Friday, October 31, 2014

US funding of Area Studies: do away with Title VI and free Middle East centers of fear and conformity to Zionism

I am not stressing over the US Congressional funding of under Title VI of area studies. That does not concern me in the least.  I mean, year after year, there is an outcry by some academics over the funding and the result is less money and more pressure for "balance" in Middle East studies.  This will basically year after year produce more docile centers and academics: the fear of MESA to adopt BDS (like American Asian Studies or even American studies association) is party due to the weak mentality generated by the fear over Title VI funding.  The pressure and the funding will only train those centers to internalize further the message of "balance" which means that the Palestinian question and viewpoint will be buried behind tons of Zionist lectures and classes, and that the few million Israelis have to be considered equal--if not more important--to the 1.6 billion Muslims and the 350 million Arabs, and that if you wish to teach Arabic or Urdu you have to offer classes on Hebrew (an almost dead language spoken by some 6 million people in the world, at most).  For that reason, I say, do away with Title VI and maybe we can then have Middle East studies (less funded but) independent and free of Zionist pressures, and where departments feel less obligated to host a "visiting Israeli professor" every year. 

There is a pscychological malady afflicting the Lebanese people

""Digital drugs," otherwise known as binaural beats, have sparked an outcry in Lebanon, with the Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi calling Thursday for legal measures to be taken against the product."  Of course, the Justice Minister (a tool of Prince Muhammad bin Nayif) is more dumb than the average Lebanese.

Wall-mart celebrates Halloween

(thanks Fatimah)

Turkey and ISIS

"Erdoğan’s government could have held the balance of power between Assad and his opponents, but instead convinced itself that Assad – like Gaddafi in Libya – would inevitably be overthrown. When this failed to happen, Ankara gave its support to jihadi groups financed by the Gulf monarchies: these included al-Nusra, al-Qaida’s Syrian affiliate, and Isis. Turkey played much the same role in supporting the jihadis in Syria as Pakistan had done supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. The estimated 12,000 foreign jihadis fighting in Syria, over which there is so much apprehension in Europe and the US, almost all entered via what became known as ‘the jihadis’ highway’, using Turkish border crossing points while the guards looked the other way." "The exact nature of the relationship between the Turkish intelligence services and Isis and al-Nusra remains cloudy but there is strong evidence for a degree of collaboration."

Israel's apocalyptic plans

"In fact, Glick, with a long record of arrests and provocations, is a key figure in a movement whose goal is the replacement of the al-Aqsa mosque and the nearby Dome of the Rock with a Jewish “Third Temple.” Glick is at the nexus of a host of “Temple activist” groups whose activities are detailed in a 2013 report by the Israeli nongovernmental organization Ir Amim. He was a founder and director of The Temple Institute, which according to Ir Amim, “enjoys the [Israeli] establishment’s most generous support.” Many such groups have close ties to and receive funding from the Israeli government." (thanks Amir)

Israel bars worshippers from Al-Aqsa Mosque

The New York Times has to put a positive twist on any negative action by Israel.  If Israel were to drop a nuclear bomb on Arabs, the New York Times would headline: Israel provides more heat for the Arab people.  The front page headline of the story is: "Israel reopens", and the article (before it was altered) started with this sentence: "After closing it over security concerns"...."

Who is tormenting whom in the Middle East?

"The guards also sponsor Hamas and Hizbullah, the missile-toting tormentors of Israel." In that case, Israel is the tormentor of the Arab people.

Iranian economy

From Economist: "“The bazaar is ruined,” says one shopper."  Said one shopper. Funny enough, this very week, I read about a trip to Iran by a group of AUB professors.  One of the professors said: "I've never seen anything like the bazaars in Iran".  (Main Gate, Fall 2014, p. 20.

The Economist does not think that Saudi regime is perceived by Arabs to be a stooge of the US

There is a beefy (or tofu) supplement on Iran in the Economist.  The worst section of it is the one about Iran's neighbors. You read this in it: "Since Saudi Arabia and Egypt have become noticeably less friendly with America, they can no longer be depicted as stooges."  Arabs are that dumb? They no more think that Saudi regime is a stooge of the US?

