Thursday, August 27, 2015

Who says Western media don't care about Arab women?

"The perfectly polished pair stepped out in complementary outfits for the high-profile occasion. Queen Rania looked elegant in a cream knee-length dress that had billowing sleeves with slits to the elbow and a neck-tie detailing. She carried a pale pink box-style bag by Kate Spade and wore high-heeled pointed courts with a tie-fastening. Meanwhile young Princess Iman bint Abdullah looked smart in a white dress with a bold red pattern around the waist, caged beige sandals and a white crochet cardigan." ( thanks Basim)

Forgotten Gaza

"It’s not merely because the Gaza Strip has been categorised as “the world’s largest open-air prison” that Dr. Zeyada’s metaphor hits home. It’s also because being Palestinian in Gaza - existing, more or less, in a permanent state of traumatic stress - often amounts to psychological torture."

Thus: you do not call torture “torture” if the U.S. government falsely denies that it is

"Thus: you do not call torture “torture” if the U.S. government falsely denies that it is; you do not say that the chronic shooting of unarmed black citizens by the police is a major problem since not everyone agrees that it is; and you do not object when a major presidential candidate stokes dangerous nativist resentments while demanding mass deportation of millions of people. These are the strictures that have utterly neutered American journalism, drained it of its vitality and core purpose, and ensured that it does little other than serve those who wield the greatest power and have the highest interest in preserving the status quo."

Oh, how beautiful: when all the social classes unite in downtown Beirut

"The protest on August 22 attracted a broad spectrum of Lebanese from different regions, economic backgrounds, and sects."  They were all so united and nice and loving but when they saw poor Shi`its coming from a poor quarter in the city, they all panicked and called on the security forces to remove them by force and to name them to defame them.  Oh, how beautiful and united it was.

Israeli weapons fueling South Sudan civil war

"Israeli weapons are being used in South Sudan by the local army and its senior officers, according to a recent UN report." "According to the current report, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army has been implementing a scorched-earth policy, and has been involved in indiscriminate killing, rape, pillaging, destruction of infrastructure and uprooting of civilians from their homes."

Everyone understands that

"So American military power is at work every day all over the world, and I think everyone understands that."

The U.S. has around 800 military bases outside of the nation's borders

"The U.S. has around 800 military bases outside of the nation's borders." "Largely, people of course don't like their land occupied by foreign troops — and I think it's worth thinking, for American audiences, to think about how it would feel to have foreign troops living next door, occupying your land with tanks. ... There have also been a number of harms that these bases have inflicted on local communities — there have been accidents, crimes committed by U.S. personnel, environmental damage — a whole range of damage that people were quite upset about." (thanks Amir)

"civil society organizations"

The Saudi regime, like Western governments, discovered that "civil society organizations" can become a mere tool in the hands of government. Yesterday, the Saudi regime issued a statement on behalf of Yemeni "civil society organizations" in which the latter vomited the rhetoric of House of Saud on Yemen.  In Lebanon, Hariri family basically orders "civil society organizations" around.

It is Hebrew not Arabic: no need for alarm

"'Arabic Terror Threat' Was Actually A Hebrew Welcome Sign"

US ambassador in Jordan is really pissing people off

Read here.

Human Rights Watch speaks on Lebanon: how its office in Beirut is part of March 14 political coalition

1) look at this sentence: "Witnesses said that some protesters threw firecrackers and water bottles over the police barrier near the Grand Serail".  I don't understand the point. Is HRW trying to say that this is violent that justifies the government's violence?
2) "The Skeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, which monitors freedom of the press, ".  Are you kidding me? You cite the most discredited media organization in Lebanon? Skeyes? The one that refuses to include in its definition of the Middl East region all Gulf regimes?  That same organization is your reference? the organization that is aligned with March 14, which controls the government of Lebanon? This is how you gather information?
3) this is another source for HRW: "Nada Andraos, a journalist from LBC TV, a local station. He does not mention that this is the same station that described all poor protesters as thugs and uncivilized and the same Andraos is the one who talked about poor protesters like this: "they don't look like they are activists or students or teachers".
4) The statement does not mention that the security forces guilty of the abuses mentioned (mildly) are controlled by March 14 and their sponsors in SA and USA.
5) the statement did not utter one word about the hate sectarian language of March 14 journalists in Lebanon. Not one word especially that those journalists loudly called on the authorities to use force against them.
6) Notice that the statement mentioned only one organization among all the organizers of protests, and the one mentioned is the most conservative of the bunch.

This is a reporter with LBC-TV, the station founded by Bashir Gemayyel: she is talking about the poor protesters

It is always about social class, stupid.

Did the US violate its own law and international law by tipping of Saudi Arabia?

