Monday, May 30, 2016

Municipal elections

The results of Lebanese municipal elections can be summed up thus:  that while all sectarian parties and Zu`ama' remain dominant, people are increasingly sick and tired of all of them, one by one.  You know what that means? They all need to engage in more intense sectarian agitation which always save them all.

Civil Society: Lebanese version

So in Tripoli the so-called "civil society" aligned itself with the sponsor of Salafi and Jihadi scoundrels of the city, Ashraf Rifi (a member of the board of Prince Nayif University for Security Studies, which has become a sponsor of all intelligence and torture apparatuses in Arab countries).  Rifi in declaring his victory sent his salutations to...Beirut Madinati.  

British wars on Muslims

From Amir:
"Over the past year there have been reports of SAS forces operating in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Libya – as well as advising allies in Jordan and Saudi Arabia." "One of the reasons British people are targeted abroad is because of our Army’s visible presence in other countries. And now, without our knowledge, British soldiers are being deployed in numerous countries across the Middle East."

 "Plans to exploit Iraq's oil reserves were discussed by government ministers and the world's largest oil companies the year before Britain took a leading role in invading Iraq, government documents show."

The decline of the Professional Managerial Class: what Beirut Madinati needs to read

"Today, the PMC as a distinct class seems to be endangered. At the top end, exorbitant compensation and bonuses have turned managers into corporate owners. At the bottom, journalists have been laid o , recent PhDs have gone to work as part-time, temporary adjuncts rather than tenure-track professors, and those now iconic recent graduates have taken to the streets. In the middle, lawyers and doctors are more and more likely to work for corporations rather than in private practices. Once independent professionals, they are now employees."

Gene Sharp, do you remember him?

Do you still remember back in 2011 when the New York Times and other Western media declared that Gene Sharp inspired the Arab youth?

A few days ago Mahmoud Abbas inaugurated a new street named after him. The sign of the street this morning.


Flash. The Qatari regime uncovers a most dangerous conspiracy represented by...TWITTER



The headlines of the this Qatari regime mouthpiece, Al-Rayah: "Twitter...A Platform for rumors and for agitation of public opinion: Users own fake accounts and they buy followers with dollars to spew their venom....Psychologically diseased people and seekers of fame seek to spread Fitnah."

Dissolution of parliament in Jordan

Of course, Western media who wish to convince their audience that the potentate of Jordan is a democrat ignore all his repression and his authoritarian schemes. Just yesterday, he dissolved parliament in preparation for a newly packaged Syrian-like parliament.  Just as they ignored how he stole the organization of Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, and appointed an alternative leadership and will be transferring the assets of the real organization to his fake organization. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

ISIS and Israel

There is a strange relationship between Israel and a small sect of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) based next to the Golan Heights. The very presence of a group like ISIS so close to Israel poses many questions.  Firstly why has ISIS not attacked Israel – a country they have sworn to destroy – from said base? Similarly why has the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) not attacked this small and weak group of extremists on their border? The answers to such questions show the truth behind the rhetoric all actors use in this conflict...Israel is focused not on ISIS and Sunni groups, but on the Shia groups in Syria. Israel's airstrikes have hit Assad’s Shia-backed regime and Hezbollahnot ISIS or al-Nusra. Correspondence between the then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and political advisor Jacob Sullivan about Israel’s aims in the region tried to rationalise why Israel ignores ISIS." (thanks Helena)

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Obama's aggressive pursuit of new nuclear weapons

"But more alarming than this failure to destroy old nuclear weapons has been the Obama administration’s aggressive pursuit of new, “smaller” ones, for which the threshold of use would be lower, according to former military commanders. At great expense, the president has bolstered all three components of the nation’s “nuclear triad”: the strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles and submarine-launched missiles." "Obama’s much-publicised “nuclear security summits” largely ignored the greatest source of nuclear insecurity in the world today: 15,000 nuclear weapons, including 1,800 on hair-trigger alert." "Now the United States is stridently resisting diplomatic moves by two-thirds of the world’s nations to declare nuclear weapons illegal. It boycotted UN talks in Geneva this month aimed at setting the stage for negotiations on a prohibition treaty."

Texas men train to shoot Muslims

"A group of white men in Texas are training to shoot Muslims in case of an “uprising” and are dipping their bullets in pig's blood or bacon grease so victims would “go straight to hell”."

White football players raped black, disabled teammate with a coat hanger

"The victim “was taunted and called racist names by other members of the team which names included ‘Kool-Aid’ ‘chicken eater’ ‘watermelon’ and [the N-word],” the suit alleges. The civil complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Idaho also claims that one of the students charged with sexual assault displayed a Confederate flag and demanded the victim recite a racist song titled “Notorious KKK.” All three of the attackers were white, the suit says."  