The Economist does not know what Khawarij means

"Abu Qatada, called IS khawarij, or “rebels”, for twisting Islamic precepts."  Some of the correspondents of the Economist are as ill-informed and ill-educated as correspondents for mainstream US media.  Are you kidding me? Does not know who the Khawarij are?

Abe Foxman proves, yet again, that he is quite funny and does not object to humor

""The cartoon in question is offensive on many levels," ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman said in a statement."

AUB has never been a PC school

The headline of an article in AUB magazine (the recent issue), Main Gate, about energy-efficient chicken coops is "Hot Chicks".  That their idea of wit.

Secular or religous state?

Famed Iraqi sociologist, `Ali Al-Warid, used to say that Arabs would vote for a religious state, but would go and live in a secular state.

Covering Iran in the US press

I have been in the US for more than 30 years, and the propaganda filled coverage of Iran in the US press has not changed one bit.  It is always the same: the clerical regime is on the verge of collapse and the economy is "in shambles".  This article in the Economist is of a very different quality (despite the cover of the new issue).  It contains facts and figures that you will never ever read in the silly US press: "The most visible shift is in public infrastructure. Tehran, the capital, is a tangle of new tunnels, bridges, overpasses, elevated roads and pedestrian walkways. Shiny towers rise in large numbers, despite the sanctions. Screens at bus stops display schedules in real time. Jack Straw, a former British foreign minister and a regular visitor, says that “Tehran looks and feels these days more like Madrid and Athens than Mumbai or Cairo.”

Smaller Iranian cities have changed even more. Tabriz, Shiraz and Isfahan are working on underground railways. Half the traditional bathhouses in Qazvin, an industrial town west of Tehran, have closed in recent years. In a basement with a domed ceiling built 350 years ago, the forlorn manager sweeps around two kittens and bemoans the loss of a 700-year-old competitor, musing that “people now have bathrooms with hot running water.” In Yalayesh, a remote village near the Caspian sea, entertainment remains old-fashioned: a Kurdish strongman, Ismail the Hero, shows off a lion in a cage on the back of his blue truck. Still, two years ago the government finished piping natural gas into every house, making winters with temperatures of -20ºC “tolerable for the first time”, says a spectator.

During the eight-year presidency of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, which ended in 2013, prosperity spread rapidly. Loans, handouts and social-housing programmes, however corrupt and ineptly run, showered billions of oil dollars on the poor. Many found white-collar jobs in government agencies. The middle class ballooned. Villagers streamed into Tehran to buy property as GDP per person rose from $4,400 in 1993 to $13,200 last year (at purchasing-power parity). Despite the sanctions, Iran does not look like beleaguered Cuba; people drive new sedans made locally, not 1950s Chevrolets. Life became harder when sanctions were tightened in 2011, but even now Iranians live much better than most of their neighbours.

Prosperity has inspired an obsession with technology that restrictions on internet access cannot dampen. Facebook is the primary medium for half the country’s youth and Twitter is used by officials to put out statements—never mind that both are banned. Freedom House, an American human-rights lobby, ranks Iran last in the world in terms of internet freedom, but in reality access is cheap and fast. (The fastest speeds are achieved near seminaries, since clerics preach online and get priority on fibre-optic cables.)"

Enrollment in Tertiary Education

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What Iranian political and religoius leaders don't want to know

One of the annoying features of Iranian political rhetoric is the notion that Arabs wish to emulate the Iranian political system.  It is high time that Iranian leaders disabuse themselves of this silly notion. Let them know that there are no takers for their model in the Arab world. Not even the mass audience of Hizbullah wish to emulate that model.  Hizbullah foolishly tried to apply some of the features of Iranian model in predominantly Shi`ite areas of Lebanon back in the 1980s, and the attempt failed miserably.

Gen. Sulaymani

Iraqi leftist, `Ala' Al-Lami on the Iranian media and their obnoxious cult of Sulaymani leading the war on ISIS in Iraq.

Why do I feel that Malala will be increasingly less popular in the West?

"Malala Yousafzai gives $50,000 to reconstruction of Gaza schools"

anti-Semitic computer

From Daniel: "Don't ask me why I was reading this old book, "Techniques of Program Structure and Design" (1975). It contains the following choice paragraph on page 285:

8.1.4 Programmer, Know Thyself
The programmers who have the most difficulty debugging their programs are often those who blame ALL of their problems on the hardware, on the operating system, on the compiler, or on someone else's program. I once had the remarkable experience of working with a programmer who, whenever he had problems with his program, complained that the computer was anti-Semitic!"

