Thursday, April 30, 2015

Per his request

Don't be surprised if Saudi royal decrees start to say: x was beheaded per his request. 

Saudi politics

Saudi officials never get fired, according to Saudi royal decrees.  They always are relieved of their duties "per their request".  But how did so many officials asked to be relieved of their duties per their request at the same moment in time, damn it. 

Israel in Iowa City

If you are in Iowa City--as I am--don't go to Oasis Falafil. It is Israeli, I am told.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Arab American organizations

Arab American organizations lost touch when they started holding Galas. Or is it the other way round?

UN calls on Israel to keep killing Palestinians

"UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a published summary of the report to the Security Council on Monday. But notably lacking in his letter conveying the report was any call for Israel to be held accountable for the atrocities it details."

the Israeli model

"And on Monday, when tensions boiled over and young Baltimoreans repeatedly threw rocks at police tanks and cruisers, the scene was eerily reminiscent of the Occupied Territories, which should surprise no one who has followed U.S. police militarization in accordance with the Israel Defense Forces model."

Pen and Hebdo

"Their point was that the award is not merely about courage, but is clearly linked to a positive assessment of the content of Charlie Hebdo cartoons, as proven by the fact that PEN would never give the award to someone, such as a KKK leader, who expresses heinous views." (thanks Amir)

Saudi succession Saga

I have never seen House of Saud being less cautious and less careful. The royal family has never been as rash and careless and reckless. This bode well for the enemies of the House of Saud. This augur for deep divisions in the royal family.  The foreign minister is a commoner, for the first time ever (contrary to media accounts, `Umar Saqqaf, was not a full foreign minister, but acting in that capacity).  The entire family of `Abdullah has been obliterated politically, as have sons of Faysal and sons of Sultan.  This can't go well with whole sections of the family.  Muhammad bin Salman moved too fast, very uncharacteristic.  Sons of `Abdullah adhered to the rules of the family by moving slowly, and now are paying the price.  Jubayr was more of an American appointment: Muhammad bin Nayif and `Adil Jubayr are US appointments. Muhammad bin Salman is clearly a wild card who makes Washington very nervous.

Saud Al-Faysal reacting to the news of his ouster

How Zionists translate "death to Israel" into "Death to the Jews"

From Nauman: The truck reads "Death to Israel." @etabori, who has an image of a dove with an olive branch on her Twitter page, mistranslates it as "Death to the Jews."

25 people retweet it including @StephenJStern. He describes himself as "Stephen Stern, PhD, Professor/Speaker, Religious Politics/Middle East news junkie/commentator & author of The Unbinding of Isaac." I wonder what's his doctorate in. Hasbara?

Attached: a screen shot of the retweet, in case he deletes it."
"Found more information on "Stephen Stern, PhD" the professor who retweeted the mistranslation of "Death to Israel" to "Death to the Jews."

According to an op-ed he wrote for The Patriot News on September 6, 2013, "Stephen Stern is chairman of the Religious Studies Department and Director of Judaic Studies at Gettysburg College. He teaches courses in the Middle East and Islamic studies program on religion and politics in the middle east. @StephenJStern"

This op-ed, link below, demands that US must strike Syria because "not fighting the evil of the Assad regime, avoiding it or hiding from it makes one complicit in violence.""

Journalism of Liz Sly: look at her choice of unbiased and objective observers on Syria

"said Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist." Today, on Twitter, Ms. Sly retweeted how the entire Arab world is looking forward to the leadership of Saudi Arabia. I thought that she would be qualified to be a press spokesperson for FSA but I am considering: Riyadh may await her.

Hariri claims about Rustum Ghazali

From T.: "A political Party is pretty pathetic and has sunk to a new level of low, when their "leader" is the source of gossip, I mean conspiracy theories.

"A Lebanese source who spoke to Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity said a Lebanese middleman had contacted Saad Hariri and asked for a telephone number for Future TV for Ghazaleh to make “an important statement.”

Dr. Could you please enlighten me why Ghazaleh would need a middleman to get the phone number of Future TV? I actually did a google search I typed "Future TV Lebanon Phone number" and I got this website The phone number for his TV station is there. Is google blocked in Syria or does Saad Hariri think we are dumb?

it gets better, "When Ghazaleh failed to call, Hariri provided other numbers, the source said,"

I would recommend the future TV website be updated with all of the phone numbers, in case any other Syrian Regime officials have any statements to make. "

Accused in the UAE

"A man who insulted UAE Rulers because he “drinks too much coffee” said he was not prepared for his defence, the Federal Supreme Court heard.

Emirati E S, 48, said he forgot to request the case files during the last hearing.

He is accused of insulting the President, Vice President, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi verbally in his workplace."

This UAE dukkan (shop) in DC wants the US to save Lebanon from Syrian refugees

"Lebanon is not only on the brink of renewed conflict, it is also facing challenges to its very survival. As a result of the war raging next door, Lebanon has been overwhelmed by Syrian refugees. Lebanon is drowning and may not recover unless attention is paid to the impact the last three years have had on the country and the Lebanese people. As a member of the international coalition fighting ISIL, Lebanon needs U.S. support both to win the war and to provide for those who have affected by the conflict." (thanks Basim)

Lesson of the Day in Saudi Arabia

These are the real reasons: why Saudi regime bombed Yemen

"So what is the real motive of the Saudis? Well, these diplomats told me that they believe they didn't, that they were afraid, the Saudis, of a successful negotiation that would bring about a progressive and democratic government in their backyard. This government--and the deal called for, for example, 30 percent of the cabinet posts, 30 percent of parliament going to women. Now, in Saudi Arabia women can't even drive. But--and they were of course, the Houthis, who are 30 percent of the country, or the Zaydi Shiites, 30 percent of the country, would necessarily get about 30 percent of power of the government. Not 50 percent, they were not going to rule. They did not expect to be the rulers of Yemen, they know they cannot control the entire country. They are not strong enough. So they were willing to take 30 percent, according to Benomar."

PS By the way, this Benomar was in his youth a Marxist radical in Morocco and worked under the great leftist leader, Ibrahim Sarfati.

House of Saud's love affair with Zionism

This article summarizes the thrust of Saudi foreign policy: that Israel is an ally and that Iran is the enemy, as far as House of Saud are concerned.

Robert Fisk about Islam

When will people realize that Robert Fisk has no credibility and that he can't be read and has no credibility.  ""The Prophet Mohamed was a businessman and he would, I suspect, have rather liked Abu Dhabi "" (thanks Sultan)

Off to the University of Iowa

I am speaking twice this week at the University of Iowa.  Leaving today.

The new Saudi foreign minister: House of Saud politics explained

He can be seen at the feet of King `Abdullah bin `Abdul-`Aziz

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

This can never happen in US, or in Lebanon, where the rich write the laws for the rich

"Reima Kuisla, a Finnish businessman, was recently caught going 65 miles per hour in a 50 zone in his home country—an offense that would typically come with a fine of a couple hundred dollars, at most, in the U.S. But after Finnish police pulled Kuisla over, they pinged a federal taxpayer database to determine his income, consulted their handbook, and arrived at the amount that he was required to pay: €54,000.

The fine was so extreme because in Finland, some traffic fines, as well as fines for shoplifting and violating securities-exchange laws, are assessed based on earnings—and Kuisla's declared income was €6.5 million per year. Exorbitant fines like this are infrequent, but not unheard of: In 2002, a Nokia executive was fined the equivalent of $103,000 for going 45 in a 30 zone on his motorcycle, and the NHL player Teemu Selanne incurred a $39,000 fine two years earlier.

