Saturday, August 30, 2014

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)

I told you so

Maybe I should do that once a week: do you remember how I (among others) warned during the days of the romanticization and glamoration of the "Syrian revolution" that the US policies and the permission to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey to shower the rebels with weapons and money that a monster would be produced? The US can't in any way, along with Western governments, wash their hands of the responsibility for the unleashing of ISIS, just as they could not wash their hands of responsibility for the creation of Al-Qa`idah from the womb of their highly touted Mujahidin of Afghanistan.  

Saudi kingdom

Are you aware that the Saudi regime insists in all its "humanitarian assistance" to international organizagtions that all shipments be labeled "from the Kingdom of Humanity"?  And are you aware that recently refugees in northern Iraq refused to accept humantarian shipment of food because they were from Saudi Arabia? And are you aware that all Saudi assistance to international organizations is conditional on the requirement that those international organizations embark on PR work on behalf of Saudi Araba to improve its image in the West?  All this is not analysis but information form a UN source in NYC.

PS My source added later: the refugees were upset because they blamed Saudi regime for the creation of ISIS.

ِAmerican military assistance to the Lebanese Army

Lebanese are having fun on social media at the expense of the US: they found out that part of the most recent pakage of US military shipment to the Lebanese Army included hammers.  Kid you not.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Return to Nasser

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Retrun to Nasser: the Naksah speech". 

Lebanese military assistance to the Lebanese Army

The biggest story on Lebanese social media today is mocking the recent shipment of "US military aid" to the Lebanese Army.   It looks and sounds like firecrackers really.  

Lebanese journalists who work for media of Saudi princes

You probably can tell from reading the writings in English of Lebanese journalists who write for Saudi media. They are by far the lowest category of journalists worldwide.  One of them, Samir `Atallah (a pioneer really in the art of prostration to Saudi princes) writes in the mouthpiece of Saudi prince Salman, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, that the Saudi king is "the most perfect of all men".  Literally.  See why many Arabs have only contempt for those Lebanese who work for Saudi media?  Those are people who have no self-respect and who will say anything and switch positions if ordered so by the entourage of the prince.  

Khalid Mish`al: one lousy leader

Now that the war on Gaza is over although the siege and occupation of Gaza by Israel is not over, we can resume the discussion of Hamas and its lousy opportunistic leader, Khalid Mish`al. His statement yesterday was almost word-for-word dictated by his sponsors in Qatar.  This is a man who has no political integrity and who offered his movement back in 2011 to the highest bidder, as was reported in Al-Quds Al-Arabi. His list of "thanks" yesterday was a lesson in political opportunism--he even thanked Kuwait and Oman for their stances on Palestine.  This man is the Yasser Arafat of the Qatari government and his path will emulate that failed path of Arafat.  If Hamas were to develop into a resistance movement in the full meaning of the world, this man has to be ousted. He is one of the worst Palestinian leaders in the history of the movement and has the visage of a liar when he speaks.  However, he made a clear statement to Jews in the world yesterday stressing that his movement was not in any way hostile to Jews and Judaism. Was that reported in the US press, I wonder? Will that ever be reported in the US press, I wonder?  I just woke up and I have not seen US papers. 

The hope of American liberals

"Echoing Benjamin Nentayahu (and Hillary Clinton), Elizabeth Warren's clear position is that Israel bears none of the blame for any of this. Or, to use her words, "when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they're using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself." Such carnage is the "last thing Israel wants." The last thing. That, ladies and gentlemen, is your inspiring left-wing icon of the Democratic Party."

School of Arab dictators

"Four reigning Arab monarchs are graduates of Sandhurst and its affiliated colleges - King Abdullah of Jordan, King Hamad of Bahrain, Sheikh Tamim, Emir of Qatar, and Sultan Qaboos of Oman. Past monarchs include Sheikh Saad, Emir of Kuwait, and Sheikh Hamad, Emir of Qatar. Sandhurst's links have continued from the time when Britain was the major colonial power in the Gulf." Yes, but the BBC does not tell you that NOT ONE of those potentates actually went through the normal course at the school but that the school--for large sums of cash--prepares special short and less rigorous programs for the royal Arab brats.  

Russia and Ukraine

I believe that the American intervention in Ukraine--military and otherwise--exceeds Russian intervention there.

Iraq no longer exists?

