Saturday, July 04, 2015

In my lifetime

In my lifetime, I went from living in a land in which burning the American flag was a political ritual, to a land were worshiping and revering the American flag is a political ritual.

Literature of Falsehood

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "(Political) Literature of Falsehood: On Nasserism and on Communism".

Friday, July 03, 2015

Censorship in mainstream media

"Here's a hard example. In the U.K. they have something called the Defence Advisory Board [The Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee]. It has monthly meetings with the editors of the newspapers, and they have agreements about what should and shouldn't be published."

Yemeni man lost 27 family members in Saudi-led air strike

"The rights group interviewed al-Ibbi, who lost 27 members of family, including 17 children, when the Saudi-led coalition bombed his home in the Houthi stronghold city of Saada in north Yemen." "More than 21.1 million people - over 80 percent of Yemen's population - are in need of aid, with 13 million facing food shortages."

Please, Western powers: stop your peacekeeping missions already

"" “Two French soldiers on mission in Burkina Faso were suspected … of engaging in acts of a sexual nature with two children,” France’s defence ministry said in a statement." "There are about 900 French soldiers in CAR, where the initial quota of 2,000 was gradually reduced to make way for a UN peacekeeping mission. UN troops have also been accused of abusing children in CAR."" (thanks Amir)

New York Times on Greece

Is this biased language?
"Today, critics argue that Mr. Tsipras is distorting democracy, not strengthening it, by holding a rapid-fire vote in which people lack the time to understand what they are voting for."

New York Times on Greek economic advisers

"For Mr. Tsipras and his two main advisers — Nikos Pappas, a hot-tempered Scottish-trained academic with a decades-long friendship with Mr. Tsipras, and Yanis Varoufakis, a polarizing economics professor who had spent more than a year schooling Mr. Tsipras in the intricacies of eurozone politics — the rebuke seemed to confirm their most pessimistic views."  I would say this is objective language, wouldn't you?

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Saudi officials linked to jihadist group

"Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, had high-level contacts with America’s most deadly adversary in Afghanistan, the Haqqani network, according to purported Saudi diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks." "Successive U.S. administrations have been careful not to accuse Gulf governments of complicity in sponsoring terrorism, however."

U.S. commitment to nuclear nonproliferation

"The lawsuits aim to enforce the NPT, arguing that the nuclear states are violating the Article VI of the Treaty, which calls for negotiations toward timely nuclear disarmament." "During the NPT Review Conference just concluded, the United States tried to divert the focus of the participants from efforts by the nuclear weapons countries to indefinitely preserve and improve their nuclear weapons stockpiles. Instead of reaffirming a commitment under the treaty's Article VI to seek disarmament, the United States declared that it will not "pursue new nuclear warheads, and [nuclear warhead] life-extension programs will not provide new military capabilities." At the same time, the US government is planning to spend more than $1 trillion on weapons-production infrastructure, ballistic missiles, submarines, and bombers over the next 30 years."

Africa's 'green revolution' a mask for a profit-led corporate bonanza

" "The unfortunate reality is that many aid agencies, whether it's USAID or DfiD, have become the handmaidens for the corporate sector," said Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute, a thinktank in the US. "They have become the handmaidens for privatising and the commodification of resources in the developing world. They come in cloaked in the language of development and poverty eradication but if you look at the impact of the projects that they are investing in, they are eradicating the poor themselves." "

Saudis pumping millions to promote Wahhabism in India

"The documents also reveal that the Secretariat General of the Muslim World League in Mecca, a controversial organisation with alleged links to terror funding, had requested Saudi Arabia to establish the organisation’s Salafi or Wahhabi centres in India."

This is how Haaretz describes the UC, Berkeley campus--not a German university in the 1930s and 40s

"but on a campus seething with anti-Semitism".  This is insane.

U.S. police killings in 2015

"This video shows the figures up to 29 June 2015, when 545 had been killed."

Canada has made Saudi Arabia a priority weapon market despite its human rights record

"The Canadian government carefully courted Saudi Arabia in the years leading up to an unprecedented $15-billion arms sale to Riyadh brokered by Ottawa that remains shrouded in secrecy, documents show." "The transaction, backed by Canadian taxpayers, has come under fire because Saudi Arabia has one of the worst human rights records in the world today." (thanks Amir)

"Which Lebanese and Arab Media Covered #SaudiCables and Which Ones Didn't? "

"The silence of major newspapers and media outlets towards more than half a million leaked documents from Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is deafening."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The generalizations of the correspondent of the New York Times in Iran: Thomas Erdbrink

Look at the size of the crowd in the picture and then read this sentence by this arrogant correspondent who is not reluctant to speak on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Iranians: "Afterward, most in the audience were confused, friend and foe."  How on earth did you know that "most in the audience" were confused? How did you measure that?