“This is no constitutionally governed state,” one Finn who was fined nearly $50,000 moaned to The Wall Street Journal, “This is a land of rhinos!” Outrage among the rich—especially nonsensical, safari-invoking outrage—might be a sign that something fair is at work."

The @BaltimorePolice studied "crowd control & coordination" in Israel

Isarel aids Al-Qa`idah in Syria

"Israel, the country which we’re repeatedly told by its cheerleaders in the West, is in the “front line” of the “war on terror” has been acting as al-Qaeda’s de facto ally in Syria. It’s made at least ten bombing raids on the country since 2012- but tellingly, not a single one up to now has been directed at the radical Islamists fighting Assad‘s forces - all have been on Syrian government/army targets or on groups fighting with the Syrian army against the terrorists - such as January‘s attack, which killed a senior Iranian general and six Hezbollah fighters. (Today, news broke that another Israeli air strike had killed “four militants” on the Israel/Syria border - but we don’t know which groups the ‘militants‘ belong to.) "

Hamas wins the student election in Bir Zeit University

Student elections at Bir Zeit University are often taken as a barometer of the public opinion trends of the Palestinian people. Despite pressures, intimidation, and repression against Hamas by PA, the Hamas list won. Here is an analysis.

Mini Hariri "lectures" at the Wilson Center, which received funding from...him

From Marc: "Question: You stressed the importance of getting rid of Bashar al-Assad and training moderate opposition, what can the United States do in this context?
Hariri:  To move forward, there is a three steps plan: unite the opposition, declare a no-fly zone and train the Free Syrian Army. If you declare a united Syrian moderate opposition that doesn’t have any success or achievements on the ground then you will have a re-divided opposition. The key issue about the whole plan is to do things in parallel. You need people to look up to the moderates and the only way to do so is by doing an action plan, a fly zone, and training the Free Syrian army. First, you get rid of extremism, second you get rid of Bashar and third you give hope to the Syrian people that there is a real action being done to save the Syrian people from Bashar." Is it not high time that the Collected Works of Sa`d Hariri are published?

many of the Houthis’s weapons were manufactured in Europe and the United States in the first place

"One cable from the United States-Canada Embassy in Sana’a on December 9, 2009, reads: “Contrary to [Republic of Yemen Government] claims that Iran is arming the Houthis, most analysts report that the Houthis obtain their weapons from the Yemeni black market and even from the [Republic of Yemen Government] military itself.” The Houthis still get many of their weapons from these sources, despite possible Iranian backing. The brutal irony is that many of the Houthis’s weapons were manufactured in Europe and the United States in the first place."

The most unfamous nuclear weapons in the world

"The Center for Nonproliferation Studies have reported that Israel probably has up to 300 warheads – about the same as the UK. These include intercontinental-range thermonuclear weapons and artillery-delivered, enhanced-radiation tactical weapons ('neutron bombs'). Nuclear facilities in Israel include the nuclear reactor at Dimona in the Negev where Vanunu worked, nuclear storage bases at Eilabun near the Sea of Galilee and the national weapons testing laboratory at Soreq, south of Tel Aviv." "It is also the most belligerent state in the region, having repeatedly attacked, invaded, and occupied its nearest neighbours, annexed territory from them and bombed others,"

Don't ask: it is classified

"In reality, we don’t know exactly how many civilians die in U.S.-lead drone strikes because the program is classified by the C.I.A."  In fact, it is more than that. Estimates of civilian casualties by US wars in Iraq in 1991 and in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003 remain classified by the Pentagon.

US and UK always supported the most reactionary states and parties in the Middle East

"In the 1960s, hastily erected monarchical regimes were rushed out of semi-colonial status by Britain (or in the case of Saudi Arabia, the United States) for fear that they might fall to the Nasserism and revolutionary socialism then sweeping the Middle East." (thanks Amir)

Saudi embassy in DC

Saudi embassy got a few people which it claimed are Yemeni and sent them to the White House to demonstrate and call for more bombing and destruction by Yemen by Saudi Arabia, and then asked them to proceed to the Saudi embassy to thank its government for bombing Yemen. Kid you not.

Jabir Bin Hayyan

"Shiite alchemists used it to describe the creation of artificial life. In his ninth century "Book of Stones," the Persian Jabir Ibn Hayyan wrote -- using a secret script and codes -- about the creation of a homunculus."  Well, here they make Jabir as if he was part of a Shi`ite Iranian conspiracy of the Khumayni regime.  Of course, the origins of Jabir are in dispute: Henry Corbin is the one who claimed that he belonged to the Azd tribe while others believed that he was from the Arab East.  Paul Kraus disputs that Jabir authored all the books attributed to him.

According to the US government, you are guilty if you are ever held as a prisoner by the state of Israel

"Allouche failed to disclose that he was held as a prisoner of war by Israel."

I don't understand this ruling: the Amal Movement was never declared a terrorist organization by the US government

"A U.S. court sentenced a Lebanese man living in Texas to five years in jail for knowingly lying to federal authorities after failing to reveal his former links with the Amal Movement and Hezbollah when he applied for U.S. citizenship.

Wissam "Sam" Allouche, 45, was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the San Antonio Joint Terrorism Task Force in May 2013. He became an American citizen in 2009 after marrying a U.S. army soldier.

The announcement, made by the FBI office in San Antonio, Texas, said Allouche was sentenced to five years in federal prison for making a false statement to a federal agent and for unlawfully attempting to procure and obtain naturalization and citizenship."

Saudi war on Yemen and on peace

"Yemen’s warring political factions were on the verge of a power-sharing deal when Saudi-led airstrikes began a month ago, derailing the negotiations, the United Nations envoy who mediated the talks said. "

What Baltimore is about

"About a quarter of Baltimore residents live below the poverty line. The unemployment rate in zip code 21217, where the riots broke out on Monday, was 19.1% in 2011.
Less than 60% of Baltimore’s high school students graduate, the worst mark in the state — by far.
Taken together, these disparities illustrate what poverty’s like in big-city America. And the effects are brutally obvious in Baltimore’s health care statistics.
Black infants in Baltimore are almost nine times more likely to die before age 1 than White infants. AIDS cases are nearly five times more common in the African-American community.
“Only six miles separate the Baltimore neighborhoods of Roland Park and Hollins Market,” interim Hopkins provost Jonathan Bagger said last year. “[B]ut there is a 20-year difference in the average life expectancy.”"

Baltimore: "“It’s from years and years of taking shit,”"

"“It’s from years and years of taking shit,” said Martin, a longtime resident and a cook at a nearby soul food restaurant. “Now we’re at a point where people just don’t give a fuck.”"

ICC cases

Look at the pictures of all ICC cases: what do you notice?

US indulges the Nusrah gamble in Syria

People are not mentioning this in the US media; the US government has clearly allowed the new strategy of the Turkish-Saudi-Isareli alliance to use the Nusrah front in an effective offensive against the Syrian regime.

Monday, April 27, 2015

said donors sought evidence of an “emotional commitment" to Israel

"said donors sought evidence of an “emotional commitment” [to Israel] on the issue." There will come a time when political candidates in the US will have to prove an emotional and sexual commitment to Israel, I bet.

PEN honoring Hebdo

"The decision by PEN American Center to give its annual Freedom of Expression Courage award to the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo has prompted six writers to withdraw as literary hosts at the group’s annual gala on May 5, adding a new twist to the continuing debate over the publication’s status as a martyr for free speech.

The novelists Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi have withdrawn from the gala, at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. Gerard Biard, Charlie Hebdo’s editor in chief, and Jean-Baptiste Thoret, a Charlie Hebdo staff member who arrived late for work on Jan. 7 and missed the attack by Islamic extremists that killed 12 people, are scheduled to accept the award."  Would PEN honor a magazine that specializes in insulting Jews and Judaism?

