Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Yasmine Bahrani asks the White Man about Muslims

Now if Ms. Bahrani is addressing herself to Muslims as she claims  ("The decision before the community is this: Either we reject the Islamic State and groups like it in the clearest possible terms, or we allow them to become the face of Muslims.") shouldn't she be writing in an Arabic newspaper or even in an English newspaper published in a Muslim country? Those who address themselves to Muslims in the Washington Post are really just presenting their credentials to the White Man.  As for the lack of demonstrations about ISIS: well, Ms. ISIS.  The rise of ISIS is largely due to Saudi and Qatari funding and arming of Syrian rebels with Western blessing. So maybe you should demonstrate in Washington DC and US allies in the region don't allow demonstrations. Got it?

Doesn't David Ignatious write like Lebanese writers in Saudi newspapers?

"The outcome is probably a net gain for Saudi stability: Khaled bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, the new chief of the spy service, is seen as a more reliable and professional operator; he works well with Prince Mohammed bin Naif, the interior minister who is trusted by the United States. "

Kingdom of Humanity

(thanks Don)

John Kerry explains why the US is opposed to ISIS

"They have already demonstrated the ability to seize and hold more territory than any other terrorist organization, in a strategic region that borders Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey and is perilously close to Israel."

"Beheading of Convicted Drug Dealers Discussed by Bennett"

"William J. Bennett, federal drug policy coordinator, said Thursday night he had no moral qualms about beheading convicted drug dealers.

"Morally, I don't have any problem with that at all," Bennett said when asked on the CNN program "Larry King Live" call-in television show, whether he would support Saudi Arabian-style beheadings to deter drug dealers.

"One of the things that I think is a problem is that we are not doing enough that is morally proportional to the nature of the offense," he added."

demonstration in Libya against the UAE

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It says: "Your occupied islands are closer than Libya"

Bashshar's days are now officially numbered: Kenneth Pollack has a plan he would like to share with you

You see, Pollack has a simple plan:  "To get there, the United States would have to commit itself to building a new Syrian army that could end the war and help establish stability when the fighting was over...Recruiting Syrian army personnel would be the first task. These men and women could come from any part of the country or its diaspora, as long as they were Syrian and willing to fight in the new army. They would need to integrate themselves into a conventional military structure and adopt its doctrine and rules of conduct. They would also have to be willing to leave their existing militias and become reassigned to new units without regard for religion, ethnicity, or geographic origin. Loyalty to the new army and to the vision of a democratic postwar Syria for which it would stand must supersede all other competing identities. " And once he finishes this simple task, the rest is a peace of cake. You see, his Army (let us call it the Pollack Army of Syria) would now only finish off ISIS but would also (at the same time) finish off the Syrian regime, Hizbullah, Iran, and the Lebanese Communist Party.  It is simple.  If only the brilliant mind of George W. Bush dreamed of this scheme in his days.  But what is hilarious is that for two years, we were told that there is a moderate secular feminist Army called the Free Syrian Army and that it will do the job or jobs. Now we are told, no. We need to create a whole new American--sorry, Syrian--army to liberate Syria for Americans--sorry, for Syrians.  If only the Pollack Army of Syria was around in WWII: it would have also defeated Hitler. Damn.

U.S. & France expand colonization of Africa

"Although the two allies have a sporadic history of quarreling when it comes to military action, U.S. and French troops have been working hand in glove as they steadily expand their presence in impoverished West Africa." "France is protective of its economic and political interests in West Africa. Yet in 2008 it shrank its military presence on the continent and instead opened a base in the Persian Gulf, an area that the U.S. military sees as its sphere of influence. Around the same time, the Pentagon created an Africa Command and expanded its training partnerships with French-speaking countries on the continent, to the annoyance of some officials in Paris."

Skunk chemical weapon routinely sprayed at the Palestinians

"It is the foul-smelling liquid the "skunk" truck, one of Israel's weapons of occupation and oppression, routinely sprays at Palestinians." "Apart from the repulsive nausea-inducing stench, the skunk liquid can cause pain and redness if it comes into contact with eyes, irritation if it comes into contact with skin and if swallowed can cause abdominal pain requiring medical treatment," according to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)."

Will Saudi royal family move the tomb of the prophet to Tel Aviv?

