Friday, March 24, 2017

When our two cats (Bailey and Aaden) meet there is more intelligence in the room than in this picture

US and its allies beat Russia in the race to kill civilians in the Middle East

Why not release the birth name of the British terrorist?

From a reader: "Hello Mr. AbuKhalil. I was reading the Telegraph article about the London killer and I spotted a certain fact and thought I'd point it out to you.
Please read the article but I'll paste what I thought was interesting.
"Scotland Yard held back key information about Masood. He was born in Kent on Christmas Day 1964 under a different name before changing it by deed poll, but the authorities had refused to release his birth name."  Would Scotland Yard call him John Smith if he had changed his name to Smith from Masod? I think not.  Here's the full article

The New York Times offers sympathy for the Israeli terrorist who threatened to bomb synagogues and airlines

Look at the language and notice how many times the word "teenager" appeared in the article: "But officials made it clear that they considered the teenager, who lived in the Ashkelon area of southern Israel, to be the primary source of the threats, though they did not offer a motive. “This is the guy we are talking about,” an Israeli police spokesman, Micky Rosenfeld, said."  Also: "The teenager, who was born in Israel, has a brain tumor that can affect his cognitive abilities and lead to “irrational” behavior, his lawyer, Galit Bash, said. She would not say whether her client, who she said did not have a criminal record, had admitted or denied involvement. Ms. Bash and the father’s lawyer, Eran Rau, who are both from the Office of the Israeli Public Defender, said the young man was an only child who lived with his parents and had been home-schooled, which is unusual in Israel. While most Israelis are drafted into military service, the teenager was rejected, which Ms. Bash said was because of his medical condition. Israeli news media reported that she had said in court that he had the tumor since he was 14."  Stop this bullshit.  People who get tumors don't go and threaten to bomb synagogues, Jewish centers and airlines.  If someone published this about an Arab terrorist, he/she would rightly be accused of sympathy for terrorism.

Chelsea Clinton is exciting the Democratic base

You know that the Democrats don't have much hope when they are excited over another Clinton--another very boring uninspiring Clinton.

What about Israeli terrorism?

Two Palestinians killed in two days and barely any mention or condemnation of Israeli terrorism i the US media. 

The Israeli terrorist who who sent threats to synagogues and Jewish centers worldwide

Notice that the coverage about this case is minimal.  Imagine if he was an Arab and not an Israeli. How different would the coverage have been.  And if an Arab is 19-years old he would not be called "a teen" or a "boy" in US and Israeli media.  Yesterday, the New York Times quickly moved the story from the top stories section to US section.  

Eye doctor story

I posted this on Facebook:"Remember that annoying eye doctor I told you about? The one who asks me every year (whenever I go for an eye exam) about Beirut? Every year whenever I go for my eye exam he asks me: where are you from originally? And I say Lebanon. And then he says: oh, it is terrible there. Oh, it must be violent there. Year after year, I have to go through this, and I can't take it anymore. And every year I realize that he forgot our last conversation a year ago. And I always have to answer him that he is mistaken about his perceptions. But I can't be too firm or too nasty with him because my delicate eyes are in his hands and near his sharp metal objects. But I have had it with him. I was prepared this year. I go in this afternoon and he says: you are from Lebanon, right? I said: yes. He says: it is a mess there, right? I said: not at all. It is safer than any American city. I went on (with plenty of exaggerations): people in Lebanon don't even lock their doors or cars. It is that safe. He then asks: but they did not rebuild Lebanon. I said: no, they did (I did not share my opinion about the lousy reconstruction plans of Beirut). He then stopped. But that was not enough: he goes on to tell me that he worked for five years in Cape Town, South Africa. I braced myself. He said that he visited last year for the first time in 45 years. He said that he was "surprised" that things did not "get worse". He said that he found out that things are the same. I said: they are not the same, Apartheid is gone. He said: oh, yeah, there are political changes. I said: and social changes. He said: yes, there is "black rule" now. I said: no, there is majority rule now. He said: oh, yes. He then felt awkward and asked: have you traveled anywhere recently? I said: i just returned from Morocco and immediately interjected: it is very safe and vary calm--in case you are wondering. I am not seeing this doctor again, and it is high time for him to retire. I am willing to buy his retirement plastic watch for him." And then I heard from one of my former student. It turned out that the same doctor told her recently upon hearing that she was in Hawaii: ""there are no Arabs clubbing you on the head.""

The Nation Magazine has yet another lousy article about the Middle East: this time about Hizbullah

This one of the most stupid pieces that I have seen. It is dumber than the coverage by Nicholas Blanford and Prothro. As long as you invent a "commander", you can attribute anything to him: "“Hezbollah is like the cane that Iran uses,” says Commander Samir". Basically, commander Samir all but said to him: we are a bunch of lousy terrorists and we are tools of Iran. He then proceeded to tell him that they don't care about the Palestinians. I always wonder this: Ibrahim Al-Amin is close to Hasan Nasrallah and to all the top leaders of Hizbullah: yet, those Hizb commanders choose to divulge their secrets not to Ibrahim Al-Amin but to...Jesse above in the Nation. Journalism. Notice that Jesse thinks that the civil war ended in 1985.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

This is an Obama appointee

"Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday that he believes President Donald Trump "has the potential to be a great president," and suggested that the Trump administration's issuance of an emergency order banning passengers from carrying larger electronic devices on certain flights from the Middle East and North Africa to the United States would be good for national security. "I actually believe that Donald Trump — and I told him this when I met with him in December — I actually believe that Donald Trump has the potential to be a great president in sort of the Nixon-goes-to-China way, or Reagan-goes-to-the-Soviet-Union way, if he can find a way to rein in some of the more unhealthy impulses, listen to his staff, bring on a full complement of political appointees who will help him govern," Johnson said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Wednesday."

Zionism is a war crime

"For years, Israeli settlers have chased Ibrahim’s tractor, threatened him, yelled at his Israeli soldier escorts, tried to burn his fields and warned that letting him farm would risk bloodshed, according to the Israeli group Rabbis for Human Rights."