Reliable Syrian opposition sources in the LA Times

From Basim: "Syrian pro-opposition sources uploaded a video to YouTube depicting columns of smoke rising from what was said to be the base of a Syrian army brigade ...

Also Saturday, reports emerged on the Al Arabiya TV news channel that Israeli aircraft had carried out two strikes Wednesday against Hezbollah targets in the same area ...

Saturday’s strike also follows a report in Jane's Defense Weekly [Nicholas Blanford, Beirut - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly] ... "

My Lai

"More significantly, how many of us have forgotten those two haunting monosyllables, “My Lai,” and the round-the-world headlines: U.S. SOLDIER: “I SHOT BABIES.” The infamous Lt. William Calley lives and breathes. He was convicted on 22 counts of murder, but was eventually pardoned by Richard Nixon."

ISIS medical school

ISIS medicine

Smartphone dependency

It is almost touching: the US is aligned with Bin Laden, yet again

"ISTANBUL — Rebels, including members of U.S.-backed groups and al Qaida’s Nusra Front, captured the strategic town of Jisr al Shughur in northwest Syria on Saturday," "The latest rebel victory came surprisingly quickly, apparently aided by U.S.-supplied TOW anti-tank missiles." "The cooperation between U.S.-supplied rebels and Nusra in the battle could prove controversial." (thanks Amir)


A columnist in a Saudi paper calls me "shabbih".

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Military interventions

Unlike Western standards, I far disapprove of the Saudi reactionary military interventions in Yemen and Bahrain than of the Soviet military intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968, over which Western commentators still pour tears almost daily.  We also now know of the lousy agenda of Havel and his company, not to mention their intellectual poverty.  Furthermore, who can deny that the Soviet military intervention of Afghanistan was far less harmful and far less reactionary than the American military intervention there?

End of Bashshar?

I am now of the view that Hizbullah and Iran may have reached a point to be ready to discuss an alternative to Bashshar.  They would be dumb if they don't.

Sultan Al-Qassemi on Arab political developments

This is from a recent interview I could have conducted with Sultan on Arab political developments.
What do you think of the war on Yemen?
Sultan: there is an art exhibit in London.
What do you think of the war in Syria?
Sultan: there is an art exhibit in Paris.
What do you think of increased repression in Gulf states?
Sultan: there is an art exhibit in Vienna.

Make no mistake about it: it is a Turkish-Saudi-Israeli offensive in Syria

"Israel reportedly hit several targets belonging to Hezbollah and the Syrian army in a series of air attacks Saturday morning in the Kalamun area on the border between Syria and Lebanon."

"They said the army was battling "a large number of terrorists coming from the Turkish border." The capture of the strategic town is the latest in a series of setbacks for government forces in the south and the north."

From Free Syrian Army to Israel: salutations

"" “We congratulate the powerful state of Israel and its people on its anniversary of independence, and we hope that next year we can participate in the joy of the grand occasion in Israel’s embassy in Damascus,” the group’s foreign affairs official Mousa Ahmed Nabhan stated in the message. Israel has never had diplomatic relations with Syria. However, the FSA has been vocal in asking for Israeli support for their campaign against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, with officials even traveling to Israel."" You see now why Western correspondents in Beirut are fans of the Free Syrian Army gangs--or what is left of them?  (thanks Amir)

Interviewing Bashshar

From "Ibn Rushd" in Paris: "The French evening news anchor who interviewed Bashar is a mediocre journalist, known for throwing softballs to Sarkozy.

He wrote a book with the idiotic Hassan Chalghoumi, a pro-Israel imam that the media has been promoting as the "good Muslim". Even though he's illiterate, speaks broken French and has no Muslim constituency whatsoever, Chalghoumi was hailed as a hero by Pujadas because he's an imam who visits Israel and works with CRIF.

When he came back, Pujadas said Bashar was "courteous and urbane."  The families of Assad's victims will be delighted to hear this. "

Sectarian Genocideal aims of some (leading) Syrian rebels

You have to read some of the stuff that some Syrian rebels and supporters are writing on social media regarding the plight of `Alawites. There are clear threats being made against all `Alawites and open discussion of revenge.  One moderate voice said that while he does not condone the logical extermination massacres, he urged that mass expulsion would be quite appropriate.  This is from an opposition "journalist".

Anne Barnard on Idlib

"It was seized last month by Islamist insurgent groups that included Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch, the Nusra Front, but not the rival Islamic State group".  Notice that she always mentions "rebels including Nusrah Front" when in reality, Nusrah Front would be the lead force in the operation.  Also, notice her distinction between the moderate Bin Ladenitesof Nusrah and the extreme Bin Ladenites of ISIS.

Anne Barnard reports on the takeover of Jisr Ash-Shugur

"Insurgents seized more parts of the northern Syrian province of Idlib on Saturday in a significant advance toward the government-held coast that seemed to signal new coordination among antigovernment fighters, some using advanced antitank weapons...insurgents including the Nusra Front, the hard-line Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham and the relatively nationalist groups calling themselves the Free Syrian Army".   Insurgents including Nusrah Front? Including? This was their operation.  And it is hilarious that she among other Western correspondents still hang on the hope that their baby, the Free Syrian Army would still be a relevant factor among the Syrian rebels. Notice that Ahrar Ash-Sham's links to Al-Qa`idah are rarely mentioned in the reportage.

The US is a full partner in this crime: war on Yemeni people

"A United Nations report said on Friday that civilian causalities have mounted since the start of the Saudi-led offensive against Shiite rebels in Yemen, with more than 500 civilians killed in the nearly monthlong conflict, including at least 115 children."

Syrian rebels "liberate" Jisr Ash-Shugur

While Liz Sly and Anne Barnard still insist on referring to the rebels as the moderate Free Syrian Army and still belittling the dominant role of Nusrah Front and their ilk, this picture of the rebels at Jisr Ash-Shugur clearly validate the claims by such correspondents, that they are about to establish a feminist, secular, and a very moderate republic. 

PS Comrade Amer reports this: "As one commentator said: these photos will only be valuable years from now when al-qaida stages a major attack against US interests".

Obsession of Saudi Media with Kim Kardashian: Al-Arabiyya

The obsession of Saudi media, especially the sleazy TV station of King Fahd's brother-in-law, Al-Arabiyya, with Kim Kardashian has been documented in this collage.

Saudi media censorship

From Daniel: "This is quite inconsequential in the big scheme of things. My pirated satellite in Beirut carries the loathsome Foxarabia, which shows pseudo-boojy crap from Australia like My Kitchen Rules--the "White Man" as represented by Rupert Murdoch and a former penal colony. Anyway, for the sensitive untainted ears of the Saudi population, the word (written and spoken) "pork" is censored. Our eyes still suffer the spectacle of the "other white meat" in the form of knuckles and trotters, but our senses are saved from hearing the filthy word spoken out loud or seeing it written down. "

Compare the language of Human Rights Watch about Saudi Arabia's government with its language about Syrian government

"An airstrike by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that destroyed a humanitarian aid warehouse in northern Yemen on April 18, 2015, was an apparent violation of the laws of war. The attack in Saada killed at least one unidentified man outside the facility of the international aid organization Oxfam, which had provided the building’s coordinates to the coalition to keep it from being targeted.

 The dire humanitarian situation in Yemen is made worse by attacks on relief supplies, Human Rights Watch said. The governments that participated in the attack should impartially investigate the airstrike, which struck civilian goods and a structure that do not appear to have been used for military purposes. The coalition has yet to comment on the attack."

Is this a characterization of relationship between lovers or between two states?

"We love each other and we protect each other."

Restoring Hope

Embedded image permalink

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Will Western human rights organizations notice this war criminal threats to Lebanese civilians by Israeli officials?

