Saturday, April 18, 2015

Palestionian prisoners' DAY

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

thanking "God" for the Saudi and GCC tyrants

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

Yemen scholars in US and UK oppose the war on Yemen

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

US forces around the world

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

Just like in Syria

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

Sony Emails and services to Israeli propaganda

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

Obama speaks to the Saudi King

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

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

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

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

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

The Saudi ambassador is right

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

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

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

Nasrallah's speech yesterday

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

Saudi regime buying media

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

Saudi heroics

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

Wahhabi Doctrine

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

Friday, April 17, 2015

My interview on Democracy Now

You can watch now here.

Shame on the Economist magazine

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

The Imperial US presidency

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

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

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

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

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

UN Envoy in Yemen resigns

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

Propaganda and counter propaganda

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

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

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

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

Israel's terrorist rate

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

US media as part of the war lobby

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

Sony and US government

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

Accusations by US/Israel are evidence

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

stabilizing

""In other words when we invade and destroy another country, that’s stabilizing, and if someone defends themselves that is destabilizing."" (thanks Amir)

Two headlines from a Saudi newspaper

This image of the headlines from the mouthpiece of King Salman, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, says it all. One headline brags about bombing by Syrian regime, and the other brags about GCC bombing of Yemen.  One bombing is praiseworthy, and the other is blameworthy.

Democracy Now Now

I am on Democracy Now now. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Richard Engel has to account for those statements in this propaganda video for the Free Syrian Army

Going back to this propaganda interview that Engel taped for the propaganda media of Free Syrian Army.  In it, as you know, he claims that he was rescued by the Bin Ladenite Ahrar Ash-Sham militia (which he refers to as "rebels").  In this video his biases are clear: there are "rebels" (who are all those fighting the Syrian regime) and the "shabbihah and the regime" on the other side.  He said that during his captivity he was stunned by the overtly "sectarian and bloody" language of the captors who told them that they are holding them to exchange them with four Iranians and two Lebanese Amal militia members who are held by the "rebels".  But there is more to his account: he claims that he has witnessed several killings by the Shabbihah: the first time when they were kidnapped and the second time when they were rescued.  He yesterday told the New York Times that he now retracts his earlier statement about seeing bodies, which here he said that he saw.  But he also said that he saw killing and an attempt at burning a "rebel" with gasoline but that they ran out of gasoline.  He has to explain all that.  I also noticed that he said in this detailed account that he knew right away that they were "shabbihah" even before they identified themselves and said that they will "kill your women and children" in order to keep Bashshar in power.

PS It seems (according to what he said here) he also taped an interview with the Bin Ladenite terrorists of Ahrar Ash-Sham. 

Mukalla in Yemen

In Arab folklore, the women of Mukallah (now under the control of Al-Qa`idah, thanks--if you are a fan of Al-Qa`idah, to US-Saudi war on Yemen) are reputed to be most beautiful. There is a famous song which goes: "O, the girls of Mukalla.  You are the cure of every ill".  (the above is one rendition by Fahd Ballan).

Flash. Breaking story. Brian Williams resurfaces

It seems that Brian Williams is now claiming that it was he who rescued his colleague, Richard Engel, from his captors in Syria.

So what are thus the achievements of the US-sponsored GCC war on Yemen?

Well, we can say that for the first time Al-Qa`idah now has an airport in Mukalla.  That is largely due to the Saudi war campaign.  This is not the first time or place where the US is on the same side with Al-Qa`idah (Afghanistan in the 1980s, Libya, Syria, and now Yemen).

So who really rescued Richard Engel?

Flash. Richard Engel is now claiming that bizarre creatures from outer space were the ones who rescued him from Shi`ite--looking captors.

Western media explaining Muslim beards

"Among the Salafis (orthodox Muslim) the longer and more unkempt the beard, the more traditional and pious is the man. The Brotherhood beard is more organised and controlled, which is a reflection of their organisational skills too. " (thanks Basim)

Look how nice the US government is

"Under the arrangement, Saudi Arabia gives lists of potential targets to the American analysts for vetting. “We are not choosing their targets, but upon request, we’re providing intelligence to help Saudi Arabia with their precision, effectiveness and avoidance of collateral damage,” the official said."

I wish Western governments treat the decades-old Israeli occupation of Palestine like they treat the few months-old of Iraqi occupation of Kuwait

"It has taken other steps to try to ease its budget squeeze, including deferring $4.2 billion in reparations to Kuwait for Saddam Hussein’s 1990 invasion of the country."

It is not that Richard Engel served the propagnada of the Free Syrian Army but he also lied about what he himself saw

"In his Vanity Fair article, Mr. Engel described one of his captors lying dead. In his statement Wednesday, he acknowledged that he did not see bodies during the rescue."

How will Liz Sly of the Washington Post responds to the Richard Engel's story

I guarantee you that her response to the crimes of the FSA will be her standard response for the last three years: that "if only the Free Syrian Army were given more heavy and advanced weapons by Western governments all would have been well in Syria." If only.

Wait: so are you saying that Iran is merely retaliating its cyberattacks against the US and Israel? The headline says something else

"That strike, often referred to as the Stuxnet attack, may have inspired the Iranians to begin a cycle of retaliation, a recently disclosed memo from Edward J. Snowden’s trove of National Security Agency documents indicates. Norse says it saw evidence that Iranian hackers probed the network of Telvent, a company now owned by Schneider Electric that designs software to allow energy companies and power grid operators to control their valves and switches from afar."

Western journalists knew that Engel was kidnapped by FSA thugs

From a Western correspondent in the Middle East: "everybody knew that it was a sunni group tied to the fsa that had kidnapped him from the moment it happened, people were talking about it in south turkey, journalists, opposition people. but he had to write this story now to preempt the new york times story coming out that makes him look stupid
no attribution please".

Thousands of Israeli Arab homes threatened with demolition

" "Where will we go," asks eight-year-old Tiba Qeren, saying goodbye to the family home that, like those of many other Israeli Arabs, is condemned to demolition for failing to meet planning rules." "While Israeli law guarantees them full equality with other citizens, in practice there are claims of discrimination in government funding and a raft of other issues. Israeli Arab rights group Adalah says only 4.6 percent of new homes built in Israel are in Arab towns and villages although Arabs make up 20 percent of the population."

Religious fanatacism and American support for Israel

"The U.S. media loves to mock adversary nations, especially Muslim ones, for being driven by religious extremism, but that is undeniably a major factor, arguably the most significant one, in explaining fervent support for Israel among the American populace."