite, close to the sprawling E&J Gallo Winery campus. “My dad makes it here, everyone goes crazy over it,” Licha’s daughter, 21-year-old Sarah Abounaoun, said. “They always tells us we should bottle it and sell it.” Yeah, count me in with those folks; the garlic sauce is magic and takes the shawarma over the top."

Read more here:"

Even Iraqi Christians are being targeted by immigration authorities

" Iraqi Christians in the US are expressing alarm over the arrests of Chaldean immigrants in the Detroit area for deportation back to the war-torn nation, where they could face persecution. A number of Chaldeans, part of an ancient Christian minority in Iraq, were detained Sunday in an enforcement sweep, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said. The immigrants targeted had criminal records and were living among a community of tens of thousands of Iraqi Chaldeans in the Detroit area. Many fear returning to Iraq could be dangerous, if not deadly."

The American citizen released from North Korea: so was he really tortured?

"the doctors appeared to dismiss that theory, saying there was no evidence the young man had botulism. A senior American official said this week that Mr. Warmbier was singled out for particularly brutal beatings while in captivity, but doctors said they saw no evidence of beatings."  I am just trying to understand. So he was subjected to particularly brutal beatings and yet there is no evidence of beatings? Was he beaten with an invisible tool?

What is the dirtiest, filthiest, and stinkiest airline in the world? Well, it is not difficult to guess

"A new list published by London’s Heathrow Airport rates Israel’s national carrier as the dirtiest and noisiest of all the carriers servicing the the world’s third-largest airport."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Not only Muslims

"Iraqi Christians in the US are expressing alarm over the arrests of Chaldean immigrants in the Detroit area for deportation back to the war-torn nation, where they could face persecution. A number of Chaldeans, part of an ancient Christian minority in Iraq, were detained Sunday in an enforcement sweep, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said. The immigrants targeted had criminal records and were living among a community of tens of thousands of Iraqi Chaldeans in the Detroit area. Many fear returning to Iraq could be dangerous, if not deadly."

Communist Party of Philippines on U.S. & Duterte

"The US military has long used so-called “anti-terror cooperation“cover for its intervention in the country. It has labelled as “Islamic terrorists” such groups as the Abu Sayyaf which trace its roots to US, Saudi, Pakistani and Israeli funded groups in Afghanistan in the 1980s and recently in Iraq and Syria. Leaders of these groups are linked as well to corrupt officials and personnel of the AFP [The Armed Forces of the Philippines]."

The starvation strategy in Yemen

"A U.S.-supported naval blockade has left 19 million people — more than two-thirds of the country’s population — in need of life saving aid and 7 million on the brink of starvation and famine. Meanwhile, the Saudi air force has deliberately bombed food sources — like farms and fishing villages — as well as factories, hospitals, and children’s schools. The U.S. has been a constant partner in the war since the beginning."

No international outrage as Gaza is left to suffer in the dark

"Israel will reduce its electricity supply to the occupied Gaza Strip by 40 percent, turning an already dire situation into a catastrophe." "Before the cut, Gaza’s population of two million has received only four hours of electricity a day, with hospitals, desalination and sewage treatment plants severely imperiled or made inoperative." "But as Gaza is left to suffer in the dark, there has been virtually no international attention to the worsening crisis." (thanks Amir) 

Do you remember the story about how Israeli intelligence infiltrated ISIS?

As you know all US media--especially the New York Times--love to exaggerate and even fabricate success of Israeli intelligence. The story started about how the source of the ISIS plot to infiltrate explosives in a computer-shaped divide on a plane was an Israeli source.  Then US media loved to regale readers with stories about how the Israeli intelligence service was able to do what is most difficult: to infiltrate ISIS.  I even thought that Israel was able to sneak in a Mossad agent (disguised like Shimon Peres when he used to meet secretly King Khusayn) inside ISIS. This weak in a long article about cyber-warfare we discovered the extent of Israeli intelligence infiltration: apparently, Israeli hacked a computer which ostensibly belonged to an ISIS member and his email was--according to Israeli  

Fanatical Islam: a Saudi export

"Saudi Arabia has been working for decades to pull Indonesia away from moderate Islam and toward the austere Wahhabi form that is state religion in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis’ campaign has been patient, multi-faceted, and lavishly financed. It mirrors others they have waged in Muslim countries across Asia and Africa." (thanks Michele)

West can't tell Arabs who their best writers are

I just observed in Arabic: Ghassan Kanafani is far more present on Arab social media among the young than Naguib Mahfouz.  Mahfouz is certainly not the best contemporary Arab writer--and I don't think that Kanafani necessarily is.  I think that people like Tawfiq Al-Hakim, Taha Husayn, Abbas Al-`Aqqad, Mikha'il Nu`aymah, and even Amin Rihani are all head and shoulders above Mahfouz.  