Turkey and ISIS

From Eyal in 1948 Palestine:

A group of 3 soldiers approaching a fence and having some altercation/exchange with some militants on the other side - even if these are ISIS people - that video is practically meaningless. There's no context in time (what happened before and after) and no context in space.

Now, blaming the rise of IS on your political opponents seems to have become a national sport: They're the creations of Assad; they are secretly encouraged and funded by Iran; the US wanted them to pick up all those tanks and weapons; It's all Saudi money; Turkey's secretly pleased that they're harassing the Kurds are pressuring them into an anti-Assad front; etc.

I don't think Turkey being supportive of IS makes much sense, but even if it did, I'd expect much more serious evidence and not post a link to the video."  What can I say, he is right.

can you imagine the international feminist uproar if those men were Muslims?

"Israel’s national airline is facing outrage over what critics call the “bullying” of women on flights by ultra-Orthodox Jewish men who refuse to sit next to them."

South Korean intelligence

And you still believe the lies and fabrications about North Korea that come from this intelligence service?

The American rocket that exploded

If this rocket was Russian or Iranian it would have been on the front page of every US newspaper. But patriotism rules.

Look at this guy

Now he compares ISIS to the Viet Cong.  But what is amusing to me is that he, among other Western Zionist writers, maintain that he brutality of the Asad regime caused the brutality and terrorism of ISIS. So do those people then accept a Palestinian version of ISIS against Israel in the same logic?

The UN is shocked by an execution in Iran

Can you find a trace of an expression of "shock" by a UN official of an execution in Saudi Arabia? Can you find one trace? And then I read: "Mr. Shaheed said he had been shocked by the execution on Saturday of Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, who was convicted of killing a man she had accused of raping her."  In fact, the woman never accused the man of raping her. She accused him of attempting to rape her. But what the hell: he should have shot him nevertheless. He is an Iranian man, and the killer has been transformed (without her consent) into a feminist heroine, and is a darling of the Rajavi cult in exile.

Did I not tell you a few days ago?

Syrian opposition groups and personalities will be winning Western awards for the best film, the best play, the best dance, the best potato, the best song, etc.  Of course, the criteria are not political.

We have a new writer at the Post on Hizbullah: his name is Hugh Naylor

I mentioned yesterday that he cited a bevy of experts who belong to the enemy camp of Hizbullah but this really reveals ignorance, if nothing else: "Hezbollah reportedly pressured Web sites to have the video removed."  How can Hizbullah pressure website to remove the videos? Half of Lebanon and its media are opposed to Hizbullah and much of the Arab world media are owned by the Saudi and Qatari royal families.  How can they arrange to remove the video? But wait. The web version of the article has a hyper link and it takes you to an article: it is by the political director of Hariri family TV, and it was published in Al-Arabiyyah (the news website of the station owned by the brother-in-law of King Fahd), and from an article that the woman writes in the mouthpiece of Prince Salman.  Do those people really pass their introductory journalism courses, assuming they took any?

Abe Foxman corrects

"(UPDATE: Foxman just e-mailed me this statement: "The quote is accurate, but the context is wrong. I was referring to what troubles this administration about Israel, not what troubles leaders in the American Jewish community.")"

The ABC of Zionism

"In September, Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging the Admissions Committees Law, which allows communities to reject housing applicants based on “cultural and social suitability” — a legal pretext to deny residency to non-Jews. In practice, even before the law was passed, it was virtually impossible for a Palestinian to buy or rent a home in any majority-Jewish city. Further ethnic separation is maintained by the education system. Aside from a few mixed schools, most educational institutions in Israel are divided into Arab and Jewish ones. According to Nurit Peled-Elhanan, a Hebrew University professor of sociology who has produced the most comprehensive survey of Israeli public school curriculums, not one positive reference to Palestinians exists in Israeli high school textbooks. Palestinians are described as either “Arab farmers with no nationality” or fearsome “terrorists,” as Professor Peled-Elhanan documented in her book “Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education.”"