Liz Sly, who has been spot on throughout the Syrian war, makes another prediction: Syrian regime is collapsing

Liz Sly assures readers, yet again, for the 340th times, that Bashshar's days are numbered and that the regime is collapsing and that activists told her that, and that the rebels ("moderate" rebels aligned with Al-Qa`idah using car bombs and suicide attacks) are about to take over Damascus.  It is a matter of hours, she says.

I am not sure what Gopal is saying. That ISIS should be left in Palmyra?

"In Palmyra, for instance, U.S. warplanes in February carried out 45 strikes to help the Syrian government forces — the only forces on the ground — recapture the city from ISIS."

US is investigating

"At least 30 Syrian civilians were killed in an airstrike by the United States-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants in a rural area of Raqqa Province early Tuesday, according to residents, activists and state television. The coalition said it had no indications that an airstrike hit civilians, but in its daily report on coalition strikes, the United States military acknowledged that strikes were carried out in the area. It said that coalition warplanes carried out 19 airstrikes on Tuesday — an unusually high number for a single day — on a range of Islamic State facilities near the city of Raqqa. The attack, which hit a school in the town of Mansoura, where civilians had taken shelter on Tuesday night, was the second time in a week that Syrians had accused the United States of involvement in a strike that killed dozens of noncombatants. Forty-nine people died last week when American warplanes fired on a target in Al Jinah, a village in western Aleppo Province. United States officials said the attack had hit a building where Qaeda operatives were meeting, but residents said the warplanes had struck a mosque where hundreds of people had gathered for a weekly religious meeting."

The fables of Thomas Friedman

"I had several young Arabs from around the region tell me that when America lets its own leader get away with lying, hiding information and smearing the press or a political opponent, it is taken as a license by all Middle Eastern leaders, or the leaders of Turkey or Russia, to do the exact same thing and say: “See, the American president does it, why shouldn’t we?”"  I bet that this never happened. I bet that he made it up.  I mean, those young Arabs are not used to their leaders lying? Those Arab leaders never lied before Trump became president?  

Hilarious: Washington Post claims that obama "harangued" Arab allies about human rights

"Gone are the days of President Barack Obama haranguing Arab allies about their records on human rights".   When was that? When he was selling them billions worth of arms?  You want fake news? This is fake news.

Muslim coverts to Christianity

I am always amused when I read about Christian celebrations of Muslim conversion to Christianity.  It reminds me of the hopes of early American missionaries in Lebanon.  There was one Muslim convert from Beirut and they wrote a book about him.  They thought that their moment has come.  Muslims don't make for good converts as their self-satisfaction within their religion seems to be very high.  This story on Fox News is rather amusing.  They talk about a conversion by 300, assuming it is real and assuming it is sincere.  When I came to US and watched some TV evangelists, I almost believed that American evangelical missionaries in the Middle East succeeded in taking away half of the Muslim population.  

Zionism, as a war crime

"The very idea that Israel is guilty of the crime of Apartheid, one of the two gravest crimes against humanity (second only to Genocide), is, in itself, one that should give everyone pause. But there is another explosion in the report. Israel and its patrons have desperately sought to shelve a discussion about Zionism as a racist ideology. The Apartheid report brings it back to the front. The report renders invalid all those apologetic ‘warnings’ of Apartheid that have been part of mainstream Israeli and American leadership rhetoric for years now (for instance, John Kerry, 2014). The report’s implication is that Apartheid is not something that is soon to arrive or has just arrived; it is something that has been there all along, from the very birth of the state — in the “State’s essentially racist character.” "The discussion is bound to roll back to another shelved document – the UN Resolution 3379 (1975), which equates Zionism with racism."

Iraqi prisoners were beaten with stick on their way to latrine

" “There's levels of torture and for me that was torture," he said. "I mean how can you go ahead and handcuff a person next to each other, for days, let them defecate, let them urinate over themselves, don't [let them] take a shower, don't feed them?" The allegations describe conduct that likely violated the Geneva Conventions and the Torture Convention, both a part of U.S. law, said Andrea Prasow, Deputy Washington Director for Human Rights Watch." "Another military officer who participated in the investigation confirmed Claudio’s version, but asked to remain anonymous. “They weren’t only tied by the hands to each other, when they took them to the latrines they beat them with a stick,” he said." 

New Zealand soldiers killed Afghan civilians, admits former DM

"The former New Zealand defence minister has admitted for the first time that civilians were killed during a bungled raid by New Zealand SAS troops in Afghanistan in 2010." "The new book says New Zealand SAS troopers, backed by US helicopters and Afghan commandos, raided two villages but that ultimately 21 people were killed and wounded, none of whom were insurgents and most of whom were women and children. The book suggests most were killed by the US helicopter gunships, but that some of the bodies showed signs that suggested they might have been killed by New Zealand snipers in the hills around the villages."

Anti-Semitism is a real menace but people like this man hurts the real cause of fighting anti-Semitism

"A Jewish man has been accused of spray-painting swastikas on his own house after he reported the incident to police as a hate crime. Andrew King claimed he found two swastikas on his home in Schenectady, New York, last month." (thanks Amer)

This man authored a book titled "Hatred's Kingdom" back in 2003: now he is in love with Saudi regime

Dr. Dore Gold (@DrDoreGold)
At @AIPAC conference, where I will discuss positive trends in #SaudiArabia, as illustrated in this bold letter to…

I wonder what Tillerson meant by "population groups"

What does he mean by "population groups"? Does that mean Muslims versus non-Muslim?

Will the Israeli who sent bomb threats to synagogues and Jewish centers worldwide be described as a terrorist?

I mean, he is the definition of a cyber-terrorist, no?

So US bombs killed close to a 100 civilians in two days of bombing over Syria

Do you notice that Western correspondents in Beirut don't weep on social media when US bombs kill Syrian civilians? I wonder why (not really).

So let us cut to the chase: an Israeli citizen was behind the bomb threats against synagogues and Jewish centers worldwide

But notice this: there is now a rush to describe the 19-year old citizen as "a teen".  NBC News quickly referred to him as an "18 year old".  Israeli media are describing him as either a teen or a boy.  I won't be surprised if he will be described as a "toddler" by tomorrow.  Also, why did the Israeli courts impose a "gag order" on the case? Why is there no release of his name? And where did he obtain the advanced technology equipments which changed his IP address locations? Finally, do you really blame Arabs for subscribing to conspiracy theories?