Discussion of Joseph Masaad's Islam in Liberalism

Read here.

Obama is set to maintain the U.S. arsenal of 1,528 deployed warheads — almost half of which are on 30-minute alert

"Obama’s Hiroshima speech was reminiscent of the one he gave in Prague, only three months into his presidency, when he announced that he would “seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” "But that was as far as he would go. Obama is set to maintain the U.S. arsenal of 1,528 deployed warheads — almost half of which are on 30-minute alert — despite a 2013 White House assessment that he could safely reduce the U.S. arsenal by a third. Obama is also pushing for a $1 trillion effort to replace the U.S.’s entire stock of long-range strike bombers, cruise missiles, nuclear submarines, and land-based missiles – which experts have said is sure to cause an arms race."

Hedy Epstein, Palestinian rights advocate & Holocaust survivor, dies at 91

"Her “personal wake-up call,” however, were the Israel-backed Sabra and Shatila massacre. Israel invaded south Lebanon in 1982. With the support of the U.S., it subsequently waged a war in alliance with far-right, Phalangist Christian militias. In September 1982, Israeli-backed Phalangist militias slaughtered thousands of civilians in Sabra and Shatila, Beirut refugee camps largely inhabited by Palestinians who were expelled by Zionist militias in the war that established Israel in 1948. Renowned scholar Noam Chomsky called it “a horrifying massacre,” comparing it to the anti-Jewish pogroms that took place in Czarist Russia. Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi noted that documents in the Israel State Archives “pin direct responsibility for much more of what happened in Sabra and Shatila on not only Ariel Sharon and the Israeli government, but reveal American responsibility for what happened.” " (thanks Amir)

The US assassination of a Taliban leader

From a comrade who wishes to remain anonymous: "I found the assassination of the Taliban leader to be a particular troubling though perfectly predictable development. Ostensibly, it was not carried out because the Taliban are a threat to the US, but because he was opposed to the peace process as it exists. Specifically, the Taliban are opposed to continued presence of the US in Afghanistan. So in effect the US is shaping peace negotiations through drone assassinations. Fair enough, and standard super power politics. But this is what drone assassinations are evolving into: an instrument shaping policy rather than the other way round. "

Jonathan Pollard and Sirhan Bisharah Sirhan

Pollard committed treason and sold (let us not forget he was motivated by money and jewelry) US secrets to Israel, which were later used by Israeli to bomb and kill Arabs.  Zionist and Jewish American organizations lobbied on his behalf.   He was pardoned.  Sirhan Bisharah Sirhran was convicted in a farcical trial (in which his court appointed lawyers attacked him and attacked his views on Arab-Israeli issues) and has been a model prisoner and yet refused release in every parol hearing, and only because he is a Palestinian.  He was born to a Maronite family but the Maronite church and all Arab-American organizations would not call for his release after serving one of the longest sentences.  He has become in effect a political prisoner.  I won't enter here into the debate about whether he is guilty or not because of lack of evidence (I mean lack of evidence to substantiate the conspiracy theories about the murder as in Shane O'Sullivan, Who Killed Bobby?  The Unsolved Murder of Robert F Kennedy.  Those who attempted to assassinate Reagan and Ford were released, remember.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sirhan Bisharah Sirhan

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Sirhan Bisharah Sirhan: The First Palestinian in America".

What is it about US culture? Or is it the religion? Domestic violence in US

It seems that not everyone is opposed to domestic violence in the US. Some don't mind domestic violence if perpetrated by a cute actor.
#johnny_depp

The UN and the civilians in Raqqa

There are far more civilians in Raqqa than in Fallujah (more than five times) and yet: the UN officially expressed concerns over the plight of civilians in Fallujah but didn't say a word about the plight of civilians in Raqqa.  But the UN subscribes to the standards of GCC media: they happen to think that Arab civilians are fair game for US bombs and rockets.

US and and Raqqa

It is very clear: that the US rushed to "liberate" Raqqa (although US never liberates) only because they wanted to beat the Russian forces and the Syrian regime forces after the fall of Palmyra.  They wanted to enjoy the dubious honor of occupying the city first.  

US drone strikes in Pakistan see 631pc increase under Obama

"The US began carrying out drone strikes in 2001, after 9/11, under the administration of then president George W. Bush. Since then, the US has conducted 910 strikes in four countries ─ Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Pakistan is at the top of this list, with 424 drone attacks since 2004.   Over 2,500 people have been killed in US drone strikes, of which at least 350 were civilians."