"“Lebanese civilians who live in/close to homes (where Hezbollah has missiles)...should get out as soon as they can.”"

Huthi bridges

Look at this headline in the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan, Al-Hayat, which talks about the bombing of "Huthi bridges". Why not talk about Huthi hospitals and Huthi schools and Huthi factories and Huthi roads and Huthi children?

Robert Fisk muses

"Lebanese television is an interesting phenomenon, capable of fantastic journalism, but it’s often very sloppy." (thanks Basim)

If only the ICC does not specialize in war crimes by Africans

"The Rehmans say a missile fired from a U.S. drone killed 68-year-old Momina Bibi — Rehman’s mother, and grandmother to the two young children — in an October 2012 airstrike. Both Zubair and Nabila were present when the attack happened and suffered injuries. The missile had struck their grandmother straight on, obliterating her completely. There were no others killed in the attack and no substantiated reports of terrorists at the scene. According to the family’s account, Bibi was killed tending okra while her grandkids played nearby."

U.S. initiator of all modern armed conflicts

"The Lieutenant General also said that the United States and their allies have used military force more than 50 times over the past decade, adding that six US operations ended in local armed conflicts."

US Africa Command: drinking heavily with prostitutes during an “all-night bar crawl"

"Three U.S. Special Forces soldiers who were killed in a mysterious auto accident in the West African nation of Mali in 2012 had been drinking heavily with prostitutes during an “all-night bar crawl,” according to an investigative report that sheds new light on the incident." (thanks Amir)

Anne Barnard on Rustum Ghazali

Her entire report is based on unsubstantiated rumors transmitted on Facebook by people of March 14 in Lebanon and their allies in Syrian rebel groups.  Of course, she lacks knowledge of Arabic, and otherwise she would have read the detailed report in Al-Akhbar by Hasan `Ullayq about the reasons for burning down his castle.

"Owners of Gay Hotel Face Boycott After Meeting With Ted Cruz"

"Reisner and Mati Weiderpass said the pair agreed with Cruz on policy relating to Israel. "We spent most of the time talking about national security issues and in particular the challenges regarding the defense of Israel". (thanks Sal)

Syria development

It seems that the Saudi and Turkish intelligence services have been quite effective in coordinating their activities against the regime. They also have been effective in sponsoring (to the silence of the American government) the Nusrah front as their new tool, instead of the gangs of the FSA.  They also have been effective in forcing an integration of rebel forces. As for the Syrian regime, when was it effective in anything? And do you notice that Bashshar still has that desire to appeal to the White Man and he only gives interviews to European and American journalists and doesn't care to speak to Arab journalists, even those who are on his side.

The Arab League in the Age of Arab Uprisings

For those who don't really care, I am speaking tomorrow, Sunday April 26th, at UC Berkeley at the Model Arab League conference in Sutardja Dai Hall, the Banatao Auditorium at 4:30PM.  The title of my talk is "The Arab League in the Age of Arab Uprisings".

Friday, April 24, 2015

"The Storm of Resolve" in the media

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The 'Storm of Resolve" in the Media: Between those who are silent and those who utter".

A new flag for Saudi regime?

From Laith: "Someone changed the @Wikipedia flag of #SaudiArabia to read "No GoD but #Israel" 

Gaza, a place of beauty & survival

"After the war, I wanted to show life in Gaza in all aspects — the joyfully colorful rocks at Gaza’s seaport that stand in contrast to the gray landscape of destruction left by Israel’s bombs."

Zionists' war on the Lancet for reporting Israeli war crimes

"The heavy-handed attempt to force The Lancet to withdraw the Open letter is the latest in a series of attempts to stifle media coverage of the Israel-Palestine issue and should be resisted."

An open letter for the people in Gaza

Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide

"President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to fulfill a campaign promise and use the politically fraught term on the 100th anniversary of the killings this week." "Historians estimate up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks, an event widely viewed by scholars as genocide." (thanks Amir)

Nicholas Blanford stumbles on yet another scoop: relying on Google earth he announces his finding

"Hizbullah sources have confirmed to IHS Jane's that the organisation is using UAVs to support operations against rebel forces in Syria, particularly over the mountainous Qalamoun region on Lebanon's eastern border."   Notice that Hizbullah consistently admits all their crimes to this man, who has a known record of hostility to Hizbullah and who has earned a deserved reputation as a propagandist for the Hariri family in Lebanon, and whose book on Hariri is treated as a laughable long press release from the Hariri press office.  Is there any crime by Hizbullah that the party does not admit to this man in particular? And notice that he said "sources", so this time it is not his usual source, Abu Johny, but two, Abu Johny and Abu Potato (the latter occupies a very senior position in the Hizbullah hierarchy.  Also, notice the meticulous professional language of this gifted correspondent: "it could potentially be used to extend the range of a UAV ground control station.".  But wait, this professional correspondent does not end there, he adds another nugget of information from a very reliable source: "The Saudi Al-Watan newspaper claimed in March 2014 that Hizbullah had built a "military airport" for its UAVs in the Bekaa Valley". Case closed.

Puppets of the House of Saud

Saudi regime wishes the man to the right, Sa`d Hariri, to lead Lebanon, and the man to the left, Ahmad Al-Jarba, to lead Syria. They look the roles, don't they?

Cornel West and Palestine

I am glad to see the strong stand that Cornel West has been taking on Palestinian.  But West's stance on Palestine has--shall we say in the terminology of American politics--"evolved" over the years.  As West moved away from the mainstream of American intellectual spectrum, especially after his disillusionment with Obama (who did not deserve West's hope and support in the first place), he became more vocal and courageous in his criticisms of Israel.  In his book, Race Matters, West's pronouncements on Palestine were most problematic on more than one level: 1) he belittled the solid Israeli alliance with Apartheid South Africa; 2) he accepted the insistence of Zionists to blur the lines between rejection of Zionism and anti-Semitism (and West didn't even mention that many Zionists in the US specially are characterized, nay motivated, by anti-Semitism (the case of Sen. Lindsey Graham is only a most recent example; 3) he basically marked the ills and brutality of the state of Israel with the rise of the Likud. He actually implied that all was well prior to Likud.  He in fact associated the savagery of Israel with the persons of Sharon and Sharmir--only Sharon and Shamir; 4) he basically believed that the ills of Zionism are confined to the West Bank and Gaza.  Nevertheless, I am gratified now with the stance of Cornel West. 

Armenian Genocide

All Saudi-led regimes in the Arab world are expressing solidarity with the Turkish government by being silent about the commemoration of the Genocide.  If the Ottoman Empire was Shi`ite, all Arab tyrants would have flocked to Armenia to commemorate the occasion.

Saudi "Storm of Resolve"

"more than 1,000 civilians killed, more than 4,000 wounded, and 150,000 displaced".

Incarceration rates

Thursday, April 23, 2015

We can't accept that his name be included

"We can't accept that his name be included among soldiers who killed his relatives in Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank," said Khudair's father, Hussein." (thanks Marc)

The token Arab, the token Muslim

Western media love those stories. The ONE token Arab or ONE token Muslim working for the Zionist regime or its propaganda services. And they talk about that person as if he/she is famous and as if Arabs are really concerned over her role. In reality, and I checked: no one knows who she is and no one really cares.  Do you think for example that any Muslim knows who Hirsi Ali is?  Those remind me of stories I used to read in the US press when I came here in the early eighties about that one black man in South Africa who loves apartheid. US media loved those stories.

This American rabid anti-Semite will be forgiven by the Zionist media and organizations because he is pro-Israel

"If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing…  I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding.  [Chuckles.]  Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding."  Can you imagine if a critic of Israel were to vomit such anti-Semitic garbage? Can you imagine the (justifiable) reactions?  I don't think that Abe Foxman will condemn those remarks.