When the anti-Semitic Saudi regime tries to appease the occupation state of Israel

"A Message to the Israeli and Jewish People – Joining Forces
Having outlined the great potential of Prince Mohammad bin Salman's role and of Saudi leadership in the Islamic world, I raise one more issue of high priority. I would like to address a message to the Israeli people and to Jews around the world. Our Holy Koran confirms that you are an integral part of this region. Your civilization and the history of your ancestors was and still is part of our region’s history. Your State is a product of your civilization as well.  You have also left a mark in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, as well as in Najran and Khaibar and Medina, which remains visible to this day.
The policies of the Iranian regime are alarmingly similar to the Nazi policies that aimed to exterminate your people. Thus, the Iranian and Nazi regimes are two faces of the same coin in their enmity and hatred of you and the danger they pose. Nevertheless, please be assured that peace can be achieved, and your historical role in our region secured, within the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative. This process would also promote the achievement of peace with Israel within the framework of the Saudi (Arab) Peace Initiative. If achieved, it will save the region from the flames fueled by the Iranian regime, and also allow Saudi Arabia to openly partner with the many technological advances Israel offers. 
Thus, of all the priorities that Prince Mohammed bin Salman must address, the most burning is the need to confront Iran in order to preserve the fate of this region. In today’s political reality, you and we are in the same trench in opposing the Iranian menace, with the terrorism and fanaticism Tehran spawns and exports around the world. In fulfilling the destiny of all our ancestors, neither you nor we can afford to be bystanders in confronting this evil. Let us be united and of one voice in order to save our cultures and civilizations from the neo-Nazi threat in its Iranian guise, for the sake of peace."  Notice that this Saudi propagandist conflates the Jews throughout history and in the world with the occupation state of Israel--which is quite anti-Semitic.  So according to this anti-Semitic writer, all Jews in history are responsible for the crimes of the occupation state of israel? But he can't help himself because like all anti-Semites they can't be not anti-Semitic.  Ironically, the Zionists of the US and Israel welcome the anti-Semitism of the Saudi regime (just as they welcomed the anti-Semitism of Anwar Sadat) as long as it serves the immediate propaganda and military interests of Israel.  

For Royal Jordanian and UAE Emirates airlines

Can you stop trying to be cute and publish the products for Western PR companies and do what the Turkish Airline has done (along among all Middle Eastern airlines affected by the new ban): which is to protest the new ban?  Jordanian Airline has the wit of the Jordanian royal buffoon.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Israeli occupation state targets Omar Barghouti

"Israeli media have reported that Barghouti, who lives in the coastal city of Akka in present-day Israel, is suspected of tax evasion. The Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee accused the Israeli government of “fabricating a case” against him. Barghouti and his wife were detained for 16 hours on Sunday and Barghouti was being interrogated for the fourth consecutive day, the committee said on Wednesday. The committee said the investigation of Barghouti was part of Israel’s “systematic efforts to criminalize the BDS movement, intimidate activists and stop free speech.” Barghouti “has for years been subjected to intense threats, intimidation and repression by various arms of the far-right Israeli government, particularly after it considered the movement a ‘strategic threat’ to its entire system of injustice against Palestinians,” the committee added. Last year the Tel Aviv newspaper Haartez reported that Israel had established a “dirty tricks” or “tarnishing” unit which would target BDS groups. The committee said that the case against Barghouti was an attempt to “tarnish his image and intimidate him.”"

Arabness and citizenship in the US

"This Article examines the legal origins of Arab-American identity during the racially restrictive Naturalization Era (1790 through 1952), when whiteness was a prerequisite for American citizenship. Ten of the 53 naturalization hearings during this era involved a petitioner from the Arab World. Judges during the Naturalization Era viewed “Arab” as synonymous with “Muslim” identity. Because Muslims were presumed to be non-white, and Arabs were presumed to be Muslims, Arabs were presumptively ineligible for citizenship. But this presumption could be rebutted. Arab Christians could – and did – invoke the fact of their Christianity to argue that they were white. These arguments sometimes secured citizenship for Christian petitioners, but did not always rebut the presumption that every immigrant from the Arab World was Muslim. "

National Security--my potato

""The official said no American carriers are impacted by the ban, which is expected to be unveiled on Tuesday by the Homeland Security Department.""( thanks Suheil)

Israel's never-ending war crimes

"Beyond the less-than-subtle endorsement of war crimes, there’s another major problem with Bennett’s reasoning - which is that Israel has never been overly preoccupied with civilian-military distinctions in the first place. For one thing, all of the items on his list of “legitimate targets” were already bombed in 2006." "In 2006, most of the estimated 1,200 killed in Lebanon were civilians, including the children slaughtered at close range by Israeli helicopter while attempting to evacuate their villages under explicit Israeli orders. Also obviously qualifying as civilians were the more than 100 refugees wiped out by Israel in 1996 while sheltering at a United Nations compound in the south Lebanese town of Qana."

US-made famine in Yemen

"Meanwhile, US weapons makers, including General Dynamics, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, profit massively from weapon sales to Saudi Arabia. In December, 2017, Medea Benjamin wrote: “Despite the repressive nature of the Saudi regime, U.S. governments have not only supported the Saudis on the diplomatic front, but militarily. Under the Obama administration, this has translated into massive weapons sales of $115 billion.” At this critical juncture, all member states of the UN must call for an end to the blockade and airstrikes, a silencing of all guns, and a negotiated settlement to the war in Yemen. The worst malefactors, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, must abandon cynical maneuvering against rivals like Iran, in the face of such an unspeakable human cost as Yemen is being made to pay. U.S. people bear responsibility to demand a radical departure from U.S. policy which exacerbates the deadly tragedy faced by people living in Yemen." (thanks Amir)

Existential angst of American youth--according to the Nation magazine

""Those kids in Cancún were raised on what is in effect a giant pirate ship masquerading as a country, the children of unending war, taught to believe that their jurisdiction is universal, their writ is global, even as their resentment—a feeling that they live in a nation under siege—is exceptional. Build that wall. ""

What did Khamenei actually say about gender equality?

