Friday, February 05, 2016

The progressive-who-gets-things-done sitting with Henry Kissinger


Giulio Regeni’s case

"Mr Regeni, a PhD student at the Department of Politics and International Studies (Polis) at the University of Cambridge, was a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo (AUC). According to news and other sources, he left his apartment at 8 pm on 25 January with the intention of taking the metro from Duqqi to Bab al-Louq to meet a friend, but never arrived. 
We understand that, although initial statements from your government attributed Mr. Regeni’s death to a robbery gone awry or a traffic accident, State Prosecutor Ahmed Nagi has now admitted that there were signs of torture on the body, including cigarette burns and knife wounds. 
Even were this case an isolated incident, it would demand a thorough investigation to identify those responsible and bring them to justice. However, what makes this case even more disturbing is that it is but the most recent, if the most deadly, example of the growing danger posed by the current political climate in Egypt to all those engaged in academic work. We have written to you repeatedly over the past months to express our deep concern regarding a range and number of violations of academic freedom and freedom of expression that would require countless pages to list in full*: 
  • denial of entry to the country and harassment of numerous scholars and researchers; 
  • gross state interference in university student and faculty governance; 
  • the dismissals and expulsions of hundreds of students and faculty; 
  • the sentencing of academics to death. 
Now, an academic has been brutally murdered." (thanks Laurie)

Compare Ralph Nader with Bernie

Now Ralph Nader was a truly progressive candidate, not like this wobbly and waffling candidate, Sanders.  

Hillary and Bernie

Hillary is so lucky to have Bernie as her opponent: he blows it very time in the debate. He squanders every opportunity to go after her.  

Saudi government reminds you via text messages that you have flogging that day--kid you not

It says: "you have an appointment for flogging tomorrow and be there at 8:30AM at the prison administration."

Yet, again: New York Times downplays and belittles sieges by Syrian rebels

"The United Nations has said government sieges are responsible for denying the delivery of food and medicine to 187,000 people, while the rebels are besieging 12,000 in government-held towns."  How did they arrive at this figure? Today, As-Safir gave a number of 70,000 civilians in Nubul and Zahra' alone.  I have seen estimates of 40,000, but this is only for two villages.  

If this were a Muslim group, the story would be front pages and liberals would be issuing condemnation around the clock

"A leading American Jewish group promoting therapy it said could turn gays to heterosexuals was ordered shut in December by a New Jersey court, amid growing efforts in the U.S. to curb the generally discredited practice. But therapists with ties to the shuttered group say they have found a haven for their work in Israel."

US-funded militia employ child soldiers

"The Taliban’s murder of a 10-year old Afghan boy this week has cast a spotlight on the practice by US allies of turning children into fighters in the war-torn country." "US military officials in Afghanistan, the Pentagon and US Central Command did not answer the Guardian’s questions about US funding going to Afghan militias that employ child soldiers."

People who are trying to "converting gays" are finding refuge in Israel--where else

""Therapists linked to a leading American Jewish group that tries to convert gays into heterosexuals say they have found a haven for their work in Israel, after it was forced to close in the US." (thanks Amir)

The quality of Qatari regime media

This is from Al-Quds Al-Arabi: it alleges that a German tourist has AIDS and is purposefully spreading the disease among Tunisians.

I am still cracking up over this statement from a Lebanese-American expert at National Defense University when he testified before on Congress on Hizbullah

"but Venezuela's geographic proximity to West Africa make it an ideal launching pad."  Not to mention Mexican proximity to Iran, and US proximity to Somalia.  

Thursday, February 04, 2016

This just in

Bernie Sanders: I urge people to vote for Hillary over me. 

Obama's visit to the mosque in Baltimore

Muslims in the US were so pleased with the visit of Obama to the mosque (in the last months of his administration) that they begged him to bomb more Muslim countries.  "We would be honored," they pleaded. 

Bernie Sanders in debate

Bernie Sanders never misses an opportunity to fail to debate Hillary.  

Chipotle

Bernie Sanders has just declared that Chipotle is the biggest national security threat to the US. I happen to agree.

Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooozlems

It is spelled Moooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooozlems

Israel and presidential debates

When you hear US presidential candidates talk about Israel, they want to lead you to say: oh, poor Israel. Look what they are doing to poor Israel?

He agrees with the Secretary.

The most oft-repeated phrase by Bernie Sanders in debates with Hillary: I agree with the Secretary.