" "The Prophet would be anonymous," Dr  Alawi added. "Everything around the Prophet's mosque has already been destroyed. It is surrounded by bulldozers. Once they've removed everything they can move towards the mosque. The imam is likely to say there is a need to expand the mosque and do it that way, while the world's eyes are on Iraq and Syria. The Prophet Mohamed's grave is venerated by the mainstream Sunni, who would never do it. It is just as important for the Shia too, who venerate the Prophet's daughter, Fatima. "I'm sure there will be shock across the Muslim world at these revelations. It will cause outrage." "

Syrian refugees trigger child labour boom in Turkey

"Almost 900,000 children are estimated to be working in Turkey, around 300,000 of them between the ages of six and 14, according to official figures. The legal working age is 15. Hakan Acar, a children's rights expert from Kocaeli University, underlined that the real numbers were probably much higher: "Children working on the streets are not included in these statistics, for example – children selling water, tissues or those who are begging." As refugees from Syria do not receive work permits in Turkey, underage Syrian workers are not being recorded at all. "It makes them extremely vulnerable to abuse," warned Acar. "Syrian women and children are probably amongst the most vulnerable groups in Turkey right now." " (thanks Amir)

Personality cult in Saudi Arabia

It occurred to me: no Arab regime that promoted personality cult of the "leader" (not even Saddam or Qadhdhafi or Hafidh Al-Asad) went as far as the Saudi regime which has in a museum the underwear of the King `Abdul-`Aziz. That does not get mocked in the Arabic or Western press of course. 

foreign fighters in Syria

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About a Lebanese pornographic magazine that went under

"What was the initial reaction of the public?

Well, you could say that Hell’s doors have opened in my face, but I was expecting that. It's not like I was surprised or shocked. Even in 2009, which was a bit better than today, because extremism is on the rise. But even then, in 2009, it was unthinkable to publish such a magazine. And what made matters worse, of course, was that it was a woman publishing this. So, I got called all kinds of names and [got] all kinds of threats. But, I didn’t allow them to intimidate me so I kept on. And I also fought against censorship with the help of two amazing people who were then the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Information, who stood by my side and refused to give in to the pressures coming from all sides asking them to stop publishing the magazine." She is lying, yet again.  No one cared about her pornographic magazine, not even the sleazy rich Gulfies and Lebanese, and that is how it went under.  An no, there were no protests against her magazine and no one even noticed it.  And here she tells them about her struggle:  "but you cannot compare a woman who writes about sexuality in the luxury and comfort of a city like New York with the struggles of a woman who writes about sexuality and sexual liberation in a place like Beirut, where each and every word is drawing her attacks and threats and insults."

PS If those ill-informed correspondents knew Arabic and could read her racist and sexist articles, they would have asked her: can you elaborate on your recent racist article in which you stated that the very appearance of Syrians in Lebanon bothers you?

"ISIS and al-Qaeda: Similarities and differences"

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English: "ISIS and al-Qaeda: Similarities and differences"

Monday, September 01, 2014

The caliphate of ISIS

This is an insightful and informative study of ISIS by Syrian dissident, Haytham Al-Manna`.

the Syrian Observatory: how it cooks the news and headlines

Apparently, the Syrian Observatory posted this without realizing that its "comments" were not removed. 

Nadim Al-Bitar

Middle Eastern studies suffers from in-depth training in Middle Eastern language.  I have always argued in favor of restoring elements of Orientalist training.  Last week, Nadim Al-Bitar, died and not one mention of him anywhere in the US.  This is one of the major theoretician of Arab nationalism but has received little if any attention because he wrote exclusively in Arabic.  (There is an article about him in English by Tareq Ismail in Middle East Journal from 1971--check it out in JSTOR).  How ironic and sad (for him): the man who believed in the inevitability of Arab unity died a retired professor in Toledo, Ohio.

This very speech launched the modern fanatical terrorist Jihad around the world, from which we still suffer

Read the English subtitles. 

Zionist terrorist thieves

"Israel has announced plans to expropriate 400 hectares of land in the occupied West Bank" "Some 500,000 Israelis live among 2.4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territory that the Jewish state captured in the 1967 Middle East war."

West's relationship with dictatorships

"One element has been missing, and that is the west's relationship with Middle Eastern dictatorships that have played a pernicious role in the rise of Islamist fundamentalist terrorism. And no wonder: the west is militarily, economically and diplomatically allied with these often brutal regimes, and our media all too often reflects the foreign policy objectives of our governments." (thanks Mohammad)

U.S. helped Turkey kill Kurdish rebels

"The Snowden documents show that Turkey is the NSA's oldest partner in Asia. Even before the NSA's founding in 1952, the CIA had established a "Sigint," or signals intelligence, partnership with Turkey dating back to the 1940s." "U.S. secret agents have also provided support to the Turkish government in its battle against the Kurdish separatists with the PKK for years." (thanks Amir)