"The retired US army general who served as Washington's first occupation chief in Iraq said the country has functionally ceased to exist and urged the Obama administration to decisively support and arm the forces of Iraqi Kurdistan as a fallback." (thanks Amir)

there is no lie that is too big in Saudi propaganda

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Fawzan, a Saudi Salafi Islamic scholar an[d] a member of Human Right Commission accused Shiite of Qatif of leading Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Fawzan said that “known scholars and jihadi leaders in Iraq have reported that they had arrest a leader in Al-Qaeda called "Abu Sahn al-Baghdadi " who has incite to kill Sunnis”. He added that “after investigations, they have discovered that he is a Shiite from Qatif”. (thanks Basim)

Obama lies

"American officials have denied participating in a plot to oust Iraq prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, despite a series of phone calls made by Barack Obama and Joe Biden to support the appointment of his successor."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

US allies in the war on ISIS

" The countries likely to be enlisted include Australia, Britain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, officials said."  Yeah. Nothing can defeat the ideology and message of ISIS like the secular feminist ideology of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE. 

It is official: the New York Times now refers to Al-Qa`idah terrorist group as "less extreme"

"who was being held by a less extreme militant group, the Nusra Front."

Free Syrian Army is also in the business of beheading but it is moderate US-sponsored beheading

"The rebels who killed him were fighting for the Free Syrian Army, a rival group backed by the United States, and they went on to behead six ISIS fighters"

the use of Palestinian human shields...BY ISRAEL

"Israel has repeatedly used defenseless civilians to shield themselves from potential guerrilla attacks, brutally abusing young men like Mahmoud Abu Said during their invasion of Gaza. The practice is not only a war crime that violates international human rights law,"

Lousy Oxfam

"While offering the Israeli occupation tips on when and how to kill Palestinians whose land it is occupying, Oxfam advises that Palestinians should be denied any means to self-defense and resistance." (thanks Amir)

Racism in the Sisi press in Egypt

(It says: Gangs of Black Horror in Cairo: Most of the crimes against activists and journalists are from South Sudan, and African adolescents committed 115 deeds".) (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

death versus murder on Fox News

A dear colleague from Pakistan sent me this: "Dear As’ad: Last night (26 August) at 10 PM Fox Radio news bulletin reported on Ceasefire agreement between Hamas & Israel with the following statement: “The ceasefire ends that war in which more than 2,000 Palestinians died and 70 Israelis were killed.”
What does that mean -- 2,000 Palestinian died of natural death ?"

Saudi-Qatari rivalry

From a reader: "Has there been a more disgusting, murderous manifestation of the Saudi-Qatari rivalry -- at the cost of thousand of innocent lives -- than the creation of ISIS and Jabhat an-Nusrah respectively? I can't think of one. "

American media intelligently discuss Iraq

"MATTHEWS:  This has nothing to do with the Sunni and the Shia and what the hell`s going over in Iraq, or  Mesopotamia or whatever they`re calling it now, if it is a country." (thanks Basim)

Water bucket challenge

Embedded image permalink

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Majorities and minorities

There is something disturbing about the discourse of minorities and majorities in the Middle East especially regarding to ISIS. The rhetoric implies that the majority is living in bliss and only the minorities are suffering.  ISIS has killed more Sunnis than Shi`ites and Christians combined.

O, Western man: there is ISIS inside us

This is the message that has been instructed to all Arab propagandists of Hariri and Saudi princes in English: rather than blaming Wahhabi Saudi ideology and the policies and doctrine of the Saudi regime and the funding of fanatics worldwide, make sure that you diffuse the blame by blaming "all of us" the "monster within" the "faults in us" "Arab body politic" and anything else that you can think of provided that you leave the Saudi regime--the mother/father of ISIS's ideology--alone.  Got it?

Guess who is ready to fight ISIS? None other than the Free Syrian Army?

"A spokesman for the rebel coalition, Oubai Shahbandar, said,  “The Free Syrian Army commanders on the ground fighting ISIS in northern Syria have declared their readiness to coordinate with the U.S. in striking ISIS.”" I bet that they are ready to receive more cash and weapons. How many years will elapse before the US admits the obvious: that there is really no such thing as the Free Syrian Army and there is no Feminist woman in Damascus leading the "revolution" in Syria.

Israeli officials are always garrulous in the Times except when they are embarrassed

"Israeli officials declined to comment." I bet they did not because they look like fools.

Goldstone's credibility and the NYT

"Mr. Goldstone later backtracked from that conclusion, damaging the credibility of the report." What? In fact, by backtracking on his own report, he merely damaged his OWN CREDIBILITY not that report's.

Persistent American racism

""It took the shooting of 18-year-old Brown on August 9, a young man who was unarmed, before anyone took an interest in the everyday reality of the city's African-American population and their demoralizing harassment by the police. It also took this tragedy before people began to ask an important question: Why does a city whose population of 21,000 is two-thirds African American have a police force that is 95 percent white?""