It seems that the US tipped off the Saudi regime to order the Lebanese Security Services (a militia run by Hariri family and funded by Saudi Arabia and US and is playing a big role in repressing the Lebanese people) to arrest a Saudi dissident (who is accused by Saudi regime of involvement in the Khubar bombing).  Even if he is guilty (and he has not been tried), the US government led to his arrest by a government that beheads.  Is there not an American law against surrounding a wanted man to a government that does not even have a semblance of rule of law, as the recent report by Amnesty International indicated?

US-trained, US-armed, and US-funded Lebanese Security forces uncover terrorist weapons

In an official statement yesterday, Lebanese Security Forces announce with great fanfare (the last word is according to Watt of Arabic origin but he does not provide a convincing etymology) that they captured...firecrackers--I KID YOU NOT--with the protesters and that it was "highly explosive".

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Lebanese police rush to erase the "damage"

Statue of Riad Sulh (so-called founding father of Lebanon). It says: "I am Michel Dik: take it from the hands of Sa`ahah". Michel Dik assassinated Sulh for his role in the execution of Antun Sa`ahah, the founder of SSNP.

Correction: it is Macedonia. Only in Beirut: fixing her lipstick during a protest

Leftist activist, Ayman Muruwwah, was beaten by Lebanese security thugs (US-trained and equipped and funded)

“almost incomprehensible”

"With a staggering four in five Yemenis now in need of immediate humanitarian aid, 1.5 million people displaced and a death toll that has surpassed 4,000 in just five months, a United Nations official told the Security Council Wednesday that the scale of human suffering is “almost incomprehensible”."

a complaint with the New York State Attorney General's office

"Taxpayer dollars in the United States and Israel are subsidizing Jewish terrorism against Arabs, a complaint filed with the New York state Attorney General’s Office alleges."  Personally, I don't think that we should refer to Jewish terrorism or to Muslim terrorism but it is safe to refer to Christian terrorism. You can't compare.  But seriously: instead of referring to Jewish terrorism we should call it: Israeli-inspired terrorism.

US-backed, Saudi-led bombing is helping al-Qaeda to grow in Yemen

"Meanwhile, al-Qaeda continues to grow and take more territory as the US-backed, Saudi-led bombing destroys infrastructure and plunges millions of Yemenis, most of whom already lived in abject poverty before the war began, into further desperation." "Leading human rights organizations maintain the US and other Western allies of Saudi Arabia can be held accountable for war crimes being committed by the coalition." (thanks Amir)

Socio-economic grievances in Beirut

This short video explains what is happening: a guy who admits that he belongs to Hizbollah expresses his socio-economic frustrations and says that he is opposed to all ministers and MPs, even those who belong to Hizbollah.  (thanks Laure)

The cement wall that lasted one day in Beirut

Photographer is Husayn Badyun.

Saudi media is outraged

As if Iraqi or any non-Saudi papers are allowed to publish in Saudi Arabia:
"London-based pan-Arabian newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat has announced the decision to stop publishing its edition in Iraq, after repeated violations by the Asaaib Ahl al-Haq militia, which they say is “close to Iran and to the former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.”

It added that armed militia were breaching the law, and censoring content by ‘deleting or amending articles and the reports in the newspaper’ that criticized Iranian policy in the region. Asharq Al-Awsat said in the most recent incident, the militant group even changed their first page headline." (thanks Basim)

Down with Capital in downtown Beirut

The graffiti says: "Down with Capital: in the middle of Commercial Filth" (the last expression is a corruption of the term "Al-Wasat At-Tijari" or commercial district--it rhymes in Arabic of course).

It has never been clearer: this is the time to study the conduct of Western human rights organizations

You watch them on twitter and read the statements of Western human rights organizations.  Just because they are sympathetic to March 14 in Lebanon (the ruling party) they really are going most soft about the repressive and brutal government. The director of Human Rights Watch office in Beirut even praised the "wisdom" of the Lebanese prime minister (because he removed the Cement walls from the Serail as if he did that on his own volition and not in response to popular pressures).

By the way: to clarify what is written on twitter by some Western correspondents and NGO types about Beirut

It is true that some supporters of Hizbollah are accusing one faction (not all) of the protesters and organizers of ties to an American conspiracy. But it is also true that March 14 supporters, journalists, and officials are also accusing the entire protest movement of being a Hizbollah conspiracy. This Hariri journalist in An-Nahar is quite explicit. Conspiracy theories go both ways, in Lebanon and elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What is happening in Beirut now: what human rights organizations are NOT tweeting about

It is obvious that Saudi ambassador issued orders and the news media of Lebanon stop their live coverage of downtown protests.  Now, I am being told by people there: a massive force of security people are beating people brutally.  

US-trained, US-equipped, US-funded Lebanese Security Forces kick protesters

Watch the videos.