Beirut Madinati

It figures that all journalists belonging to March 14 (like this Hillary hagiographer and Jumblat and Hariri cheerleader) would be cheering Beirut Madinati.  I wrote about the list at length in Arabic: it was basically an attempt by the Professional Managerial Class of Lebanon to get more power.   It raised generalized slogans that never threatened the corrupt political system.  And members of the list were caught sneaking into a meeting with Walid Jumblat (after claiming that they were opposed to all politicians in Lebanon).  Sa`d Hariri offered them praised later on after they lost.  They claimed to not raise political slogans as if "developments" is not political, and as if fighting corruption is not political.  Most if not all of the corruption of the municipal Beirut council is due to Hariri control lasting for over a decade and yet they avoided saying a word about the Hariri network.  They basically bragged about their professional degree and did not include one person who is not a graduate of a private Western university (from Beirut or form the West).  For the failings of the professional managerial class, read the new book by Thomas Frank, Listen, Liberal: or whatever happened to the Party of the People.

PS Also, what Ghattas said that they had specific solutions is quite untrue. On their website, they miraculously claim that all problems will be solved in...six years, meaning the duration of the term of the municipality.  Also, they link in one passing reference social justice to "economic development." So their ideas of social justice are derived from World Bank and IMF, it seems.  Whenever members appeared on TV, they always cited the authority of World Bank and IMF and WHO for their positions.  Typical Professional Managerial Class lingo.

PPS The Professional Managerial Class never reaches power without betraying the interests of the working class and the traditional middle class.  

Obama

Obama is the most unemotional person I have seen. And his tears always seem fake to me.

Steven Spielberg at Harvard

Steven Spielberg gave the commencement address at Harvard University. Lacking his essential visual and sound effects without which he can't perform, he warned the graduates against the "monsters" of the modern world, and he listed ethnic hatred and "class hatred". Don't worry, Steven Spielberg. The spoiled brats of Harvard won't resent the system of class inequality which produced people like you.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

How more far right can Carnegie Endowment for International War can go? An Israeli soldier is appointed as a Peace Fellow

"Award-winning journalist Jeffrey Goldberg will join the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a Visiting Distinguished Fellow in September 2016. During his nine-month fellowship, Goldberg will work on his forthcoming book on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East."

On Hitler and Nazi support for Zionism

The public (deliberate among Zionists) misunderstanding of Nazi attitude toward Zionism stems from the wrong assumption that anti-Semitism and pro-Zionism don't mix.  In fact, the rise of Zionism was aided in Western capitals by strong anti-Semitic tendencies (from Balfour among others).  But the record is clear.  In one speech from 1920, Hitler said: "Jews should seek their human rights in their own state in Palestine, where they belong" (p. 28 in F. Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question)

Who are the civilians exactly?

All Arab oil and gas media feign great concern for the civilians of Fallujah.  But none of the same media feign any concern over the civilians of Raqqa although the civilian population there is far greater than that of Fallujah.  Or are civilians of Syria and Iraq a fair game for US bombs, according to Qatari and Saudi regime media?  

Reporting on Egypt at the Guardian: fabrications, literally

"In an investigation that included approximately 50 interviews, our fact-checker found articles that contained likely or confirmed fabrication, including stories about two events that organizers said he didn’t attend. Dozens of sources could not be found – either they had no online presence or they were anonymous and could not be substantiated – and several people quoted in Mayton’s articles either denied speaking with him or giving the quotes attributed to them. "  But don't worry: he found a new home.

Banned U.S.-made cluster bomb "minefields" killing children in Yemen

"Since March 2015, well over 6,000 people have been killed in Yemen, approximately half of whom are civilians. The U.N. has said the Western-backed coalition is responsible for two-thirds of civilian casualties. It has bombed hospitals, schools, residential neighborhoods, weddings, a refugee camp and more." "This is the first confirmed use of U.K.-made cluster munitions since Britain adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2008. A Brazilian-manufactured Avibras ASTROS cluster munition rocket was also found in Yemen, as was a U.S.-manufactured CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon. In August 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense reached a $641 million contract with Saudi Arabia for the manufacture of 1,300 CBU-105 weapons. It is also in the stockpile of the United Arab Emirates."

Diaa Hadid won't be reporting on this: Israeli forces shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian woman at a checkpoint

"Israeli forces shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian woman at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem on Monday." "The woman was identified as 19-year-old Sawsan Ali Dawud Mansour." "Twenty-six Palestinian children are among those slain. The majority of Palestinians were killed during what Israel alleges were attacks, though in many cases, eyewitness testimony and video footage shows Palestinians were shot dead when they posed no immediate threat in what may amount to extrajudicial executions."  Or this is how Diaa Hadid would report on the crime if asked by the Times: a woman named "Um Mahmud" who is afraid to give her full name tells the Times that killing of Palestinian civilians is good for the Palestinian people.