Major shift in Saudi policy towards Morocco

Upset by the neural stance of Morocco, today Al-Arabiyya refers to the struggle of Western Sahara people and spoke about their rights.  This is a first.  It even spoke about occupation.  

The Pakistani press is clearly far less burdened with oil and gas than the Arabic press

"Hezbollah and Hamas pose no direct threat to the Saudis. They are both the consequence of Israeli policies, in Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territories, and therefore perceived as foes by Israel. Could it be purely a coincidence that Saudi Arabia shares this attitude, as well as Israel’s implacable hostility towards Iran? And — surprise, surprise — another key demand is that Qatar must rein in, if not abolish, Al Jazeera, the television network that has regularly caused kerfuffles in the Middle East, and has been a particular bête noire for Egypt’s dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi."

Only Westerners can ban, no one else: think of Wonder Woman

"In his musings about what happened to the Starship Enterprise's chief medical officer, android Data says that Ireland would be reunified in 2024 as a result of a successful terrorist campaign." "Due to what no doubt many people will still consider to be sensitive content, the episode has never been shown on terrestrial TV in UK or in the Republic of Ireland and initial airings on Sky One were
edited." This was forced by the organiser of the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival in Belfast quoted in the article: "It dates from 1990, a time when songs, including one by the Pogues, were being banned and republican politicians' voices being dubbed by actors. "It's hard to believe that but both the BBC and RTE refused to show it and it still hasn't been shown on terrestrial TV in the UK or Ireland."
PS It was finally broadcast a few months after this article, September 2007.

Trump accuses Qatar of funding terrorism while the Qatari ambassador in DC wishes Trump a happy birthday

Saudi regime creates a Qatari opposition twitter account

Years after Mujtahid (whose identify is well-known by now), the Saudi regime created a counter account in the name of the Qatari opposition. But this account tweets in English, for some reason.

The protests in Morocco are still being ignored.

Even after the massive protests march in Rabat, the Western press still wants to ignore the protests.  Morocco seems to have maintained a neutral stance toward the Gulf crisis (and even sent food shipments to Doha) in the hope that Aljazeera would go easy in its coverage.

Qatar: how to woo the American government

IT was rather hilarious. The Qatari regime's Defense Minister flew to DC to sign yet another arms deal.  He then assured the American people--Trump's style--that thousands of jobs will created in 42 states. This is the formula of Gulf governments: you can please DC by buying American arms and inching closer toward Israel.  This is why I tell Arabs in Arabic: never count on any regime in squabbles, conflicts, and wars between regimes.

You would think from reading this that Gulf regime media were ever into "balanced reporting"

Rami G. Khouri (@RamiKhouri)
Among big losers could be Arab news media that drop balanced reporting in favor of pure propaganda. credibility lows will b hard to…

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I have never seen a climate of fear and intimidation in Arab media and social media like this

Saudi and UAE regimes are going nuts. Their media are a festival of crude and vulgar propaganda.  But what you will never see in the English language version of UAE/Saudi propaganda is that they attack Qatar for being close to Israel.  And in English, they attack Qatar for being close to Hamas.  

A lousy article in the Guardian about the Wonder Woman movie: I don't recognize the Guardian anymore

Don't you miss the old Guardian?  In this article the paper made it sound that the notion that Lebanon would ban a movie starring an Israeli occupation soldier is outrageous or weird.  Would the Guardian find it odd if Israel were to ban a movie starring a Hizbullah or Hamas fighter?  And notice that the lousy article cites only one Lebanese: a blogger who I have never heard of in my life who is opposed to the ban of the movie.

Lebanon never had a prime minister with the knowledge, erudition, and intellectualism of Sa`d Hariri. Here he is testing video games

Sunday, June 11, 2017

People are rushing to close down their Facebook and Twitter accounts in UAE

People (citizens and residents--lay people and writers) are rushing to close down their twitter and Facebook account for fear of persecution for the crime of "sympathy".   

Nazi-style propaganda prevailing in Saudi regime media; warning of fifth columnists

One arrow says: "With the homeland." The other says: "Against the homeland".  And the word "fifth column" appears in the direction of the hand of one person.  

For those who conduct polls in Gulf countries: how an Emirati professor was compelled to remove a twitter poll

So UAE professor, Abdul-khaliq Abdullah, posted a Twitter poll in which he asks people whether they approve or disapprove of the "isolation and boycott" of Qatar. Results quickly showed that 64% strongly disapproved.  He was then urged to remove the twitter poll and told that the results in fact violated the laws of the UAE.  He agreed with this and removed it.  