The journalism of Nicholas Blanford

It would not be an exaggeration to maintain that over the last ten years, Nicholas Blanford has proven himself to be the most unqualified, unprofessional, unreliable, unethical, incompetent, and propagandistic foreign correspondent working in the Middle East.  Basim sent me this:  "“I call on our parents and the people in the village to stop this apostate party [Hezbollah] from killing people,” says a soldier who identifies himself as Mahmoud Maarouf Hamiyah from the Shiite village of Taraya in the Bekaa Valley. Hamiyah is likely a blood relative of the secretive Talal Hamiyah, also from Taraya and one of Hezbollah’s top military commanders and allegedly head of the party’s external operations unit."  Do you know how many Hamiyahs there are in Lebanon?  This is like meeting somebody with a family name of Smith in the US and commenting: he is "likely" a blood relative of the wanted man Joe Smith.  How dumb is this?

Domestic violence in Syria

From Rana: "This article in the NYT (by a Syria Deeply writer and posted specifically to Nick Kristof’s page) explains violence against Syrian women as the result of it being a patriarchal country. Still, the statistic offered is no larger than that regarding prevalence of violence against American women. So would it be fair to describe American as “a super-duper patriarchal country”?

The quote: "Domestic violence has long been an issue in Syria, traditionally a patriarchal country where men are the breadwinners and women make the home. In 2006, its first countrywide domestic violence survey, sponsored by the United Nations Development Fund for Women, found that between 10 and 25 percent of Syrian women had experienced physical violence.

The link: "
Do you have an idea about the rates of domestic violence in "liberated" US?  23 women are killed weekly by men in the "non-patriarchal" US.

Samantha Power and Yemen

Samantha Power is quite bothersome at many level, and not only because she groveled before the Zionists in the US to obtain her job and their approval. Read her tweets: she represents the stereotype (often true) of the American liberal: unprincipled, lame, boring, vapid, and inconsistent.  Read her remarks about Yemen: she talks about "Yemeni political transition" when what happened in Yemen was simply a replacement of an American puppet by another American puppet.  Pure and simple. And she has been complaining about the Huthi movement: thus far, the movement around the capital has been purely political: demonstrations and protests focusing on economic demands--the kind of thing that the US government foments in countries where the regime is not a puppet of the US.

Free Syrian Army

What I like about the Free Syrian Army--assuming that such a thing really exists--is that it understood the rule of the game very early on and avoided adopting any ideology to facilitate offering their services to whoever wants to pay.  It works.

Sunday, August 31, 2014


From Angry Arab's chief Turkey correspondent, Ali: "‘ISIS created by regime’ said FSA cleric join the ranks of ISIS

Ex-FSA commander Omar Gharba, who claimed “ISIS was created by regime” now joins the ranks of ISIS.
A youtube video (Link: )  shows him with a few ISIS commanders including Shakir Wahiyib.
Previously, he leaded the attacks against ISIS in Idlib province during last summer and told BBC Arabic that, “ISIS created by regime”…
Gharba was bearing FSA logos and was previously shown in a video while smashing a Virgin Mary Statue in Yakubiyah town and saying “We won’t accept anything but the tradition of the Prophet” but laterly described as “moderate” because of fighting against ISIS. "

A Zionist hoodlum apologizes

"To Middle East Forum subscribers:
I apologize for just sending out an article titled "Give Palestine—Not the U.N.—the Money, Responsibility, and Glory" by Alexander H. Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky. This is the title The New Republic gave this article. MEF policy requires alteration of such a title (to "the Palestinian Authority"), but I inadvertently overlooked this step.
This article does not signal a shift on the Forum's part. As far as we are concerned, "Palestine" ceased to exist on May 15, 1948.

Yours sincerely,

Gary Gambill
web editor" (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Israel's ticking bombs in South Lebanon

"Megan Burke, another editor of the “Cluster Munition Monitor” report, said the widely accepted data for the Israel-Lebanon conflict showed 249 cluster munition casualties between July 12, 2006, and April 12, 2007. The time period goes beyond the conflict’s end to reflect the effects of the unexploded Israeli bomblets. The United Nations has said that many of the Israeli cluster bomblets in Lebanon did not explode, essentially turning them into booby traps that required an extensive cleanup operation."

How does Israel undercount its cluster bombs? It does not count them as bomblets although each are separate bombs after they are released

"The New York Times Correction: August 30, 2014 

An article on Thursday about a report on the deaths and injuries caused by cluster bombs in the Syrian civil war overstated the number of cluster bombs Israel dropped on Lebanon during the conflict with Hezbollah in 2006. It was about 1,800 bombs, containing more than 1.2 million bomblets; it was not “hundreds of thousands” of cluster bombs."