An Arab fighting in the US army in WWI

Misha'il Nu`aymah's literary masterpiece, Sab`un (and when you think that Najib Mahfouz was the one Arab who won the Nobel Prize for normalization with Israel) has not been translated into English. It is too massive. But the second volume contains a great insightful remarks about an Arab serving in the American Army in WWI.  He said that part of the experience made him to briefly state: "my mind and heart are gradually pushing me toward radical leftism".  (volume 2, p. 133).

Don't you like the fruits of collaboration between US media and think tanks with GCC based media and think tanks? Look at this

Basically, they are saying that Saudi-US war crimes in Yemen have been really great for training purposes: "The 15-month long conflict has provided some vital lessons and experience to the Gulf militaries. The scale of the war in Yemen, as well as the human toll it has taken on both sides, has provided many units operating on the Kingdom’s southern border and within Yemen with significant experience in combatting guerrilla-type warfare. And although the price paid in casualties has been high, particularly for Border Guard units, Saudi Airborne units and artillery battalions of the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) have proved to be very effective. By regional standards, Saudi Arabia has one of the best-equipped forces and is also the second largest operator of Apache helicopters in the world, which if utilized properly provides for effective close air support, with the additional value of eliminating the inaccuracies of high altitude air strikes."

“What?! What do you mean pictures with cats?

On a televised broadcast, Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, was told about “a new trend of taking pictures with cats has been spreading among people who want to be like Westerners.” He replied: “What?! What do you mean pictures with cats? Taking pictures is prohibited. The cats don’t matter here.” The sheikh continued: “Taking pictures is prohibited if not for a necessity. Not with cats, not with dogs, not with wolves, not with anything.” (thanks Basim)

PS Like me in this picture.

Turkish-Israeli-Azeri alliance

"Behind closed doors, the Turkish-Israeli-Azeri bloc seems to be working fine on almost all fronts."

Is this guy for real?

" “Big nations should not bully smaller ones, disputes should be resolved peacefully,” he told an audience in Hanoi, referring to the disputed maritime region."

Women sold in US-UK-allied Saudia Arabia & Bahrain

"Indian women are being sold “like products” for just £4000 in Saudia Arabia and £2000 in Bahrain, according to India’s welfare minister." (thanks Amir)

Human Rights Watch is about to declare the digging of tunnels to be a war crime--if dug by the Palestinian people under siege

"Sari Bashi, a spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch and expert on international law regarding warfare, said that building tunnels in residential neighborhoods was not explicitly prohibited. But she said militant groups had “an obligation to take all feasible measures to protect civilians, including not taking the armed conflict to civilian areas, to the extent possible.”" What is this malarkey.  Not explicitly prohibited? What does the digging of tunnels have to do with war crimes in the first place.  Human Rights Watch strains to find excuses and justifications for Israeli war crimes, and to declare all manners of Palestinian resistance, defiance, and even survival to be a war crime.  

According to Diaa Hadid: the token Arab reporter for the Zionist New York Times, Palestinians fear other Palestinians only

It is not only that Diaa Hadid was obviously hired to basically report exclusively on damaging stories about the Palestinian people and stories which put the Israeli occupation in favorable light, and which basically justify the murder of Palestinian people, but she also is a lousy reporter. She tells you that the Palestinian people are afraid of tunnels (and not of Israeli jets and tanks and bombs and siege) and her evidence is this:
"Umm Nidal — Arabic for mother of Nidal, her eldest son — for fear of reprisal by Hamas...A neighbor who is 29 and goes by the name Abu Mohammad".   So what Ms. Hadid would like you to know is that the Palestinian people are very happy with the tight siege and that they are don't want any smuggled goods into the strip and that they basically have no fear of Israeli bombs and rockets over their heads.

In celebration of the Jordan's independence day, this professor of media studies at Yarmouk University decided to pass all his students


This Arab cartoon about America

Man says: I am dying to know what America wants from the Arabs.  Woman says: hahaha. Be ashamed, man.  The boy is standing right here.  

Israel is...top ranked in child poverty rate: I am sure US Zionists will brag about this honor nevertheless


See what the US soldier said in preparation of the "liberation" of Raqqa

Report here.  If you ask me, neither the US forces, nor the Russian forces will "liberate" any Arab cities. And neither the Iranian forces nor the forces of Arab regimes will "liberate" Arab cities.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sean Penn in Lebanon

I have just learned that Sean Penn made an unannounced visit to Lebanon and visited the resistance museum in Mlita. 

Trump

It appears that Trump is emerging as a compromise candidate for Taliban leadership.