Look. I am no fan of Khamenei but it seems to me that the headline and the opening line does not correspond with the text.  He said: "“Making women a commodity and an object of gratification in the Western world is most likely among Zionist plots aiming to destroy the society,” he said, according to a translation on the Shia Muslim leader’s official website."  How does that become "Iran’s Supreme Leader claims gender equality is 'Zionist plot' aiming to corrupt role of women in society", according to the Independent headline.  Here is what he said about gender equality--as terrible as it is: "“Today, Western thinkers and those who pursue issues such as gender equality regret the corruption which it has brought about.”"  This is about accuracy in reporting and in headlining and it seems to me that Western media exercise different standards towards governments not aligned with Western governments.

God and oil in Saudi Arabia: it seems that Muhammad bin Salman is God's gift to humanity

"Prince Mohammad bin Salman may well be God’s chosen to help lead Saudi Arabia through the political, economic, and social challenges it faces." (thanks Jamal)

PS It is fitting that a website linked to the Israeli lobby would publish this.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Israel and ISIS

From a reader:  Israeli commandos save Islamic militants from Syria | Daily Mail

Israel acknowledges it is helping Syrian rebel fighters | Times of Israel
UN Reveals Israeli Links With Syrian Rebels | Haaretz

Exclusive: Israel Is Tending to Wounded Syrian Rebels | Foreign Policy
Israel Helps ISIS Recruit Militants In Syria | Middle East Press
Israel Key Link in Exporting ISIS Oil | The Real News Network

US-fueled war has benefited al-Qaeda

"Well over 10,000 airstrikes later, at least one-third of which have hit civilian areas, more than 10,000 Yemeni civilians have been killed — and the relentless bombing continues." "Meanwhile, the group that has benefited the most from the destructive US-fueled war has been al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the most violent branch of the global extremist group."

Canadian police says threat to shoot Muslims not motivated by hate

"A 24-year-old London man has been arrested for uttering threats after police say he threatened to shoot worshipers at the London Muslim Mosque. But in a release issued Monday, police say the incident was not motivated by hate." (thanks Amir)

Look how Ben Hubbard of the New York Times peddles fake Israeli news

Ben Hubbard (@NYTBen)
Israel's army chief says Hezbollah killed its own leader in Syria because of internal rifts. Truth or PSYOP?

Look regardless whether he said "Truth or PSYOP", by posting it he ensured its circulation.  Anyone who knows something about the party knows it is a flat out lie (and the party which rarely issued denials issued a denial on this one but Hubbard did not notice).  Do you think that Hubbard would dare post lies and fabrications by Hamas and Hizbullah?

A New York Times correspondent writes a most pathetically fawning tribute to a billionaire

"In later years, I sometimes traded letters with D.R." Why do I feel that you wrote him weekly and he never replied.

Idiotic Homeland Security

How dumb is this new ban when travelers from Middle East airports can simply change flights in Europe?

Monday, March 20, 2017

Can you imagine an Arab potentate carrying a soldier on his back? I can't.

On all flights from Middle East countries

This just in: Homeland Security has ordered that men flying on all fights coming to US from Middle East countries won't be allowed to wear pants.

Whenever you read that this Republican nominee will "face tough questioning from Democrats in Congress" know that this Republican will have the easiest confirmation process ever imagined.

Schools in Damascus

Schools in Damascus were closed today because "moderate rebels" were shelling indiscriminately.  Find the story in US media or even DN.

Some "Fake News" are acceptable to mainstream media

In all my years in the US (since 1983) I don't recall ever when US media and think tank were more hospitable to Gulf regime propaganda as they are these days.

No one excels in the production of "fake news" more than Washington Post and New York Times--no one

The father of Bassel Al-A`raj offers a military salute to the body of his son

My interview in Morocco

This is my interview with Hespress in Morocco about Moroccan political developments.  

How appointments are made at the American University of Beirut: the role of institutions and transparency

From a message by the AUB president about his appointment of a new provost: "As noted in my email of January 18, 2017, we conducted extensive consultations sessions with various constituents".

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Angela Merkel

I hate how American liberals forget that Angela Merkel is a right-winger.

Meet Western human rights organizations: "Documents Reveal How Israel Made Amnesty International's Local Branch a Front for the Foreign Ministry in the 70s"

"... What the minister reported to the Knesset was that for a number of years, Israel had tried to influence the Amnesty’s activity from within. Documents collected by the Akevot Institute for Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Research and revealed here for the first time show that some of the people who headed Amnesty Israel from the end of the 1960s to the mid-1970s reported on their activity directly and in real time to the Foreign Ministry, consulted with its officials and requested instructions on how to proceed...." (thanks Eyal)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Look at this guy: he is bragging that he shook Merkel's hands (twice). Only a human rights poseur

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
I felt privileged when I (twice) got to shake Merkel's hand. Trump's disdain for her is embarrassing. He's the lesser leader.…

Rima Khalaf and ESCWA

My position: why did she resign? Why did she say in her letter that she had to respond to his wish? Why not stay in the job to force the secretary-general to fire her? Why did she praise his stance on the Palestinians when he was the one who protested the report? Had he been good on Palestine, would the US and Israel approved him for the powerless job?  Also, the Jordanian regime does not refer to Israeli apartheid as Israeli apartheid.  

Unfailingly, the New York Times find the racism of Zionists to be rather endearing and amusing: Norman Podhoretz

"His own early writing, including a widely read 1963 essay called “My Negro Problem — And Ours,” which disparaged integration but encouraged miscegenation, offered “something to offend everyone,” he said. No matter: It staked out a point of view, and it got attention."

Jordanian King responds to the US-Israeli pressures on ESCWA about the report which refers to Israeli apartheid

Some child welfare agency should take this innocent child away from her abusive parents who are using her (for a fee) as a propaganda prop

This is quite disgusting exploitation of a little child and it should stop.  Shame on all the Western and Arab media which participated and contributed to the awful exploitation of this child.    If a Palestinian group was doing that with a little child, there would be international outrage around the world, and UN agencies would have intervened.  Western media and Arab Gulf media have no shame in their propaganda work on Syria.
"EXCLUSIVE‘Donald Trump…We Are Not Terrorists’: A Syrian Girl’s Tearful Message to President Trump"

Friday, March 17, 2017

UN report and Israeli apartheid

Predictable. But this is what is funny: US and Israel think that if they just exert enough international pressure to muzzle freedom of expression at UN and in all countries, then the word Apartheid would not be used about Israeli....apartheid.  