Worse than Israel? Bashshar speaks

Who cares that Bashshar Al-Asad gave an interview.  I have more interest in listening to songs by Barry Manilow than to listen to an interview with Bashshar.  Today, he said that terrorist groups can be "worse than Israel".  Worse than Israel? Is that why your lousy regime does not respond to Israeli aggression and occupation? 

Israel's military offensive on Gaza last summer damaged or destroyed 17 out of 32 hospitals as well as 50 out of 97 primary health centers

"The healthcare crisis been exacerbated by the blockade as well as three devastating wars since 2008. The World Health Organization says there is a chronic shortage of pharmaceutical supplies and medicine in Gaza, with patients in need of tertiary care prevented from traveling from the territory due to the blockade, which Egypt maintains in Gaza's south. Meanwhile, Israel's military offensive on Gaza last summer damaged or destroyed 17 out of 32 hospitals as well as 50 out of 97 primary health centers, according to a UN Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs report last September."

"My office has received new reports of shameful treatment meted out to Arab Americans on their arrival in Israel"

"In the past year Israel has continued to demonstrate that it has no intention of ending their practice of discriminating against persons of Arab descent. My office has received new reports of shameful treatment meted out to Arab Americans on their arrival in Israel. Two cases, in particular, deserve to be noted." "George's case is especially instructive. When the Israeli border control agent told him that he could not enter Israel, George attempted to engage the agent saying, "I'm coming as an American citizen." To which the agent replied "No, no, you belong with the Palestinian people. This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel. You should have gone through the Allenby Bridge." "

White House to Congress: The agreement would make it easier to bomb Iran

"In meetings on Capitol Hill and with influential policy analysts, administration officials argue that inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities under the deal will reveal important details that can be used for better targeting should the U.S. decide to attack Iran."

Oil export from US-controlled Northern Iraq to Turkey & Israel

"Up to three-quarters of the oil supply in Israel was reported from Iraqi Kurdistan, a Financial Times report said Sunday. Between May and August 11, 19 million barrels of oil from Kurdistan were imported by Israel, the equivalent of $1 billion." (thanks Amir)

Mahmoud Abbas prepares for his succession

This is a scandalous leak about how Mahmoud Abbas is preparing to appoint his crooks and thieves (or more of his crooks and thieves) in the PLO.

another example of how Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are mere arms of US foreign policies

Notice the lawyerly and mild language used by Western human rights organizations to the repression in Beirut.

Why there is scant references to Lebanon in Western press

Compare the feverish coverage of the sectarian Hariri protests in 2005.  There is little coverage of Lebanon's protests in Western media. Reason? Simple.  It is a government which is supported by US and Saudi regime, and its repressive security forces are trained, equipped, and funded largely by US/EU, and Saudi regime.  Furthermore, the corrupt class in Lebanon is what US media calls "pro-US".  Notice that in articles in WP and NYT there isn't a reference to the simple fact that the prime minister and Minister of Interior and Minister of Environment are all part of what Western media calls "pro-democracy March 14."

Hugh Naylor does NOT believe that Lebanon was ever occupied by Israel: he explains

"One of the slogans that Nabolsi tagged read, “Lebanon was occupied by Israel, and now it’s occupied by its own leaders.” That was a reference to years of Israeli military control over parts of Lebanon. It ended in 2000."

Protesters scrawled "thief" on Hariri picture in downtown Beirut

That lousy Hamas movement

Hamas movement in Gaza removed the name of Ghassan Kanafani from one of its school. When Ghassan Kanafani and his comrades were working for the liberation of Palestine, Hamas founders were at the feet of Gulf and Jordan monarchs.

US Department of state spokesperson

Like I had predicted, the US Department of State spokesperson urged "restraint" in Lebanon but he did not specify who he was directing his call to.  He of course expressed his government support for the corrupt and violent government of Tammam Salam.  

Hariri and Hizbullah

the statement by Hizbollah and Hariri movement yesterday was despicable: it basically reiterated the right of the state to repress its citizens.

Saudi and Hariri media in a state of panic

Marching orders have been issued. All Saudi and Hariri media today are claiming that all the protesters in Beirut are "rioters" and "anarchists" who are sent by Hizbollah. Hizbollah in reality is as far from the protests as far as I am from Mars.  Sectarian agitation in those media is in full force: sectarianism is the first and last refuge of Harirism.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The look of my blog

I was just looking at it: wow. It does look so antiquated belonging to the look of blogs from another century.

wait: I could swear that Western governments and media insisted for a few years that rebels don't have chemical weapons?

A "presumptive field test" gave American military officials a "preliminary conclusion" about their foe, but "further analysis is needed to possibly determine the source of the chemical weapon." (thanks Regan)

at the height of the protests in Beirut

March 14 figures found time to honor the US ambassador in Lebanon.