This liberal admits that he is racist against black, and proud of it

"I’m typical. The first time I took the test, years ago, I shot armed blacks in an average of 0.679 seconds while waiting slightly longer — 0.694 seconds — to shoot armed whites. I also holstered more quickly when confronted with unarmed whites than with unarmed blacks." Yes, Kristof.  You are typical of racists.

The golden age of Arab atheism: Syria

This article deals with the rise of atheism in Syria, in areas under the control of government and the rebels alike.

FBI-approved Islam

""ISNA rejects all acts of terrorism, including those perpetrated by Hamas, Hizbullah and any other group that claims Islam as their inspiration."" (thanks Basim)

I looked at this picture of Thomas Friedman and Barham Salih and thought: who do I detest more? I could not settle

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Explosive: minutes of a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Prince of Qatar (and later Khalid Mish`al)

Reading these minutes leave me with this impression: neither Fath nor Hamas comes off well.  The Emir of Qatar barely spoke.

Translations of Arabic articles

This blog features translations from Arabic, including articles by the incomparable, comrade Amer Mohsen.   

Western men and war

"We could laugh, but advocating war as liberation has real, negative consequences for women—not to mention other living and non-living things. After all, what is imperial war if not the mass rape of nations and cultures? Within the general context of indiscriminate violation, individual rape cases also abound; in fact, war and rape pretty much go together like bees and honey." (thanks Amir)

Human Rights Watch would never dare to insult the King of Saudi Arabia in personal terms

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
French Pres Hollande has it right: #Syria Pres Assad isn't an anti-terrorist partner but effectively an #ISIS ally. trib.al/ka8nAAg

The US assures the Arabs that Israel is a "responsible" possessor of nuclear weapons

"The Johnson and Nixon administrations concluded that, in talks with Rabin, it had been stated in a manner both “explicit and implicit” that “Israel wants nuclear weapons, for two reasons: First, to deter the Arabs from striking Israel; and second, if deterrence fails and Israel were about to be overrun, to destroy the Arabs in a nuclear Armageddon.”"

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Zionist hoodlums at Campus Watch

This passage by me is presented as an apology for Hamas: "Meanwhile, As’ad AbuKhalil, a political scientist at California State University, Stanislaus, argued that, “With every war, with every massacre, and with every ‘assault,’ Israel (the government and its people) genuinely thinks that this war crime would do the job and finish off the flame of Palestinian nationalism once and for all.” “The US media and government are willing to justify any Israeli war crime no matter the scale,” he added."

Origins of ISIS

Another US responsibility for the creation of ISIS and its rise is that it, along with Saudi Arabia, adopted the official policy of Sunni-Shi`ite war to isolate Iran and Hizbullah.  The resort to Sunni sectarianism was destined to empower those are are most capable at it.

Saudi threats to the West?

In summoning all those diplomats, was the Saudi King making predictions or threats to the West?

The peace process

“I’ll back you and protect you, I’m your guy … it’s very upsetting … all the Arabs are the same,” US President Bill Clinton told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a 19 July 2000 meeting during the failed Camp David summit with Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat.....
Israel also secretly recorded conversations between Clinton and Assad back in 2000. The only question unanswered is why, given the extent of the collusion, the Israeli government believed it was necessary to eavesdrop on its counterpart.....
In a secret 1998 letter to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Albright promised: “Recognizing the desirability of avoiding putting forward proposals that Israel would consider unsatisfactory, the US will conduct a thorough consultation process with Israel in advance with respect to any ideas the US may wish to offer the parties for their consideration.” As Bregman notes, this effectively gave “Israel carte blanche to veto any American peace proposals” it didn’t like....
After noting that in 2004, US President George W. Bush appeared to release Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from an earlier commitment not to harm Arafat, Bregman states that the US government had given Sharon “if not a green light to proceed with the killing, then at least an amber” light." (thanks Nikolai)

Palestinians continue to die

"The Ministry stated that Mohammad al-Ma’sawani, 22, suffered a very serious injury in an Israeli bombardment near al-Fairouz towers, northwest of Gaza City. He succumbed to his serious injuries despite all efforts to save his life. Also, an elderly woman, identified as Widad Abu Zeid died at an Egyptian hospital of wounds suffered after the army bombarded her family home in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Several family members, including children were killed in the Israeli attack."

Who did this? The Western governments did when they adopted the "Syrian revolution"

"The Soufan Group, a New York-based intelligence firm, estimated in June that there were at least 12,000 foreign fighters from 81 countries in the Syrian conflict, including some 3,000 European nationals." (thanks Amir)