Reading list of "an Arabist"

""As a professional Arabist, if I have a bias, it is in the other direction. I have read everything from Sir Richard Burton, T.E.
Lawrence to Sheik Zayed al-Nahyan, Rumi and Sayyed Qutb."  Sheikh Zayed? The man was illiterate.  At least Sheikho mo paid someone to write a book under his name.

I know that this particular correspondent does not have any credibility, but he has an exclusive: Bashshar Al-Asad is falling

"Having clung to power for four years amid an armed uprising, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is being buffeted by a series of battlefield setbacks that could place fresh strains on its internal cohesion." (thanks Basim)

How arms imports are destabilising the Middle East

"Gulf states are increasing arms imports from countries including permanent UN security council members. Their increased involvement in regional conflicts is raising tensions with Iran"

Imagine if this was Iran who caused that: can you imagine the outrage by Western correspondents and journalists?

"Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in more than three weeks of fighting since the bombing campaign began, while more than 150,000 have been displaced, according to the United Nations. Many who have fled the violence have ended up in the East African country of Djibouti, a short boat trip across a narrow waterway separating it from Yemen."

Pakistan and pivot to China

"Meanwhile Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan this week with $46 billion in investment to build an economic corridor from Western China to the Persian Gulf. The Sharifs promised Xi that Pakistan will create a new special division of the Pakistani Army to protect Chinese workers in Pakistan. The "Special Security Division" will total 10,000 troops and be commanded by a two star. Half the men will come from the Special Services Group, Pakistan's elite commando force. The force will have its own organic air support.

So no troops for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 10,000 troops for the People’s Republic of China. There are major differences in the specifics of course: troops for a foreign war versus troops at home; compensation for past payment versus securing future investment; Islamic unity versus Pakistan's all-weather ally since 1962.

But don’t focus on the details. It is clear Sharif has made his pivot. And like the United States, Pakistan would like to move away from the Middle East and toward East Asia."

Sony and the Israeli lobby

If one is to allege what now is being released through the Sony emails on Wikileaks one would have been accused of nutty conspiracy theory about the tentacles of the Israeli lobby.

Rafiq Hariri Center at the Atlantic Council

"Has the Atlantic Council's long slide into insignificance descended so low as to be the servant of Saudi/Hariri money (same thing in my opinion) in order to fund this crappy little center within its very bowels?  The Saudis have long desired the consolidation of Sunni/Wahhabi power in North Arabia.  This paper serves that policy goal.  The non-Islamist Syrian rebels are a ghost army that will never amount to anything.  The alternative to the present Syrian Government is an Islamist regime in Damascus. The Israeli/Zionist policy appears to be the creation of chaos and pauperization in the ME among their opponents.  I suppose that explains WINEP support of this stupid paper."

The Wall Street Journal is impressed: Saudi regime can drop by bombs

Do you also notice that long articles about Saudi Arabia in the US press don't bother to cite one critic of the regime?

Saudi-Egyptian rift

I am enjoying following the beginning of what promises to be a big rift between the regime of Sisi and the regime of House of Saud. What is interesting is that social media trend now precedes official media pronouncements.

Guess who won a journalism award? The guy who claimed he saw dead bodies when he later said he didn't see any

"The Peabodys also specifically cited NBC News reporter Richard Engel for his reporting on the Islamic state. Engel was in the news last week for saying that some of his and NBC's original reporting about his 2012 kidnapping in Syria had been wrong." (thanks Amir)

How Iranian negotiators look in real life vs. how they look in The New Yorker

New Yorker's rendition of Iranian negotiators.

Arab public opinion industry

It is an industry in which Western propaganda vehicles participate no so much to measure Arab public opinion but to influence Arab public opinion. Look at this supposed comprehensive Arab public opinion survey of the Arab youth.  Look at the methodology section: there is no methodology in the methodology section but we discover that the sample (and we don't know anything about the preparation of the sample) in Egypt is equal in size to that one in Saudi Arabia, despite the difference in population size.  And in Lebanon: they only surveyed people in Beirut, Tripoli, and Sidon (the last two are predominant Sunni cities) which clear skew the results in one direction in a deeply divided country like Lebanon. And then they ask people about "dangers" to the Arab world and the answers that they give them are phrased rather oddly: they ask for example about the danger from "the Arab-Israeli conflict" (and not from Israel itself, and I doubt that any Arab say that he/she feels danger from the conflict and not from Israel itself), and yet they offer a possible answer about of "Iranian nuclear threat" although they never offer a possible choice of "actual Israel nuclear weapon threat".  Yet, only 8% according to this lousy survey chose Iranian nuclear threat as a threat. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This would never be in the New York Times or the Washington Post

The only people who are protecting us are the resistance of Hezbollah,” Nasrallah said. "The only one standing with the army is Hezbollah. Let’s not hide it anymore.” “They accept us as we are,” Nasrallah said. “They do not impose on us anything. When there’s an occasion, they come to our children’s birthdays. The people here accept that Hezbollah comes and helps.” One of the minor ironies in this profoundly divided country is that the chief of the Christians of Ras Baalbek and the head of Hezbollah share the same last name. The Christian Nasrallah, a big and bearded man, even looks strikingly like the Muslim one, Hassan Nasrallah."

Israel's organized hate does not bother the UN

"This disturbing video shows Israeli youths, escorted by police and occupation forces, marching through the Old City of Jerusalem chanting “mavet la’aravim” – “death to the Arabs” – and other cries of hate."

Sony CEO on MidEast: let them all kill each other (except Israel)

"The massive collection includes emails CEO Michael Lynton wrote in response to an October 2014 Washington Post article about President Barack Obama's foreign policy in Syria. A relative forwarded Lynton the article with the comment "Brilliant." "Let them all kill each other!" Lynton wrote in a response email. "Face it the entire thing is a gigantic mess. And if it were not for Israel, we would let them all kill each other and wait for the dust to settle."

Sony cameras used by Israel in bombing of Gaza

"On 19 August, Stevan Bernard, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s head of corporate security wrote to David Diamond, executive assistant to company chairman and CEO Michael Lynton, to inform him about a media report “that Sony CCTV’s [sic] were being used as a part of the guidance system for Israeli rockets that were bombing Gaza.” "

Bahrain prison riot

"The guards tended to be from Jordan, Pakistan or Yemen and were exclusively Sunni Muslims who would insult the mostly-Shia inmates and their religion, he said. "They treated us like animals and they would [use] sectarian terms when they called to us," he said. Once the riot was quelled, the prisoners were put in a circle and forced to sing songs praising Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and disparaging their own protest movement leaders. They were regularly beaten by the guards, Johar said, forced to sleep outside and deprived of food and toilet facilities for two days." (thanks Amir)

Zionist-Saudi alliance: look how the New York Times protects the Saudi regime in its coverage

This is the headline of the Times: "Eritrea and North Korea Are World’s Most Censored Countries, Advocacy Group Says". How could the paper not notice that Saudi regime is next at number three? Was that not worth mentioning?

This just in

Pakistani military command and Egyptian military command have finally agreed to participate in the ground war in Yemen.  When told that the end of the war was declared, they exclaimed: too bad.

Say what you wish about the ousted president of Yemen but who can deny his charisma and mass appeal

Where does the US find its Arab potentates?

First female ambassador of the Iranian regime

I have never been a fan of the Iranian regime and I opposed Khumayni and his movement as a young radical leftist but the Saudi regime is far more backward and repressive (at all levels) than the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime has just appointed its first female ambassador (Mardiyyah Afkham, its spokesperson for the foreign ministry).  In Saudi Arabia, she will be seen and presented as a mere...pudendum.