King of Jordan in US presidential debates

Two Democratic presidential nominees are competing over who loves the King of Jordan more.

Bernie wants Moooooozlems to reform

What is the deal with the obsession by the ostensibly socialist, Bernie Sanders, with the reactionary King of Jordan? And why does Sanders say "Moooooooozlem".

Bernie Sanders

The King of Jordan is a better debater than Bernie Sanders.  The King of Jordan. 

The specter of atheism in Saudi Arabia: the religious kooks fight back

This book by first time author, Aqwamu Qilan, has been a best seller in the Riyadh book fair, and has been reprinted many times. I said read the book as it pretends to refute atheism and atheists.  Let me just tell you this: in responding to Darwin's theories, he bases himself on the trashy non-scientific book, Darwin's Black Box.  And on the section on women when he talks about the Qur'anic verse about hitting a woman in marital disobedience he says: the the tool of hitting is a mere stick, and that the purpose is psychological and not physical abuse of the woman.  His knowledge of Greek Gods is equal to my knowledge of Israeli "cuisine".  

Hizbullah, drugs and potatoes

"In his presentation, Farah argued that the Party of God’s involvement in the drug trade was facilitated by the following alleged factoid: when it comes to drug shipments, “Venezuela’s geographic proximity to West Africa make [sic] it an ideal launching pad.” Who ever said six thousand kilometers was far?"
The CNN article offers its own trivia on Hezbollah’s global footprint, noting that the organization “has a long history of attacks, including one at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983 that killed 241 Americans [and] has also been linked to terrorist plots against Israelis in Bulgaria in 2012 and Peru in 2014.”

Forget the fact that 1983 was two years before Hezbollah’s official existence, or that the Peruvian “terrorist plot” centers around a man who claims he was coerced into a confession by police. As it turns out, the U.S. and Israel have their own lengthy histories of terror-inducing attacks with much bloodier fallout than, say, something that didn’t happen in Peru.

As for the DEA’s fearmongering about drug trafficking and money laundering as a “revenue and weapons stream” for international terror, it’s worth revisiting a certain lesson from Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror. In this book, scholars Oliver Villar and Drew Cottle note that, while the U.S. has consistently “contended it was at war with drugs and terrorists in Colombia,” the decade of the 1980s “saw the consolidation of the Colombian drug trade as a source of profit for U.S. capital via banks that were established to launder and invest drug money in legitimate U.S. corporations.”

This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: 
 "http://www.telesurtv.net/english/opinion/Washington-and-Its-Media-Allies-Hype-Narco-Jihadi-Threat-Again-20160204-0024.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english"

Sanders

Don't get excited about Sanders (for many reasons).  And your best case scenario is that he wins the nomination or even the presidency: and he will be a replica of Clinton and Obama, combined.  Oh, and he will make the King of Jordan (who he called a hero) the leader of the universe.

Just since 2000, Israel has killed approximately ten thousand Palestinians for its illegal political ends

"Just since 2000, Israel has killed approximately ten thousand Palestinians for its illegal political ends, but this is not terrorism. When Palestinians react with violence, it is terrorism, even when the objects of the violence are the invading military or armed ‘settlers’. Yet when Mr. Ban assures Israel that he denounces terrorism, his context is Palestinian terror. But the staggering difference in the body count is not in itself a moral argument; in the end, it is that the root and cause of the entire catastrophe is Zionism’s unwavering aim, dating from the late nineteenth century, to expropriate Palestine for a settler state based on ethnic supremacy."

On ties between the terrorist fascist Turkish Grey Wolves organization and NATO and US government, see this source

"Jacoby, Tim. "Political Violence, the ‘War on Terror’ and the Turkish State"University of St Andrews.

Gray Wolves have developed close links with al-Qaeda

"Many opposition groups labeled the Free Syrian Army have in time shifted to a Salafi mindset. How the war will transform Turkey’s ultranationalists is an important question. The Turkmen groups in which they fight have developed close links with Salafi jihadi organizations such as al-Qaeda franchise Jabhat al-Nusra." (thanks Amir)

Zionist Organization of America opposes mosque visit by Obama: I wonder if they would have preferred that the mosque be bombed

“But Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, one of the country’s oldest and largestpro­Israel organizations, denounced Mr. Obama for visiting a mosque whose leaders, Mr. Klein said, have among other issues criticized Israeli military actions. “Going to such a mosque only encourages radical Muslims to harm Americans,” Mr. Klein said.” (thanks Nader)

This is what a member of the Saudi opposition delegation in Geneva actually said:

Kamal Al-Labwani actually said in Geneva (naturally, Western correspondents in Beirut and Geneva would not report this): Labwani predicted that that the Syrian opposition delegation would withdraw from the conference because "Prince Muhammad bin Nayif, the crown prince, has advised the delegation to spend a few days in Geneva, and then return to Riyadh".  