Please judge the credibility of North Korean defectors

Watch here.

Such a frank admission: how the US views the role of the Department of State

"Many veteran diplomats said that injecting money into the Defense Department while slashing the State Department made little sense, since the functions of the two go hand in hand."

There is a real wave of anti-Semitism sweeping the country

This anti-Semitic wave across the lands is real, and is not fictitious.  It is, however, not surprising.  The campaign which unleashed unprecedented level of bigotry, and which featured the bigoted likes of Franklin Graham or Jerry Falwell, Jr. should have alerted Jewish organizations to the danger.  Instead, Zionist organizations were too happy with the pro-Israel stance of Trump, and ignored the ominous signs of bigotry and intolerance which his campaign unleashed.  It is illusory to think that those Christians who harbor and express blatant anti-Muslim sentiments and hatred would not extend their hatred to other non-Christian groups.  I maintain that the Christian evangelical groups in the US--and which have been aligned with Israel for decades--still pose the greatest danger to tolerance in the country, and they would become--at a moment's notice--an instrument of anti-Semitic campaigns.  Is it not high time for people to demand that those bigots like Franklin Graham be ostracized and condemned for their hatred?  Historically, the church was the natural home of anti-Semitism and there is no reason to believe that it won't become again.

Muhammad bin Salman

Did you see his statement yesterday? That he trust US leadership of the world under Trump? Did you also notice that in his remarks in the Pentagon, it took him a sentence before he railed at Iran?

Remember when Atlantic Council celebrated the Al-Qa`idah takeover of Idlib?

Read this report.

I did not know until yesterday that Western supporters of Syrian rebels care about Syrian civilians

Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister)
#pt: US strikes that hit mosques & kill 10s of civilians give AlQaeda even more of an advantage. Makes this worse:

Notice that US bombing in Iraq or elsewhere never bothered this and other Western correspondents in Beirut

Liz Sly (@LizSly)
Syrians: US warplanes struck a packed mosque during prayertime & killed and injured dozens of people; death toll currently put at 35-50. 2/2

So Trump's message to Gulf potentates

He basically made it clear: that they will be close allies of his administration but at a price--financial price (whether in investments in the US or in purchases of arms or in forming Muslim armies to fight US wars).  

Moroccan academics

I visited Morocco for the second time in a span of 20 years. I have to say that I am so impressed with the quality and knowledge of Moroccan academics and doctoral students in the first conference of Middle East and North Africa studies in Marrakech.  This is an example that national universities can achieve excellence in the Arab world without having Western names and without being private universities.  Those Moroccan universities need so much state support and they also need to find jobs for new graduates.  Moroccan college students now all are fluent in English, French, and Arabic and combine Western and Arabic cultural background.  

Putin targeting critical journalists?

Without presenting any evidence, US media has been saying for years that any Russian journalists who die must have been poisoned by Putin. Of course, some may have been, as I don't exonerate Putin. But notice that those same Western journalists never bothered to protest when George W. Bush (otherwise known as the cute and affable painter these days) ordered that US fighter jets target the AlJazeera offices in Baghdad in 2003.  I guess for US media killing by poison is a terrible murder while killing with bombs is a mere war tactic.

Western correspondents in Beirut acted as if this was the first time US has bombed a mosque

"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitor, said that at least 42 people, mostly civilians, were killed in a strike that “targeted a mosque in al-Jinah village” in the western countryside of Aleppo on March 16th. “The death toll is expected to rise,” said the monitor."

Western correspondents in Beirut

Western correspondents in Beirut yesterday noticed for the first time that US has been bombing Syria. For the first time, Western correspondents in Beirut were wearing because they just discovered that US bombs can kill civilians and they do.  The reason why they were so upset yesterday is that Al-Qa`idah in Syria (or what Western correspondents in Beirut has been referring to as "moderate Syrian rebels") were the targets of US bombs although--typically--civilians were also killed. 

Syrian regime corruption and repression

You would think that with all that is going on that the Syrian regime would take a break from repression and corruption but it does not.  The correspondent of Al-Mayadin was banned from working because he exposed corruption (theft) in areas taken over by Syrian troops.  And a Syrian regime reporter took a selfie with dead corpses behind him.  

The UN report (or reports)

It is hilarious that anyone would refer to the UN as "independent" in any of its findings or missions.  This is a tool of the US/Israeli alliance, despite some setbacks to the alliance here and there.  But the US quickly exerts financial pressures and quickly nullifies whatever bothers US and Israel.  It is also hilarious for anyone to to cite the Jordanian Prince, Zayd bin Ra`d as an authority on human rights or on anything: this is like citing Marwan Muahser (a former minister and ambassador for the Jordanian potentate) on issues of Arab change.  The UN reports which labeled Israel as apartheid had no chance, and I said so immediately when I saw some Arabs celebrating.  Those who wish to fight battles in the UN on behalf of just causes, should shift their struggles elsewhere.  US is a successful blackmailer at the US, and has a very long history in that regard.  It is so blatant that it is not subtle diplomacy as it used to be.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Journalism according to Saudi regime standards:

"The friendliness that dominated the meeting; it was clear that Trump was keen on labeling this meeting as friendly. The lunch that was held in the East Wing of the White House and to be precise, in the family hall is bold evidence on it.
.Trump inviting senior officials to enter the hall after the start of the meeting with Mohammed bin Salman so that they can hear from the Prince what he had already heard, asking the deputy crown prince to repeat what he had said.
.The meeting moved from discussing broad ideas into discussing the details and many files.
.The harmony and compatibility between Salman and Trump was clear and the latter wanted to hear the ideas and aspirations of the Saudi Kingdom in details."

Western human rights organizations

I am so glad that Western human rights organizations were not around during the long decades of the Algerian Revolution. They would have been a great boost for the propaganda of the occupiers.  