Discriminatory Laws in Israel

Discriminatory Laws in Israel

Mahmoud Abbas taps the phones of his allies and aides

Here is the link.

evidence that Bahrain has a burgeoning problem with Salafi radicalization

"The video is graphic evidence that Bahrain has a burgeoning problem with Salafi radicalization. Support for extremist groups has flourished even as the state has been cracking down on the non-violent, pro-democracy opposition." "Not only is there a direct link between IS and Bahrain's security services (as the video suggests), but the Bahraini cohort in the Islamic State includes Turki al-Binali, one of the movement's most influential radical preachers."

human rights in the US

""Graphic footage has emerged showing a homeless man being shot and killed by police in the US who fired a barrage of 46 bullets as he held a penknife." "As he lies bleeding, the officers are seen attempting to handcuff his lifeless arms and dragging his body along the ground, with one officer appearing to kick his back."" (thanks Amir)

Western correspondents and HRW director in Beirut

I was looking at the Twitter page of the correspondent of the Economist in Cairo (who has been writing advocacy pieces on behalf of the Free Syrian Army in the magazine).  And here is what struck me: they chronicle every single incident of barrel bombing by the regime (based only on the claims of the rebels), which is OK: but they never ever report the killing of civilians by rebel car bombs or indiscriminate shelling. That never registers in their chronicle of the war in Syria.  For all those, there is a brutal regime on one side, and only civilians on the other side.

Brookings in Doha

"At an April 2013 Brookings forum in Washington, Indyk mentioned that he and then Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, a key player in Qatar's engagement with Brookings, had remained friends for "two decades." This relationship dates to when Indyk served as special assistant to President Clinton and senior director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council.

Indyk noted that he approached the sheik after the 9/11 attacks, informing him that Brookings planned to launch a project focused on American engagement with the Islamic world.

"And he said immediately, 'I will support it, but you have to do the conference in Doha.' And I said, 'Doha, well that sounds like an interesting idea,'" Indyk said at the 2013 forum. "Three years into that, he suddenly then told me we want to have a Brookings in Doha. And I said, 'Well, okay, we'll have a Brookings in Doha, too,' and we ended up with the Brookings Doha Center" (BDC), in 2008."

Brookings' Qatar-based scholars see their host country with rosy spectacles, ignoring the emirate's numerous terror ties."

This is the Israel that the US so admires

"A right-wing Israeli member of parliament has proposed legislation that would ban the Muslim call to prayer in Israel, where 20 percent of the population is Arab (the majority of whom are Muslim). Robert Ilatov, a MP from the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party, argued for restricting the ability of mosques to project the 'Adhan," or call to prayer, which are sung out usually by a local muezzin five times a day.

The song of the muezzin is a fixture of urban life in many parts of the world where there are Muslim populations. But for Ilatov and others, it's a problem of noise pollution. The proposed bill would give Israeli authorities the right to decide whether public address systems can be placed in mosques -- a de facto right to muffle the muezzin."

Walid Jumblat is on Twitter

This has been the big news; that Jumblat has joined Twitter. It has been hilarious.  A friend wrote me yesterday to note the large number of typos and grammatical mistakes in every sentence in English and French (and you thought that this blog needs editing).  What is hilarious because he is big in Lebanon is that he thinks (typical Lebanese syndrome) that he is big everywhere.  He writes messages to Obama and other foreign leaders.  He wrote to Bill Gates but then added his name so that Gates would recognize him.  Gates ignored him so he wrote him again, rather apologetically.  But of all the funny things in his replies and tweets is the expression of admiration for Nasser: one wanted to ask him whether he discussed Nassser with Bush, Rice, and Cheney.  He also freely mocks the bad influence of oil money as if his subservience to Saudi regime is a secret. But the most hilarious part of them all is his exchange with Nadim Shehade (did you know that he was a leftist? I didn't) about the plight of the left. Notice that when they speak of "dictatorships" they only mean one dictator, Bashshar, because they are fans of the Saudi regime and its alliance of dictatorships.

PS For Shehade and Jumblat to discuss matters of the left is like Cheney and Bush discussing matters of Arab nationalism.

Max Blumenthal, the anti-Semite? Are you kidding me?