Starbucks in Saudi Arabia

From a Saudi woman:
Ur store in Riyadh refused 2 serve me just because I'm a WOMAN & asked me 2 send a man instead

Obama, the brave

How brave of Obama to visit a mosque in the last year of his two administration. This is as brave as when Bill Clinton said that he wanted to fight property in the US in the last few months of his two administrations.  And those willy Muslim Americans who danced and cheered like children for Obama's visit: did they also cheer for all the bombs and rockets that Obama dropped over the heads of Muslims worldwide?

Aljazeera Arabic attributes to Obama what he never said: it claims that Obama said that Muslims participated in the drafting of the US constitution

Muslims were slaves back then, damn it.  Here is from Adam: ".Obama said in his speech at the Mosque in Baltimore that Muslims participated in the writing of the Constitution.  Al-Jazeera just loves providing everyone ammunition.  Too funny.

Here's the text of the speech, and I assume this is the part they are referring to:

"Here’s another fact:  Islam has always been part of America. Starting in colonial times, many of the slaves brought here from Africa were Muslim.  And even in their bondage, some kept their faith alive.  A few even won their freedom and became known to many Americans.  And when enshrining the freedom of religion in our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, our Founders meant what they said when they said it applied to all religions.Back then, Muslims were often called Mahometans.  And Thomas Jefferson explained that the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom he wrote was designed to protect all faiths -- and I’m quoting Thomas Jefferson now -- “the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mahometan.”  (Applause.)
Jefferson and John Adams had their own copies of the Koran. Benjamin Franklin wrote that “even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach to us, he would find a pulpit at his service.”  (Applause.)  So this is not a new thing.
Generations of Muslim Americans helped to build our nation. They were part of the flow of immigrants who became farmers and merchants.  They built America’s first mosque, surprisingly enough, in North Dakota.  (Laughter.)  America’s oldest surviving mosque is in Iowa.  The first Islamic center in New York City was built in the 1890s.  Muslim Americans worked on Henry Ford’s assembly line, cranking out cars.  A Muslim American designed the skyscrapers of Chicago."

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

My view on Syria

There are no victories in the Syrian war; there are only defeats.

When a journalist of the Saudi royal family (Jamal Khashoqji) faces Arab journalists opposed to the Saudi regime

This rare on Arabic TV: but this is French TV in Arabic: a debate about Saudi regime and French media treatment.

Shezza Abboushi Dallal: count another struggler for Palestine

I remember Shezza as an exceptional child. I am so delighted to read this. My late mother met her once and loved her. She is a wonderful human being and I am so proud of her.  I send you all the love, Shezza if you see this note.  

When will they reform Christianity? When will the West secularize? When? Who will liberate those Christians?

"Ted Cruz Tells Reporters "I'm a Christian First, American Second"".

Palestinian families homeless as Israel demolishes houses

"Israeli military bulldozers have demolished 23 houses in two impoverished southern West Bank villages, including structures that were home to more than 100 people."

New law allows Israeli police to target minorities

"Opposition members argued at the Knesset debate that the new law will serve to increase discrimination against minorities in Israel, who nearly always arouse a reasonable suspicion among policemen." (thanks Amir)

Wael Ghonim is not happy with web discussions: he helped create a website for "profound" and "sophisticated" discussions

Guess who he hosted to inaugurate profound and sophisticated discussions?  None other than Thomas Friedman: "(I participated in a debate on Parlio and found it engaging and substantive.)"