Muhammad bin Salman on Trump

Yet another Arab ruler, assures the world that Trump is not anti-Muslim. But the statement of the senior Saudi official on the meeting between Trump and Muhammad bin Salman was interesting in that Bin Salman tried to appease Trump by blaming the media for his bad image. He all but blamed "fake news".

Washington Post motto

The new motto of the Washington Post is so stupid. Democracy-- assuming it is a good thing--can die in daylight as well.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Washington Post

The new motto of the Washington Post is so stupid. Democracy-- assuming it is a good thing--can die in daylight as well.  

Monday, March 13, 2017

A public Service announcement about Ryanair

At all cost, avoid an airline named Ryanair.  It is by far the worst airline on earth. If there are airlines on other planets this would still be the worst.  Ryanair was initially used for the transport of cattle, but then the animals refused to be serviced by Ryanair. The airline is so bad that safety instructions are posted in front of every seat to alert you that crashes are quite frequent on Ryanair: emergency landing instructions are Ryanair's idea of flight entertainment. They also put a life-vest over every passenger's head because in one out of two flights you will need it.  Wait: but they have "Priority Seating" which only means that you get to stand at the gate like everyone else but "Priority Seating" people get to stand against the wall (but not shot, thankfully). Also, they don't believe that airplane seats need to recline.  Oh, and Ryanair doesn't use Heathrow London Airport: they use Luton airport which is far worse than Beirut Airport in 1938 (and is one hour and a half by car from downtown London).
PS Wait. Ryanair has an application for mobile devices and if you check-in using the device they make you leave the check-in counter and go to the kiosk ( they don't believe in office) and buy a boarding pass.  So the mobile check-in is meaningless. 
PPS oh, and how do you know that the lavoratory on the plane is occupied? The stench gives it away.

Friday, March 10, 2017

New York Times on the Wikileaks of CIA hacking

Read the coverage of the latest Wikileaks on CIA hacking. Look at this article  The New York Times is going out of its way to basically tell the readers that it is no big deal and that there is nothing new and that the hacking is not as expensive, and that you are not worry about unless the CIA hacks into your phone, etc.  And yet, this New York Times has the audacity of reviewing RT TV to decide if there is propaganda there or not.  In fact, there is another article in the Times today by some professor in North Carolina, in which the media are criticized for making a big deal out of the Wikileaks story and the author accused Wikileaks of "misinformation".  

Thursday, March 09, 2017

When the New York Times reviews RT TV

It is very amusing when US mainstream media critically reviews the media of their countries, especially when they are not friends of the US.  In fact, the US media hated Aljazeera (when it was good) and loved Aljazeera when it became a crude propaganda outlet of the Qatari regime only because the policies of the two governments because closer.  Remember when US politicaians would boycott Aljazeera? Now, even McCain appears there, and only because they know that Aljazeera has become indistinguishable form Saudi regime media--known as the model of free media in the world.  So the Times reviewed RT TV because the premise is that US media are not propaganda media and that they alone can judge other media. This is part of the same myth: that there is "fake news" (and the news by enemies of the US) and then there is Truth media;, and they are the media that represent the consensus of the military-intelligence apparatus of the US.  In fact, RT TV and US media are all propaganda media. But if you watch RT TV: there is more news reported than any of the US TV news, and there is less entertainment reported.   From a news perspective, RT is more like CNN (of the 1980s when it was good) and Aljazeera before the Arab uprising--propaganda of the Russian perspective notwithstanding.  The reach of RT is spreading, and even the website of RT now appears among the top website among Arabs.  I mean, just compare RT TV to CNN and Fox.  US news media are now nothing but entertainment (boring entertainment at that) and chit-chat.  

Amal Clooney: seen human righting in this picture

The politically courageous Amal Clooney is seen human righting with a man who likes wars more than any member of US Congress (hell, more than even Hannibal).  

Lousy Western media coverage of Middle East: why you need to know Arabic (the strange case of Liz Sly)

I have reported many times that Liz Sly qualifies as one of the worst reporters covering the Middle East today, and there is still competition. Just yesterday, she posted that Syrian regime media did not report about the anniversary of the Ba`thist coup. (Image shown).  In reality, the anniversary was marked in all Syrian regime media but how would she know? She only reads English.  In fact, she often reports what Syrian rebel media report without checking for verification.  I have attached an image of the front page of the Syrian regime mouthpiece below, where the anniversary is marked on the front page.  But then again: imagine if you send me to China, and I tweet observations about the Chinese regime media without any knowledge of Chinese.    

The political courage of Amal Clooney

This woman is amazing.  At a time when no one is speaking out against ISIS, and at a time when ISIS is not criticized by anyone in the world, Amal Clooney came to US and met with US ambassador (who is known as a courage crusader against all progressive ideas) and denounced ISIS.  Wow.  It is true that when UN asked Clooney to help investigate Israeli war crimes in Gaza, she declined and said that she was too busy, but she is not too busy to denounce ISIS. Good for you, Amal Clooney. You deserve the Bill Clinton and Tony Blair award for political courage. 

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

To Marrakech

Will be back in a week. 

Airport search

I have never been more thoroughly physically searched as I was today leaving San Francisco Airport. He warned me: I will be searching your genitals, would you like to go to a private area? I said: of course, not. Keep it public.

The powerful TV

Our Samsung TV came with its own government-issued security clearance.  

Our breakfast eating TV

When I saw our Samsung TV having bacon for breakfast, I knew that it was more than a TV.

The fishy Samsung TV

It was rather fishy when our Samsung TV bought its own subscription of the New York Times.

That damn Samsung TV

I knew that something was terribly wrong when our Samsung TV would insist on going to the grocery store with us.

When your TV is too smart

I knew something was wrong when: whenever I criticize the US government at home, the Samsung (too smart) TV would throw a shoe at me.

My smart Samsung TV

Now I know why my smart Samsung TV always talks back to me.

So I was having this argument with my Samsung smart TV

...and I said.  

An editor at the Washington Post wants a resumption of the Cold War

Ruth Marcus (@RuthMarcus)
So excited to be watching The Americans, throwback to a simpler time when everyone considered Russia the enemy. Even the president.