Look how the Jordanian regime markets a speech by the spoiled brat of the King at the UN, of all places

This reminds me of when Robert Kennedy was appointed Attorney General of the US.  Someone asked Joe Kennedy about the matter because Robert had never practiced law.  Joe said: well, he has to start somewhere.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Too much collateral damage"

"A senior American official said “there have been discussions” in the past several days among officials from the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a Saudi partner in the campaign, about ending the bombing. Asked why, the American official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Too much collateral damage.”"  Was the number of women and children killed in Yemen beyond the number agreed upon by the US and its "moderate" allies?

Al-Arabiyya TV airs exclusive footage of the declaration of the end of its war by Prince Muhammad bin Salman

Saudi Arabia is the biggest funder of terrorists according to Clinton

"Saudi Arabia is the single biggest contributor to the funding of Islamic extremism and is unwilling to cut off the money supply, according to a leaked note from Hillary Clinton."

ICC fails to punish western warcriminals

"Few recall that David Cameron led Britain into one war in Libya that overthrew Gaddafi, but was disastrous for most Libyans. Without this conflict, the drowned bodies of would-be emigrants to Europe would not be washing up in their hundreds on Libyan beaches." "The US and Europe may think they can safely retreat to the sidelines of wars in the Middle East that they have either provoked, prolonged or made no effort to stop, but they will inevitably find out that they are wrong."

Israel deported African refugees because they weren't Jewish, then rebels executed them

"The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants reported on Tuesday that three asylum seekers who left Israel for a third country over the past year have been executed by the Islamic State in Libya." (thanks Amir)

Look how the language of the New York Times serves the propaganda of the Saudi regime

"Sana has been bombed almost daily for more than three weeks. The city has been a stronghold of the Houthi militia since September and a primary target for the Saudi-led aerial offensive, which is meant to cripple the Houthis and restore the exiled Yemeni government to powerThe Saudi-led coalition has bombed military installations across Yemen".  Take it easy in your propaganda, o New York Times. This is not an Israeli war. Wait, maybe it is.

End of the GCC war on Yemen

There is something noteworthy: the Saudi regime declared the official end of the war on Yemen hours after a royal decree for the participation of the "National Guard" in the war.

10 Most Censored Countries

Congratulations is due to all the journalists of the House of Saud as Saudi regime won the 3rd rank, after Eritrea and North Korea

FLASH: Saudi regime announces the end of the war on Yemen "after accomplishing its goals"

Wait: how did it accomplish its goals, when the declared goals were the restoration of the rule of Hadi and the eviction of Huthis from power?

Those lousy Muslim American organizations (largely tools of Muslim Brotherhood and/or Saudi regime) deny the Turkish genocide against Armendians

Those don't speak for Muslim Americans. They speak for their Gulf regime benefactors.  Young Middle Easterners in the US took up a statement against the US Council of lousy Muslim organizations.

Two tasks for propagandists of Saudi regime

Looking at Arab propagandists for Saudi princes in Arabic and English, one can clearly discern two kinds: 1) those who write in English who feign a fake liberalism and thus find it hard to directly advocate for the Saudi regime so instead they spend their days and night attacking the enemies of the Saudi regime--and only the enemies of the Saudi regime; 2) those whose task is to directly sing the praises of the Saudi regime.  The first group is funny because they think that their job is not obvious.

This is quite unprecented in Arab media

How the Huthi news broadcast addresses House of Saud.  Watch.

Western support for the Saudi war on Yemen

Why should we only mock those Arab journalists who work for propaganda of Saudi princes (although they call it journalism) while Western governments have been as obedient and loyal to the Saudi regime?  Notice the lack of outrage in the Western media about this savage Saudi-led war on Yemen.

Email issues

Email server problems are delaying the blog updates today.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Muhammad Dahlan found to be non-corrupt

After filing charges of corruption against Muhammad Dahlan by the corrupt PA, a corrupt PA court found Dahlan to be non-corrupt, under pressures from the corrupt government of the UAE.

More lies from Mahmoud Abbas

"But Mr. Abbas told Palestinian leaders meeting in Ramallah on Saturday that Israel would release the tax revenue in full."  No, liar, it didn't release the money in full.

Look at this question in the New York Times

Imagine if a Jewish person is asked: so why do you bother to keep your faith:  "Why is it important to you to remain a Muslim, rather than rejecting your faith outright, as Ayaan Hirsi Ali has?"  What kind of question is this? Just because there is one person who abandoned Islam all Muslims should follow her example? The discourse on Islam as a religion is like no other discourse on any other religion.  Why not ask someone: why don't you love, Nial Ferguson, when Hirsi Ali loves Nial Ferguson. Or: why not call for crushing Islam when Hirsi Ali wants to crush Islam.  Or why not love Israel when Hirsi Ali loves Israel, etc.

Rosa Luxemburg’s partner Leo Jogiches

"To the Editor:

Vivian Gornick referred to Rosa Luxemburg’s partner Leo Jogiches as a “sociopath.” Jogiches was undoubtedly a jealous and domineering personality. He once threatened Luxemburg with a gun for not breaking off an affair with another man. Despite growing apart personally, however, Jogiches and Luxemburg collaborated politically until her death.

Paul Frölich, in his definitive biography of Luxemburg, did not describe Jogiches in Gornick’s terms. Indeed, Frölich approvingly quoted the German Communist leader Clara Zetkin’s comment that Jogiches was “one of those very masculine personalities — an extremely rare phenomenon these days — who can tolerate a great female personality in loyal and happy comradeship, without feeling her growth and development to be fetters on his own ego.”

After Luxemburg’s murder in the aftermath of the failed Spartacus uprising, Jogiches devoted himself to preserving her writings and, not long afterward, was himself executed. To label him a “sociopath” elevates his all-too-typical personal failings above his lifelong political collaboration with Rosa Luxemburg.



Richard Engel's story and the implications about Syrian rebel stories

What is amazing about the mild reaction to the Richard Engel's story--that the moderate, feminist, secular, angelic, romantic, and adorable Syrian rebels--went to the extra length of staging a kidnapping and resorting to torture of victims in order to implicate the Syrian regime, and yet: no one in the mainstream Western media or even in the Western human rights organizations bothered to draw conclusions about the credibility of reports and statements by those same rebels.

Eight Significant Problems with the HRW Report on Syria

"1. The HRW report relies heavily on testimony and video/photo evidence from a biased source known as “Syria Civil Defence”. This organization is not what one might assume. Syria Civil Defence was funded and created by UK and USA. Initial training was provided in Turkey by former British military officer and current contractor based in Dubai. In the past year Syria Civil Defence has been rebranded as “White Helmets” by “The Syria Campaign” which itself is the creation of corporate PR firm. Syrian Civil Defence (aka White Helmets) is heavily into social media and actively campaigning for a No Fly Zone. The HRW report does not include any of the preceding information on Syria Civil Defence, its origins and obvious bias. Shouldn’t “evidence” received from them be considered with a skeptical eye?" (thanks

A US bomb dropped by Saudi jets killed this Yemeni reporter: Western media won't make him famous because his killers are "moderate allies"

The Zionist usurping entity demolishes homes for 83rd time

"Israeli bulldozers demolished homes in the Bedouin village of al-Araqib village in the Negev for the 83rd time on Monday, in addition to a home in the Negev village of Atir, local activists said."

The Saudis developed the course some years ago using the U.S. Army War College as a model

"Twenty-five military officers from Saudi Arabia traveled to Stuttgart to learn about the mission and programs of U.S. Africa Command." "The Saudis developed the course some years ago using the U.S. Army War College as a model."