Netanyahu as the next Batman?

I am told that Netanyahu will be playing the next Batman.

Feminism cannot be Zionist

"In both cases, Gadot and Coates have been unapologetic and open about their support of anti-Palestinian violence. During Operation Protective Edge, Gadot, just cast as Wonder Woman, used her new platform to defend direct attacks on civilians, including women and children. Gadot celebrated Israeli propaganda that every such casualty was Hamas’ fault for storing weapons close to them in the most densely populated open-air prison camp on earth. The most frustrating thing to me is how obviously this invalidates Gadot as a feminist icon, and Wonder Woman as well, when the character is brought to life by Gadot. If gender is shared by all racial groups, feminism cannot be Zionist, just as it cannot be neo-Nazi—feminism that doesn’t have an understanding of how it intersects with racial and ethnic oppression is simply a diversification of white supremacy."

DUP's Pledge for Israel

"But unable to command a majority in the House of Commons on their own, the Conservatives will rely for support on the 10 lawmakers from the Democratic Unionist Party, a Christian Zionist group in Northern Ireland which pushes extreme pro-Israel policies." "The DUP is a staunchly pro-Israel party – Ian Paisley himself launched the group Northern Ireland Friends of Israel in 2009. Before this election, members of the DUP joined dozens of candidates from other parties signing a so-called “Pledge for Israel.” "As The Electronic Intifada’s David Cronin has observed, “the racist discourse of the Protestant establishment in the north of Ireland” is “almost identical to what Israeli politicians say about Arabs.” "

Saudi/Jordanian/UAE chief promoter in DC: a columnist in the Washington Post

""Ignatius’ writings have a strong influence not just on the U.S. public, but on the government itself. His columns' impact on the administration of President Barack Obama and on his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, was evident in the tranche of emails released from Clinton’s hacked private server. Ignatius was mentioned 40 times in the Clinton emails."" (thanks Amir)

What happens to you if you write a Facebook post critical of the prime minister in the Israeli occupation state

"An Israeli court on Sunday ordered a journalist to pay more than $25,000 in damages to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara for libeling them. The magistrate court in Tel Aviv ruled that Igal Sarna libeled the couple for writing a Facebook post that claimed the prime minister's wife kicked the Israeli leader out of their car during a fight. Sarna writes for Yediot Ahronot, a major Israeli newspaper that is often critical of Netanyahu."

Following long days of silence from Wahhabi clerics, the Mufti of Saudi Arabia has spoken

He (shown above) said that the measures against Qatar are for the benefit of the "future" of the Qatari people.

Saudi regime media; never seen anything like this in Arab media

Not even Saddam's crude and vulgar media in the 1980s stooped as low as the Saudi regime media in in the last ten days.  I have not seen anything like it: not even in the lousy Saudi regime media.  The crudeness and vulgarity of the propaganda is for the history books.  The funny part: is that the Saudi regime serves a different message in English (through the selective translations of Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat propaganda and through English language tweets by its correspondents or through press releases).  You should compare the English language versus the Arabic language tweets of the director of the official Saudi lobby in DC.

How Western media serve Gulf propaganda to their readers

If Western media want to really serve their readers in their (lousy) coverage of the Gulf crisis, they would adhere to those two basic standards of professional journalism:
1) they would tell their readers while interviewing academics, journalists, or "citizens" in UAE or Saudi Arabia or Qatar that opposition the government or disagreeing with the government in tweets or in retweets would land you in jail for up to 15 years with a hefty fine. They would tell them people in those countries are not free to express views different form the government.
2) they would tell readers when they cite "experts" at DC think thanks that those think tanks are all funded by UAE and/or Saudi Arabia (except Brookings which is funded by Qatar).  These are basics.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

An Egyptian TV serial insert a not-so-subtle political message against tyrant, Sisi

It says: "SISI (which can be written as C.C.) is a traitor."

So it would have been OK if he were a Muslim? "Professor stopped, grilled, booted after ‘extreme vetting’"

"Saad said he is Christian, has family in America and no criminal record."

An American author visits Saudi Arabia: guess who he is?

"I came to Saudi Arabia at the invitation of Time Entertainment under the leadership of Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel and the General Entertainment Authority, who organized everything at very short notice. I found the audiences to be extremely enthusiastic and engaged. At book signings, after my talks, it was a pleasant surprise to see that 18 of my books have been translated into Arabic. At various receptions, I had the opportunity to meet CEOs, thought leaders and various government leaders.  I was aware of Saudi Vision 2030, but after meeting Ahmed Al-Khatib, the chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, Minister of Health Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, Minister of Culture and Information Awwad Al-Awwad, and other officials, I had no doubt that the vision of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is on its way to becoming reality."