Blaming Assange

"Oren Falkowitz, a former N.S.A. official and the chief executive of the cyberdefense firm Area 1 Security, said that WikiLeaks, run by Julian Assange, had again succeeded in disrupting the status quo, as it did during last year’s presidential election with the release of emails from the Democratic National Committee. “If you understand the Assange playbook,” Mr. Falkowitz said, “a lot of it is just to create chaos.”"

Assassinations by using cars & trucks

"As of October 2014 the CIA was also looking at infecting the vehicle control systems used by modern cars and trucks. The purpose of such control is not specified, but it would permit the CIA to engage in nearly undetectable assassinations."

French citizens are complicit in war crimes in Palestine

"According to i24 News, an Israeli news channel, in 2014, the Israeli army had 3,384 foreign volunteers, of whom 70 percent were men. One quarter were from the United States and the rest were from different countries, including France. However, according to the French-Israeli blog Coolamnews, France is now the most represented country among the volunteers: in 2015, 43 percent came from France while 38 percent came from the United States."

According to Herzl, Zionism is a colonial idea

"Herzl approached Britain because, he said, it was "the first to recognize the need for colonial expansion." According to him, "the idea of Zionism, which is a colonial idea, should be easily and quickly understood in England." " (thanks Amir)
Quigley, J. B. 2005. The Case for Palestine: An International Law Perspective. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Page 7.

Human Rights Watch and Israel are back being friends

"To his surprise, Omar Shakir was even met at Ben-Gurion Airport by a Foreign Ministry representative, who rushed him through customs and border control. He was not questioned nor detained at the airport. " (thanks Yasmine)

The only democracy in the Middle East? You mean the only farce in the Middle East?

In one week, the Israeli occupation parliament, voted to: 1) ban Muslim calls to prayer through loudspeakers; 2) banned organizations from entering Israel if they support boycott.  3) ruled that citizenship can be revoked of Arabs who disobey the state.  The only democracy? 

Have you read about the foiled assassination attempt of the Saudi King in Malaysia?

What is it with those foiled assassination plots against Saudi officials? Whatever happened to the Iranian assassination plot against the Saudi ambassador in DC, when Iranian Revolutionary Guards hired a Texas salesman to hire drug lords in Mexico to detonate Orange Chicken at a Chinese restaurant frequented by Saudi ambassador in DC? Well, today, according to Saudi regime and Qatari regime media, Huthis AND ISIS were behind this plot against the King.  I am sure that International Communism was involved too.

Obama also referred to slaves as 'immigrants'

"And perhaps, like some of you, these new arrivals might have had some moments of doubt, wondering if they had made a mistake in leaving everything and everyone they ever knew behind.  So life in America was not always easy.  It wasn’t always easy for new immigrants.  Certainly it wasn’t easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily, and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves.  There was discrimination and hardship and poverty.  But, like you, they no doubt found inspiration in all those who had come before them.  And they were able to muster faith that, here in America, they might build a better life and give their children something more."

Just imagine

Imagine if it was Russian intelligence which is responsible for all those hacking and spying which US intelligence is doing around the world. Can you not imagine the sanctimonious US rhetoric if it were the Russians who were behind it? 

On the proverb "the dogs bark and the caravan rolls on"

From Hamid Algar: "The proverb, "the dogs bark and the caravan rolls on" is found in concise rhyming fashion in Turkish: it ürür, kervan yürür." Not that I am claiming a Turkish origin for it; despite years of encouragement from here and there, I don't have a Turkocentric view of things."

Israel arrested 15,000 Palestinian women since 1967

A report revealed that Israeli occupation state arrested 15,000 Palestinian women since 1967.

Happy International women's day

Happy International Women's day

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Triangle of Arab politics

After the Gulf war of 1991, a disastrous triangle of tyrannical Arab regimes formed: Egyptian, Syrian, and Saudi regime formed an alliance which controlled Arab politics for many years. Today, there is a new triangle: Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  

In Lebanon, they named the street in which the lousy collaborationist PA embassy is located after Bassel Al-A`raj

How you can't rely on Western media coverage of the Middle East

You know how deficient and unreliable Western media coverage of the Middle East is when you see a gap between what Arabs are talking about on social media and what Western media are talking about the Middle East.  I think the problem is that Western media now take their clues from Gulf media (especially the English language ones) and they also listen to what Arab correspondents of Gulf regime media are saying on social media.  Just like Arabs at DC think tanks simply produce Gulf regime propaganda, Gulf media are in a different world from where Arabs are. Yesterday, Arab social media exploded in anger and sadness about the Israeli terrorist murder of Bassel Al-A`raj.  There was none of that noise and expressions in Western and Arab Gulf media coverage of the region.  I saw a small item on the front page of Al-Quds Al-Arabi (Qatari regime).  It is for this reason in particular that ALL Western media AND government were taken aback when the Arab uprisings erupted.  

Monday, March 06, 2017

Against the blacklisting of Palestinian supporters by anyone

Against the blacklisting of Rania (Abdul-) Khaleq.

Muslim teen found hanging from tree: FBI investigates possible lynching

"The country’s largest Muslim civil rights organization has called for an FBI investigation into the death of a black Muslim teen who was found hanging from a tree near his home in Lake Stevens, Washington, in January. Ben Keita, who was 18, was reported missing in November, having left home without his car, wallet or phone. His body was found more than a month later." "Hate crimes against Muslims have increased significantly in the past two years. In 2015, the last year for which data is available, the FBI recorded a 67 percent rise in hate crimes targeting Muslims." (thanks Amir)

Bassel Al-`Araj: he was murdered today by Israeli terrorists (with accomplices in the PA)

This is his testimony to the supporters of Palestinian cause worldwide.

A well-known Saudi regime writer argues: Trump victim of McCarthyist campaign

This writer in Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (a mouthpiece of Saudi King and his sons) argues that Trump is merely a victim of US liberal McCarthyism.

This video should teach American and Arab reporters how to interview a Saudi prince

I have never seen an American reporter interview a Saudi prince in this manner.  

Sunday, March 05, 2017

I used to think that the late Hanna Batatu is the most through when it comes to documentation, until I read this guy

What's the evidence the Washington Post found for Trump's claim that Obama tapped his phones? None. Four Pinocchios.