"Why don't Israeli Zionists just come out and say it: we hate blacks"

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon says the migrants threaten the security, and the identity, of the Jewish state. "It's obvious that we live here in a situation which is rather complex and complicated. And if you add this element of migrants who come here and who want to stay here - undoubtedly because this is a rich and prosperous country - then it could become also a challenge to our identity here in Israel." (thanks Basim)

Imagine the reaction if he were an Arab ambassador

"Tonight, Tikun Olam breaks the story of the Israeli ambassador who cheated on his wife with men and boys–inside the ambassador’s residence!
Israel’s former ambassador to the UK has been accused of inviting men and boys for trysts late at night when his wife was not home.  A British policeman filed a complaint with Israeli authorities about the incidents.  A further investigation by the foreign ministry’s inspector general found that UK-born Ambassador Daniel Taub, who was ambassador from 2011-2015, violated security protocol by not notifying his chief of security of the identity of the visitors.  The purpose of recording visitors is in order to prevent Israeli diplomatic personnel from being blackmailed or compromised.  Since MI5 knew of Taub’s activities, the Israeli foreign ministry was concerned that he might be compromised by them or that one of his paramours might attempt to extort payments from him.
Diplomatic security is provided by the Shabak, which would be aware of the incident.  But my attempts to elicit comment from an Israeli security source were met with silence.  Though the story has been reported in the Israeli media, no one has yet identified Taub by name.  This is peculiar because there is no judicial gag order against reporting his name.  This is one hot potato!"

Israeli lies about Damour Battle

In this entry on the Damour Battle during the Lebanese civil war, there are so much lies produced from a lousy book by right-wing Israeli writer, Mordecai Nissan, which is a hagiography (The Conscience of Lebanon: A Political Biography of Etienne Sakr (Abu-Arz)) of Lebanese war criminal, Abu Arz, who raised the slogan: "kill a Palestinian and enter heaven".  The information are from the imagination and propaganda of Abu Arz and his Israeli handlers.  The official figure given by the Phalanges-Ahrar militias back then in 1976 was around 80 victims, most of whom were fighters from the various right-wing Israeli armed/equipped militias/death squads.  There were more than 200 fighters for the right-wing militias in Damur and they were aided by the Lebanese Army, which used its air force to bomb positions of Lebanese leftists and PLO forces.  Most of the dead were fighters.  Israel and its Lebanese death squads turned the battle of Damur into a myth to promote the standard Christian-under-assault lie.  Look, check out the book by Tabitha Petran, The Struggle for Lebanon: in the first part of the Lebanese civil war, there were 500,000 (Lebanese and Palestinian) Muslims and Christians forcibly evicted from their homes in Nab`ah, Karantina, Maslakh, Harat Al-Ghwarneh, Sibnay, Hayy Baydun, Burj Hammud, and the refugee camps of Tal Az-Za`tar, Jisr Al-Basha, and Dbayy.  All those were forcibly evicted by Phalanges and others.  As for Christians who were evicted: the number she cites is around 100,000 by half of those were Greek Orthodox from the Kurah region.  (Of course, the figures exclude the War of the Mountain, when Jumblat's thuggish sectarian militia evicted innocent Christians from the mountains, but the Lebanese Forces started that ugly war).

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

How come we don't hear of the 14 other towns and cities under siege in Syria?

"The siege of more than 15 towns, including Madaya, by government forces and rebel groups resulting in starvation is “not just a war crime but a crime against humanity if proven in court,” the UN human rights chief added."  One thing is for sure: none of the Western correspondents crowding in Beirut has ever reported on any of the other 14 towns.

Bush and Obama: legacy of war and destruction and murder of innocent civilians

"An unnamed government official told the Times that the 3,700 U.S. troops in Iraq were gradually deployed over a year and a half — meaning that, while Obama was pledging to the American public that there would be no boots on the ground, his own administration was simultaneously slowly sending boots on the ground." "The escalation in Iraq and Syria comes at a time when the U.S. military is simultaneously increasing its involvement in both Afghanistan and Libya." "The U.S. has militarily occupied Afghanistan for almost 15 years. More than 220,000 Afghans were killed in the first 12 years of the war, according to report by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. At least 1 million more people were killed in the U.S. war in Iraq, in a conservative estimate in the same report. An additional quarter of a million people have died in the ongoing war in Syria, which is entering its fifth year."

UN's Ban in solidarity with Israeli occupation

"Ban’s timidity has been no surprise: his complicity with Israel is legend. Last June, he caved in to pressure from Israel and the United States and took the Israeli military off a UN list of serious violators of children’s rights. And at the height of Israel’s summer 2014 attack on Gaza, 129 organizations and distinguished individuals wrote to the secretary-general, condemning him for “your biased statements, your failure to act, and the inappropriate justification of Israel’s violations of international humanitarian law, which amount to war crimes.” Ban’s record, they said, made him a “partner” in Israel’s crimes."