New York Times and casualties of the Gaza war

"I had just this morning sent off perhaps my fifth email to New York Times reporters and editors asking if they should not address their inappropriate use of this comparison over a one month period, when I was shocked to find that they had returned to the comparison again today! In an article posted online this afternoon summarizing the aftermath of the fighting, Jodi Rudoren wrote again, suggesting near parity, "But many analysts and others criticized Mr. Netanyahu’s leadership of the campaign, in which the Israeli military said it struck 5,263 targets in Gaza, while 4,564 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel.”

The continued use of this comparison, despite concerns raised about them, is to me inexplicable and suggests a complete lack of accountability to the truth. On July 16th, Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch raised concerns about the comparison with relevant New York Times staff, but The Times continued using it daily, with no changes. Sunjeev Bery of Amnesty USA tweeted concerns about these New York Times statistics on July 30th. On August 2nd on Mondoweiss, I noted a very rough comparison, suggesting that, as of July 16th, Israel may have fired 5.49 times as much ordnance at Gaza as Palestinians fired at Israel, and this was likely an underestimate of the disparity. Sunjeev Bery repeated his concerns about this Times interactive in more detail on the Huffington Post on August 8th , and his article was later posted again by Amnesty USA.

In the meantime, statistics reported over the last few weeks have proven beyond any doubt the absurdity of this comparison, but Times reporters seem not to be paying attention to them. What in the world do “5,263 targets in Gaza” have to do with 59,973 Israeli strikes, 7000 shells fired into Shija’iya in 24 hours, 1000 shells fired at Rafah in 3 hours, and 32,000 total artillery shells fired? " (thanks Patrick)

What is your major?


Dumb Mossad propaganda

""Hamas... dismissed the document as a forgery intended to justify Israeli attacks that have killed hundreds of children, women and other non-combatants.
...The Israeli army said the training manual was found in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun at the end of July, when troops were operating inside the enclave. The full manual is 102 pages long, the army said, but it released just one page of it.
...It is marked at the bottom with "Izz-el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Training and Guidance Branch, Engineering Corps". The al-Qassam Brigades are the military wing of Hamas, the Islamist group that has controlled Gaza since 2007. Unlike other Hamas documents, the page bears no Hamas logo.
...An Israeli army spokesman would provide no further details about the document, only to say that the army was "extremely confident it is a Hamas training manual".
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: "This is a fabricated paper and neither Hamas nor Qassam has anything to do with it."
He added: "Israel circulating this is aimed at justifying the mass killings of Palestinian civilians and massacres committed by the occupation army."""

Saudi regime and ISIS

“The ideology of the Saudi regime is that of ISIS even if the foreign policies differ,” California State University-Stanislaus Professor Asad AbuKhalil tells The Progressive." (thanks Amitabh)

CNN president direct all reporters to file favorable reports about Israel

*After the attacks of 9/11, Amanpour defied then-CNN president Walter Isaacson’s attempt “to get all the reporters in the Middle East to skew their stories more favorably to Israel.” Instead she aired a critical report about the Israeli destruction of an Arab village, without including the Israeli government’s point of view. “Christiane had the power to push a piece through,” says a CNN insider."

UN and war crimes in Syria

How is it that the UN can 1) quickly determine whether war crimes are committed or not in a place when it takes it years to decide if Israel committed war crimes or not; 2) how come the UN always conveniently find quick evidence of war crimes in Syria but only by groups (regime and ISIS which are not on good terms with the US).  So Nusrah and FSA, which have done more sectarian kidnappings of Lebanese are blameless here?

Syrian Observatory observes the skies

From Martin: I read the following in a recent article about US surveillance flights in syrian airspace:

"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that “non-Syrian spy planes” carried out surveillance flights on Monday."

Just how was this infamously credible and respected independent outfit able to ascertain that? They must have some really good binoculars..."

US government and ISIS

"Now the Obama administration and American political class is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the failed "Bomb Assad!" campaign by starting a new campaign to bomb those fighting against Assad – the very same side the U.S. has been arming over the last two years." "It switched sides virtually on a dime, and the standard Pentagon courtiers of the U.S. media and war-cheering foreign policy elites are dutifully following suit, mindlessly depicting ISIS as an unprecedented combination of military might and well-armed and well-funded savagery (where did they get those arms and funds?)." (thanks Amir)

US government on Libya

"We believe outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition." (thanks David)

Meet the commander-in-chief of the Lebanese Army

"Jean Kahwaji: I can say that Lebanon was rescued from a catastrophe in Arsal.

TAAN: How so?

JK: There was a dangerous plan for Lebanon. If it had succeeded, the country would have collapsed. The terrorist groups were aiming to make Lebanon another Iraq or another Syria by provoking a sectarian war between Sunnis and Shi'a, but the army struck these groups with an iron fist. I would not be exaggerating when I say we destroyed them and changed the changed the course of history. " (thanks Basim)