The United States is resuming security aid to Bahrain’s military forces: due to “meaningful progress” on human rights

"The United States is resuming security aid to Bahrain’s military forces, saying there had been “meaningful progress” on human rights four years after the kingdom’s deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters." "At least 89 people have been killed in confrontations with Bahrain security forces since 2011, and hundreds have been arrested and put on trial, rights groups say." “Bahrain’s logistical and operational support enables the US to lead a 30-nation military coalition that counters piracy and terrorism, maintains the free flow of commerce and energy resources through the strait of Hormuz and demonstrates international resolve to Iran”, state department officials said."

""Left-wing" Israeli lobby groups"

"B’Tselem and the US Israel lobby group J Street are offered as prime examples of such “left-wing” assets in Israel’s fight against BDS." (thanks Amir)

Typical Western media account about Arab Jews: TV serial The Jewish Quarter

"The military’s real-life role in expelling Egypt’s Jews under President Gamal Abdel Nasser is omitted completely." Kirkpatrick does not mention the Lavon Affair and the role Israeli crimes and dirty covert operation and the callous recruitment of Egyptian Jews for Israeli terrorist operations inside Egypt. None of that.  2) it is not the most-talked about TV serial of Ramadan. Not at all. 3) the characterization by Kirkpatrick is typical of the Zionist rhetoric about Jews in Arab countries: if they stay inside the country, Zionists in the West yell: they are being held as prisoners. They are hostages. They should be allowed to leave and get exist visas. And when they leave, the same Zionists of the West yell: look. They kicked them out. They kicked them out and for that, the Palestinian refugees should never be allowed back into Palestine just because.

PS Don't you like the new trend among Western correspondents like Mr. Kirkpatrick? In the past, they regaled us with tales of a cab driver. Now they regale us with a comment by an anonymous Arab on a page on Facebook as representative of Arab public opinion.

Dia Hadid of the New York Times

So this token Arab correspondent at the Times is allowed to cover Palestinian suffering but only when the suffering can be blamed on Palestinians themselves. That is her gig.

This is how Turkey screens those who wish to enter into Syria

Iraqi Communist Party statement from 1946, signed by comrade Fahd

Compare this to the lousy Iraqi Communist Party of Paul Bremer.

Moderate Islam of SISI (and US)

Al-Zahar chief cleric refuses to declare the infidelity of ISIS.

Saudi regime pressures Thailand to accuse "Iran or Hizbullah" of assassinations

Monday, June 29, 2015

China's annual report on US Human Rights record for 2014

"Full text: The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2014"

Grimaces of Muhammad bin Salman


Haqqani had a Saudi passport

"The cables, published by WikiLeaks, have provided a rare insight into the contacts between Saudi officials and the Haqqani network in the recent past, even though the two are said to have had a long-standing relationship, going back to the days of CIA-funded jihad in Afghanistan." "Jalaluddin has been on the UN Sanctions list since January 31, 2001. The provisions of the UNSC resolutions 1267 (1999), and 1333 (2000) apply to him, which, among other things, bar the international travel of listed individuals and prevent any assistance to them. The Saudi cables show that Jalaluddin carried a Saudi passport since the days of the Afghan jihad."

Primary task of Saudi embassy

"More significantly, the leaked documents provide evidence that the Saudi embassy is deeply involved in the religious life and politics of Australia’s Islamic communities, with the particular goal of spreading and strengthening their puritanical Wahhabist branch of Sunni Islam. Indeed, Saudi foreign ministry instructions leave little doubt that engagement in Islamic religious affairs and the wider politics of Australia’s Islamic communities are primary tasks for the embassy."

"UN Human Rights Council operates just like FIFA"

"But the leaked Saudi diplomatic papers suggest human rights issues receive scant attention in the bilateral relationship, at least as far as the Saudis are concerned. One exception was Saudi Arabia’s offer of support for the election of Australian legal academic Professor James Crawford to be a judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, in exchange for Australian support for the kingdom to be elected to serve on the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva." (thanks Amir)

When Israel kills, destroys, demolishes, occupies, and massacres it does so peacefully--according to Western terminology

"Israeli navy peacefully intercepts Gaza-bound vessel".  Did it also peacefully kill the passengers back in 2010?  (thanks Basim)

Saudi cables on Egypt: standing in line for Saudi cash

All those journalists and even an academic standing in line for Saudi cash.