Not in the US media: Hizbullah's statement about the ISIS crimes against Ethiopian Christians

"Hezbollah denounced the new crime that was committed by the terrorist group of ISIL in Libya and that claimed dozens of innocent Ethiopian citizens, offering condolences to the families of the victims and those who experienced the agonies of that horrible massacre.

In a statement, Hezbollah considered that the crime complements the series of tarnishing the image of Islam and the Muslims and persists on seeking the religious and the sectarian wars in order to serve the malicious plots of the intelligence services in a number of Arab and Western countries.

The statement added that the criminal ideology of ISIL is one of the major dangers that threatens our nation and affects its present and future negatively, what imposes on everyone the responsibility of encountering that ideology which originates in the genocidal Wahhabism that, in turn, inflicted destruction, murder and fire wherever it existed."

54,700 private contractors worked for the Defense Department in its areas of responsibility

"The United States Central Command, which is in charge of military forces in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan, reported in January that 54,700 private contractors worked for the Defense Department in its areas of responsibility. In Afghanistan alone, where about 9,800 American troops are deployed, the Pentagon is paying for almost 40,000 private contractors, more than a third of whom are American, according to the Centcom report." “You are going to keep having contractors for security,” said Mr. Crocker, the former ambassador. “You can’t do things in Iraq or Afghanistan without them. You just can’t.” " (thanks Amir)

Opposition to war on Yemen

I consider one's own view of the Huthi movement to be irrelevant (and my views of the movement are not favorable at all), and one is obligated to condemn this war on Yemen and its people. This is like saying: one can't condemn the Israeli war on Gaza because one is not a fan of Hamas. 

Congressional law and Israeli military superiority

"Congress enacted a law in 2008 requiring that arms sales allow Israel to maintain a “qualitative military edge” in the region. All sales to the Middle East are evaluated based on how they will affect Israeli military superiority. "

A US-sponsored war on the civilian population of Yemen

"“A good number of the American arms that have been used in Yemen by the Saudis have been used against civilian populations,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, an assertion that Saudi Arabia denies."

Why this Saudi-led war is an American business venture

"American defense firms are following the money. Boeing opened an office in Doha, Qatar, in 2011, and Lockheed Martin set up an office there this year. Lockheed created a division in 2013 devoted solely to foreign military sales, and the company’s chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, has said that Lockheed needs to increase foreign business — with a goal of global arms sales’ becoming 25 percent to 30 percent of its revenue — in part to offset the shrinking of the Pentagon budget after the post-Sept. 11 boom."

arms sales to GCC tyrants: "with few public objections from Israel"

"The United States has long put restrictions on the types of weapons that American defense firms can sell to Arab nations, meant to ensure that Israel keeps a military advantage against its traditional adversaries in the region. But because Israel and the Arab states are now in a de facto alliance against Iran, the Obama administration has been far more willing to allow the sale of advanced weapons in the Persian Gulf, with few public objections from Israel."

The Changing Socio-political Attitudes of Saudi Students Studying Overseas

"More interesting is that Saudis outside had more dissatisfaction about the Saudi legal
system as reflected in a huge gap of 72% compared to the Saudis inside the Kingdom.
Similarly with the situation of human rights in KSA, nearly a quarter of Saudis overseas
considered it satisfactory relative to the Saudis in KSA who were more satisfied 43%.
Regarding the satiation of civil and political rights, more disappointment among Saudis
overseas (66%) while it seems much less among Saudis inside KSA (33%). On religious establishment, minor differences appeared between the two samples on religious foundation’s role in social and political issues ranging less or equal to 20 percent unlike the other items. In case of women’s participation in politics, there was no significant distinction between the two samples." (thanks Mohammed)

Why do they hate us: These are US bombs being dropped on Yemen

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Germany and Israeli nukes

"Germany secretly funded Israel's clandestine nuclear arms program, according to reports in the German media, which contradicting denies made earlier this month by Israel's former President Shimon Peres. A report in German daily Die Welt claims an agreement was made during a meeting in New York in 1960 between Germany's then-Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Israel's then-prime minister David Ben-Gurion. Germany agreed to loan Israel $500m (£330m), officially to help develop the Negev desert but actually to help produce nuclear weapons." (thanks Amir)

I am really confused now: I thought that hate speech against Muslims is good natured humor?

"Mr. Valls also announced more assiduous monitoring of hate speech online, using existing tools that enable the flagging of racist content on a website. " Oh, you mean when it is not directed agianst Muslims. OK.  So in that case the freedom of speech defense does not apply.  Got it. 

Lest some Muslims sneak in among the Syrian refugees

"In February, Mr. McCaul wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry demanding details about refugees who have already been admitted or are in the pipeline, including their ages, ethnicities and religion. He also wanted to know how American officials are screening Syrians."

The US (as the leader of the Friends of Syria gang) may have solved the Syrian refugee crisis

"The United States is scheduled to take in its largest group of Syrian refugees to date — up to 2,000 by the fall of this year, compared with a total of about 700 since the civil war in Syria began four years ago, according to the State Department.  But the plan is stirring pushback from Republican lawmakers in Congress, who are increasingly vocal about the fear that terrorists may sneak in with the refugees."

Syrian revolution and claims

Do you remember when people like me and a few others were insisting that Jihadi terrorist types are among the most active fighters in the Syrian "revolution" how we were attacked and we were told that, no, the ones who are actually fighting and leading the fight in Syria are a combination of Sufis, sex-loving couples, and hippies?  I remember. I no more read that kind of analysis anymore alas.  Or the notion that a woman (usually Suhayr Al-Atasi who recently resigned from some ineffectual body or another) is leading the Syrian "revolution"? One days someone would write a book about the American war lobby and propaganda surrounding the Syrian "revolution".  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Palestionian prisoners' DAY

""More than most villages in the occupied West Bank, residents of Beit Ummar know the meaning of Prisoners Day - in a population where 44 percent of men have been imprisoned at some point in their lives." "With 6,000 Palestinians currently incarcerated in Israeli jails, Prisoners Day is a significant date in the political calendar.""

thanking "God" for the Saudi and GCC tyrants

" “Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar,” John McCain told CNN’s Candy Crowley in January 2014. “Thank God for the Saudis and Prince Bandar, and for our Qatari friends,” the senator said once again a month later, at the Munich Security Conference." "Qatar’s military and economic largesse has made its way to Jabhat al-Nusra, to the point that a senior Qatari official told me he can identify al-Nusra commanders by the blocks they control in various Syrian cities. But ISIS is another matter. As one senior Qatari official stated, “ISIS has been a Saudi project.” ISIS, in fact, may have been a major part of Bandar’s covert-ops strategy in Syria." "Like elements of the mujahideen, which benefited from U.S. financial and military support during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and then later turned on the West in the form of al-Qaeda, ISIS achieved scale and consequence through Saudi support, only to now pose a grave threat to the kingdom and the region.""

Yemen scholars in US and UK oppose the war on Yemen

"A group of 18 Yemen scholars and experts based in the United States and Britain published an open letter decrying the near month-long Saudi bombing campaign in the country. The letter, whose signatories include academics at Harvard, Oxford and Columbia universities, argued the Saudi-led war "is illegal under international law" and urged American and British officials to push for a U.N. Security Council resolution "demanding an immediate, unconditional ceasefire.""

US forces around the world

""U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) consist of over 69,000 operators and support personnel deployed to more than 80 countries around the world, the SOCOM posture statement said (compared to “over 75 countries” in last year’s statement).""