This attack piece on Max Blumenthal is one of the most vulgar and crude anti-Semitic labeling that i have seen--and I have seen a lot from the Zionist propagandists.  In fact, no one has damaged the real cause of combating anti-Semitism like those Zionists who use the charge of anti-Semitism to settle political scores and to silence critics of Israel.  Basically, this writer (in an unintelligent language) maintains that Blumenthal is anti-Semitic because he saw fascistic racist features in Israel, and because he exposed Israeli youth racism and because some Nazi or two in the US used the writings of Blumenthal against Israel for their own ends.  I mean, what kind of an argument is this? Anti-Semites, for example misuse the Old Testament to make points against Jews and Judaism, does that make the Old Testament anti-Semitic, and do you hold the Old Testament responsible for its misuse by anti-Semites? How dumb is that?

Who is Abdullah Sindi?

I posted yesterday an article about the Saudi Wahabi takeover of Mecca.  Someone sent it to me and I never heard of the author before.  An alert reader did some investigation and found out that this Sindi guy had written a holocaust denying article.  So apologies to the ears and eyes of the readers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Enabler of war crimes at the UN

"In her five years in government, however, Power has done nothing of substance to prevent atrocities. In fact, her most notable accomplishment might be her enabling of their most ruthless perpetrators, primarily through her protection of Israel, a serial human rights abuser and the world's only active settler-colonial state." "Power routinely coordinated with the Israeli government to help protect its occupation of Palestinian territory." "With Power seated at the UN, the Israel lobby chalked up one of its greatest political coups of the Obama era, securing perhaps the most high profile product of the human rights industrial complex as a weapon in its war on the Palestinians."

Assessing Israel's military

Those are as reliable and objective analysts on the matter as the "experts" on Hizbullah below: "These assessments were based on the media outlet's own research, and on interviews with two experts: Patrick Megahan, from the Foundation of Defense of Democracies' Military Edge project, and Chris Harmer, senior naval analyst at the Institute for the Study of War. "

"The WP's cast of characters for comment on Hizbullah"

From Basim: "“Hezbollah is spread thin. They are waging so many battles and are positioned on so many fronts,” said Imad Salamey, associate professor of political science at the Beirut-based Lebanese American University.

“This attack was really striking. It really damages¬ the reputation of Hezbollah as a competent military force,” said David Schenker, director of Arab politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a former Pentagon official.

“If Israel wanted to launch a war against Hezbollah, this would have been a perfect opportunity, and this time around, Hezbollah’s losses¬ would be huge,” Hanin Ghaddar, managing editor of the Lebanese Web site Now News, wrote in an editorial.

“Hezbollah is trying to keep the situation as calm as possible,” said the analyst, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of angering Bekaa Valley clans."  I would say that is a fair objective range of views on the subject.

Is ISIS a member of NATO?

""A remarkable video has emerged purporting to show Islamic State militants chatting casually with a group of Turkish border guards near the besieged Syrian city of Kobane. The amateur footage, understood to have been filmed close to Zarova Hill in the outskirts of Kobane, raises serious questions about the apparently relaxed relationship between the terror group and officials from the Nato member state."

(thanks Amir)

When the Wahhabi Jihadi terrorists entered Mecca

"Nevertheless, when the vicious Saudis/Wahhabis finally entered Islam's holiest city, they found Makkah's terrorized inhabitants hiding in their homes, the city's streets were
totally deserted, and the houses' doors and windows were tightly shut in their faces. The Wahhabis brutally broke into Makkah's houses and destroyed all musical instruments and records, gramophones, radios, cigarettes, tobacco pipes, pictures, and mirrors - all considered by them to be the work of the Devil. The primitive Wahhabis then used the
wooden frames of the houses' windows and doors for cooking fire. The barbaric Wahhabis also flogged Makkah's inhabitants who wore Western clothes, gold, perfume, or silk. They desecrated most graveyards, and destroyed many of Makkah's beautiful tombs, ornamental mosques, and shrines that had stood for centuries reflecting the glorious Islamic past and the great history of the religious city. The ignorant Wahhabis also barbarically destroyed any physical traces of Prophet Mohammad's historical monuments and sights as well as all other buildings or physical structures that could be traced to his disciples "in order not to be worshiped as holy spots". "

Lest we forget, lest we forgive: martyrs of Kafar Qasim