ISIS leaders in Syria and Iraq

As-Safir published this

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Zionism is always racism: Israel's war on African migrants

"He says police carry out random sweeps of Africans and that a friend once was accused of theft because he couldn’t show a receipt for his phone. Israeli police say they aren’t targeting Africans, but that they routinely carry out identity checks and sometimes ask for receipts."

Excellent article on "who is to blame" in Iraq by Sinan Antoon and Zaid Al-Ali

"By 2003, the United States’ record of supporting dictatorships and authoritarian regimes in the region and its history of aggression against Iraq through war and sanctions had diminished any credibility or trust. The duplicitous case for the invasion and the United States’ behavior in Iraq after the occupation did not change this perception. But this seems to escape U.S. officials such as Jeffrey and Khedery, whose comments on recent events somehow assume that the United States was or should have been an “honest broker” and that it was the United States’ decision to support Maliki in 2010 that ruined its bona fides. In fact, it would have been virtually impossible to find anyone in Iraq in 2003 that would have attributed positive intentions to the United States given its sordid history of involvement. In addition, although Iraqi actors made their lack of trust clear from the start, the United States worsened its already toxic reputation in the country through its own political, military and financial misdeeds for the following years.  As soon as the U.S. occupation commenced in 2003, the former exiles (who were supposed to be its closest allies) capitalized on the United States’ unpopularity to force it to hand over partial political and administrative authority far sooner than it would have preferred. The result was the establishment of the Governing Council and its associated executive offices, the first officially sectarian government in Iraq’s history. A few months later, the United States proposed a plan to draft the country’s new constitution, which involved indirect elections through a caucus system. The plan was immediately rejected by the country’s most influential actors (including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani) not because it was unworkable but because of the justifiable concern that the United States would manipulate the process. In the end, the United States did interfere in the constitution drafting process and contributed to creating a divisive and unworkable text. The political system that it designed and installed in Iraq was based on the understanding that Iraqis are sects and no more. It institutionalized sectarianism, injected it with political power, and made it the only political currency. It handed the country over to untrained, unworthy and corrupt former exiles, most of whom at the time had no credibility in Iraq."

House of Saud on Shi`ism

"Saudi diplomats are careful to estimate, for example, how many Eritrean students are studying abroad in Iran (40) and the number of Shiite Muslims in Mauritania (50,000). They were also concerned when a public debate was held between Shiite and Sunni Muslims near the Philippines' Al-Dahab mosque in Manila. Even though Shiites make up less than 1 percent of the Muslim population in the Philippines, a memo dated Feb. 4, 2010 appears to express alarm that the religious minority's message "managed to get out of its secretive circle to the public."

"It is obsessive," said Toby Matthiesen, the author of a book about religious politics in Gulf Arab states and a research fellow at the University of Cambridge. "It proves the theory that Saudi foreign policy is at least in part sectarian and seeks to contain Shiism and not just Iran."" (thanks Basim)

This is how the US State Department report on human rights refers to Bahran repression

"“Bahrain has a legitimate interest in protecting its people against violent groups." Nothing that comes after the sentence matters. The US government managed to provide justification. I have an idea; why does not the US State Department issue an annual report on human rights violations in Syria, Iran, and Venezuela (and Russia when it is on bad terms with the US)?

Egyptian regime ambassador in Israel

The return of the ambassador of the tyrant, Sisi, to Tel Aviv, was part of the deal with US Congress: he gets the arms in return for the return of the ambassador. This is what is called in the US government: human rights standard.

nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims

"But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center."

Drone attacks only received scrutiniy when two Westerners were killed by mistake

"Drone strikes carried out by the C.I.A. and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command have received fresh scrutiny after President Obama disclosed in April that a strike had killed two Western aid workers held hostage by Al Qaeda in Pakistan."

UAE "diplomats" in Somalia? Are you kidding me?

"The car was loaded with explosives and moving quickly when it hit the rear of a United Arab Emirates convoy carrying foreign trainers". What were they training and who were they training?  In UAE media, they were referred to as "diplomats".

Saudi diplomat, Jamil Baroody

"Saudi Arabia’s first ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations was a Christian Catholic, Jamil Baroody.   He was chosen by King Faisal for his deep understanding of global politics and oratory."  Jamil Baroody was never allowed to become a Saudi citizen because he was a Christian, and when he died he wanted to be buried in Saudi Arabia, but the regime refused and he was buried in his birthplace of Suq Al-Gharb, Lebanon.

American control of Saudi Arabia

This American cable from 1976 represents the best summation of US control of Saudi Arabia.