John Waterbury's book reviews in Foreign Affairs

I was stunned really to read the negative book review of Shadow Wars by Christopher Davidson in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs.  I was surprised because Waterbury frustratingly never writes negative reviews like that, even for the most lousy books (politically and academically).  Yet, he reserved a particularly nasty review of Shadow Wars.  He even claimed that there is no original materials in the books when there is plenty:  (Clinton's emails on p.284, 290,297, 298, 299, 301, 305, 308. E.g DIA docs released to courts: 305, 420, 421, etc.) In fact, Waterbury was alerted to this by the publisher and the on-line version of the review was amended. But why did this book bother Waterbury so much? Or does the question reside in his book Egypt of Nasser and Sadat: the Political Economy of Two regimes?

Governor of New York

"Citing ‘Wave of Anti-Semitism,’ Pays Impromptu Visit to Israel".  This is like saying: Citing Islamophobia, I paid an impromptu visit to Saudi Arabia or Iran. How insane is this?

Some of the most "prestigious" universities are product of slavery

" "Harvard was directly complicit in slavery from the college's earliest days in the 17th century until the system of bondage ended in Massachusetts in 1783," Faust, a historian, said in her opening speech." "Other colleges, including the University of Virginia, used slaves to build and operate their campuses, and some were founded by wealthy merchants involved in the slave trade." "Last month, Yale University agreed to change the name of a residential college that honored a 19th century alumnus who was a fierce supporter of slavery. Columbia University issued a report in January examining its link to slavery. Georgetown University announced last year it will give admission preference to the descendants of 272 slaves who were sold in 1838 to save the school's finances." (thanks Amir)

Azhar is nothing with and without Saudi money

“Egypt is nothing without al-Azhar,” Muhanna cited Dr.Abd saying." (thanks Basim)

Charles Murray and free speech

In this article, Zionist, like Bill Kristol, express support for Charles Murray speaking in the name of free speech.  But would Zionists support the right of anti-Semites to speak on college campuses in the name of speech just as they support the right of this white supremacist?  

This man is as desperate to become president as Hillary. And like her, he will never become president

I feel I sound like a grumpy old man when I write something like this

Late night US comedy shows are now entirely based on gags, pranks, and schticks, while TV news is entirely comprised of chit-chat and banter.

From the Left to the Right:

Why is there more a phenomenon of people migrating from the Left to the Right and not from the Right to the Left: in the West and in the Arab world?  Simply, because there is more of a financial reward of the first kind of migration but not the second.  The only example of Right to Left that I can think of is David Brock, the Clinton's Hit Man, who was horrible as a rightist and is horrible as a leftist.

An American film proving the link between ISIS and...Iran

All Saudi media are talking about a new American "film" (documentary) which "proves" the relationship between ISIS and Iran.  But the film was funded and produced by the Saudi lobby in DC. I am not making this up.

Liberal resurrection of George W. Bush

George W. Bush is not a great painter, but neither was Hitler. However, as far as painting goes, Hitler was the better artist of the two. If that is your political criterion for resurrection.  

Saturday, March 04, 2017

New York Times does not mention reports of murder of women and children in yesterday's raid

"In all of 2016, the United States conducted a total of 38 strikes in Yemen, according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Long War Journal. Yet in the last two days, armed Reaper drones and attack planes conducted more than 30 strikes against Qaeda militants"

Jordanian regime executions don't cause consternation in the West

"Jordan has executed 15 prisoners, including 10 convicted of terrorism charges, officials say."

Friday, March 03, 2017

The Russian ambassador

I for one have never ever met with the Russian ambassador and don't have plan to meet with him. Does that make me a better human being?

This is an important book that you should read about the Middle East: Shadow Wars by Christopher Davidson

I like that from his early books to this one, Davidson is becoming radicalized, based on his scholarship.  This book Shadow Wars: The Secret Struggle for the Middle East is an important book which came out last year.  It has not received the attention it deserves: in my book, it is the People's History of US-British policies and conspiracies in the Middle East region.  There is original materials and there is some known materials about Western conspiracies and machinations in the region, and especially the use and misuse of reactionary Islam: from Egypt under Nasser to Syria today.  But Davidson knows how to tell a story, and he tells it very well.  He is quite knowledgeable that he is capable of putting together the various parts of the puzzle.  His narrative is logically linked from the Western plots after WWI to the current Western policies in the wake of Arab uprisings.  There is so much in the book that my weekly article in Al-Akhbar only dealt with the section dealing with the Cold War but up to the war of Afghanistan.  This would be (in it paperback edition) an excellent text both in an introductory course on IR in the Middle East and also in an introductory course on Middle East politics.  It is time that we treat Western intervention in the Middle East as an integral part of domestic Middle East politics (only Israel is allowed to be entitled to have its own domestic politics).  Warning: the account about the Arab uprisings clashes with the propaganda account contained in all Western media.  

It says in Arabic: "Draw A Sun".

Shadow Wars by Christopher Davidson

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Shadow Wars: A Contemporary History of Western Counter-Revolutions".

Trump and accepting the results of the elections

It seems that it was Democrats and not Trump who were unwilling to accept the results of the presidential election. 

Where is the feminist outrage at this disgustingly sexist Democratic congressman?

Where is the outrage at his disgustingly sexist statement?

The UN rationalizes the Saudi killing of children in Yemen

This is an incredible account.  The UN commission on human rights is controlled by US and Israel, which appointed a Jordanian official as its commissioner.  It made allegation about child soldiers without providing any evidence or detail except by referring to "reports" and to trickery.  It said that children are being tricked into fighting.  "An estimated 1500 boys have been verified as child soldiers in Yemen, but the actual number of children who have been drawn into the war is probably far higher, a United Nations spokeswoman said yesterday.  Most of the boys were recruited by Houthi rebels over the past three years, spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said at a press briefing in Geneva.  Recruiters often entice the boys by promising them financial rewards or social status. "Many are then quickly sent to the front lines of the conflict or tasked with manning checkpoints," Shamdasani said."  The UN also added that toddlers have been seen driving tanks and operating cannons.  Of course, Saudi regime media loved this report and have been blasting to justify its regular killing of children in Yemen.