Just like in Syria

Early in the war in Syria I was warning--among others but not in mainstream US media--that an ugly terrorist threat is about to emerge in Syria facicilitated by Gulf funding and arming and with the full support of the US government.  Simiarly, there is a danger perhaps bigger looming in Yemen. Saudi regime is resorting to the use of Al-Qa`idah aginast the Huthis, and allowed them to take over an airport and maybe an oil field.  All that with US bombs and rockets provided to the Saudis, and possibly indirectly to Al-Qa`idah.

Sony Emails and services to Israeli propaganda

""Billions of US dollars are spent producing product in the UK and Europe and billions of dollars are made by UK and European film, media, digital and tv companies distributing their product in the US ..........It is imperative, therefore, that we who support Israel during these tough times and make our voices heard in the capitals of Europe and at important festivals and markets like Cannes, Venice, Berlin, MIP etc. ..." (thanks Amir)

Obama speaks to the Saudi King

From this statement I can gather that the US president is worried about the direction of the Saudi military campaign in Yemen.

What is a Shi`ite accent? it is when you insert the word Shi`ite in every sentence

"Engel, who speaks Arabic, recognized their accents and the Shiite chants that played on their cellphones. "

Richard Engel can tell Shi`ites by their...cups

"Where Engel earlier said his kidnappers were Shia, they were actually Sunni. But, Engel said, "The group that kidnapped us put on an elaborate ruse to convince us they were Shiite Shabiha militiamen," including using specific accents and the presence of Shiite cups and music. "  What about their potatoes, Mr. Engel? Are they distinctive as well?  (thanks Basim) 

The Saudi ambassador is right

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The Saudi ambassador is right: Al-Akhbar should know its limits".

The American people should know: the US is on the side of Al-Qa`idah

The Saudi-US-GCC alliance in Yemen is working hand-in-hand with Al-Qa`idah. What the Saudi regime calls "rebels" or "resistance" in Yemen are none other than Al-Qa`idah terrorists. The same game was played in Syria, of course. Will Richard Engel now claim that he was kidnapped by Huthis, I wonder?

Nasrallah's speech yesterday

Nasrallah's speech yesterday was a watershed in the Shi`ite attitudes toward the Saudi regime and the ruling Wahhabiyyah doctrine. Historically, there were Sunni and Shi`ite attacks on the kooky Wahhabiyyah doctrine, but Sunni cleris after Nasser were largely bought off by the House of Saud, while Shi`ite clerics practiced a true about the Saudi regime and Wahhabi doctrine. Furthermore, Saddam's regime ended the publication of anti-Wahhabi tracts in Yemen. Nasrallah yesterday went all out against the Wahhabi doctrine and--before Liz Sly and Anne Barnard typically distort the words of Nasrallah--he again made it clear that they pose the biggest threat to Sunnis.  He never presents their danger as a sectarian danger against Shi`ites. He spoke about Wahhabiyyah as the mother milk of contemporary terrorist Islamist groups which is undeniably true.  Iran still avoids such rhetoric.

Saudi regime buying media

Just like in 1990, Prince Khalid bin Sultan went around buying off Arab media right and left and center, Saudi regime is now also forcing all Arab media to toe the line or else. This explains why the formerly Qatari-supported and virulently anti-Saudi regime, New TV of Lebanon, has now become pro-Saudi war on Yemen.  My first Lebanese TV appearance ever on this station was against the Saudi regime.

Saudi heroics

The caption says "Jets of the Alliance force a rescue plane which defied the ban to land in Jizan".

Wahhabi Doctrine

Wahhabi Doctrine strictly prohibits visitation of the trombs of the Prophet and his companions. This was the reason why the House of Saud destroyed many of the tombs of the companions. But Wahhabi Doctrine does not prohibit the visitation of the tomb of
George Washington.

Friday, April 17, 2015

My interview on Democracy Now

You can watch now here.

Shame on the Economist magazine

The Economist magazine would never treat with respect an anti-Semitic bigot who writes on Judaism without having any academic or even journalistic training on the subject. This author's only qualification her extreme bigotry and desire to "crush" Islam.  Look at this lousy favorable review.

The Imperial US presidency

We now learn that US presidential powers in foreign policy are almost unlimited with the exception of decisions and policies that are not approved by Israel.

An Israeli official considers US Congressional decision as "an Israeli achievement"

"In Israel, officials welcomed the compromise reached in Washington, with Yuval Steinitz, the minister of intelligence and strategic affairs, describing the congressional move as “an achievement for Israeli policy.”"

So why was Cuba placed on the terrorism list to begin with

"The United States labeled Cuba a sponsor of terrorism in the early 1980s because of its support for leftist insurgent movements in Latin America. The island also harbored a number of American fugitives, including Joanne D. Chesimard, who is wanted in the killing of a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 and is among the F.B.I.’s most wanted terrorists."

UN Envoy in Yemen resigns

This is not said in US media. Every UN envoy in Syria and Yemen (and envoys by the Arab League) had to resign due to Saudi pressures and rejection.

Propaganda and counter propaganda

I always mention to my students: US media never refer to US propaganda as propaganda. The word is reserved only for enemies of the US.  Notice in this article the NYT refers to US government propaganda as "counter propaganda" because the US is above resorting to propaganda.

Utterly insulting to all Iraqi victims of US bombing. The New York Times decided that Iraqis have reached closure on the basis of one lousy trial

"Sentences in Blackwater Killings Give Iraqis a Measure of Closure". Closure? You in NYC decide that Iraqis have reached closure? After one lousy trial?

Notice that the US managed to remove Saddam's Iraq from its terrorist list when the regime was most engaged in terrorism and brutal repression

Israel's terrorist rate

"Number of fatalities in all Israel's battles stands at 23,320".  Israel managed to kill almost the same number (of Lebanese and Palestinians--mostly civilians) in a few months during its invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

US media as part of the war lobby

"In other words, NBC executives at least had ample reason to suspect that it was anti-Assad rebels who staged the kidnapping, not pro-Assad forces. Yet they allowed Engel and numerous other NBC and MSNBC personalities repeatedly and unequivocally to blame the Assad regime and glorify the anti-Assad rebels, and worse, to link the hideous kidnapping to Iran and Hezbollah, all with no indication that there were other quite likely alternatives." "Falsely and recklessly blaming the Assad regime for a heinous kidnapping of western journalists and directly linking it to Iran and Hezbollah, while heralding the rebels as heroic and compassionate – during a brewing “regime change” and intervention debate – is on the level of Iraqi aluminum tubes." "There were – and are – a lot of shadowy interests eager to bring about regime change in Syria and to malign Iran and Hezbollah with false claims. Whether by intent or outcome, that’s what this story did."

Sony and US government

"Today, WikiLeaks published a new searchable archive containing the leaked email inboxes of top Sony executives. Disturbingly, it shows that months after the hack, we’ve still only just begun investigating the close ties between Sony and the US government." "The emails suggest that wasn’t the only time the US government tapped Sony to help promote viewpoints friendly to the US. In another email, a staffer writing on behalf of Jane Hartley, the US’s ambassador to France, asks Lynton to help promote the US’s “agenda” overseas using Sony talent."

Accusations by US/Israel are evidence

"But the poison pill is in there again: It says that the secretary-of-state will ensure, that the IAEA has the tools it needs to resolve this issue. It also says the IAEA will need sufficient access to "suspicious sites" and the ability to follow up allegations. But "suspicious sites" can just go anywhere. It could be your bedroom if somebody says, you are hiding documents there. I know that from Iraq. We got reports all the time from very unreliable sources. But we had to follow them up. And that is the issue with allegations in the congressional language. Because allegations from whom? If I got allegations from the CIA, I might take them more seriously than if it is something on Facebook. You may find somebody posting something on Facebook saying: "I know there is a new centrifuges factory over there behind this mosque". Is the IAEA then obliged to follow that up?"