Friday, March 16, 2018

This is the most normal and casual endorsement of war crimes that I have ever seen: Elliott Abrams on Israeli-Lebanese war. Can you imagine if an Arab were to write this about Israel and its civilians?

This is the most cruel and callous endorsement of Israeli war crimes that I have seen. He basically is saying that US need to devise methods to pull out Americans from Lebanon in the case of war with Israel because Israel is planning an all-out war against Lebanon's civilians and its infra structure. Read the last book by the man on Realism and Democracy: he devotes the book to the subject of democracy in US foreign policy only to admit that in fact the administration he served never bothered ever with democracy and that the Bush administration only mentioned and in passing one issue with Saudi Arabia: the Western Christians in the Kingdom and their right to worship. That was it.  

What is Muhammad bin Salman up to?

There is so much Western and Israeli investment in Muhammad bin Salman that if he falls a lot in Western policies and wars will fall with him--at least in part. Of course, nobody is more opportunistic than Western governments and Israel: just as US abandoned so swiftly Muhammad bin Nayif, its loyal servant for many decades, they will abandon quickly this MbS if he falls.  The story about him placing his own mother under house arrest is big.  It shows that a man is willing to violate not only the standard conventional thinking and policies and orientations of the Saudi regime, but even the common traditions and social norms of society in Arabia.  The fact that he can't trust his own mother because he fears that she may advance the fortunes of her other sons, tells you that he is most insecure.  He has dealt with his insecurity in two ways: 1) by relying on US and Western support no matter what he does as long as he serves Israeli interests and Western economic interests; 2) by being ruthless inside the kingdom and against his own royal family.  The story just now that the members of the "Saud Al-Kabir" within the royal family indicates that there is at least a sign of deep dissatisfaction.  And as Mujtahid observed: this branch is known for ruthlessness.  The National Guard was built and cultivated by King Abdullah and later his son. I can't see that all of them would swiftly switch allegiance.  I can't see how MbS could sustain his method of rule.  It is based too much on external support, fear and little by way of domestic support.  The promise of theatre and sleazy "art" from Lebanon is not enough to make people forget the oppression they suffer under and the bad economic situation of the Kingdom.  The grand promises of MbS will follow the dictates of the law of diminishing returns.  Every season he will fail to deliver and then he will decree bonuses to employees or new subsidies.  How long will that last.  He could have easily established a much more secure rule if he is not too paranoid and if he was a bit more deferential to the norms of the family.  Not a pretty picture coming out--for him and for those banking on him.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

There is a new Syrian rebel group: Guardians of Religion and it is loyal to Al-Qai`dah

Add another name to the long list of Syrian rebel groups: there is a group called Hurras Ad-Din (Guardians of Religion) which split off from Hay'at Tahrir Ash-Sham. The new group insists on allegiance to Al-Qa`idah.  Wait a few days and Liz Sly, the worst foreign correspondent who ever worked in the Middle East, will declare the new group to be feminist and democratic. 

I am not making this up: AUB president honors...AUB president

This is really a first. He must have gotten the idea from Saudi monarchs.

UN "reports" on casualties in Syria

I see the lousy Western correspondents in Beirut throwing in their reports estimates of casualties in Syria and attributing them to "UN".  But correct me if I am wrong: did the UN not early on in the Syrian war announce officially that it won't be providing estimates of casualties in Syria because of the difficulty of counting?  The UN abandoned the effort and yet there are reports attributing estimates to the "UN".  Which is another way of providing legitimacy and credibility to the estimates provided daily by Rami Abdul-Rahman from his home in the UK: don't laugh. On a clear day, you really can see Syria from UK, all stereotypes about foggy UK notwithstanding.  

This is exactly what Human Rights Watch mean by "human rights": a celebration of Western capitalism and its invasions

No, it’s not an IPO for ! We are ringing the opening bell today for our 40th anniversary+to celebrate worldwide! At Human Rights Watch we know business prospers where human rights & the rule of law are protected. Join us!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Saudi and UAE media are celebrating the firing of Tillerson

King `Abdul-`Aziz and his special envoy to Hitler

I posted the video a few days ago and now we have confirmation that the Arab in the video being met by Hitler in the Berghof is none other than (the Libyan) envoy of King Abdul-`Aziz, Khalid Al-Hud Al-Qarqani. Here is the background about him and his mission to Hitler.

Monday, March 12, 2018


The same Democrats who are faulting Melania for putting up with her husband are the same people who defended Hillary for putting up with her husband.

Foreign intervention in local elections around the world

To be honest with you, no foreign intervention in a local election can impress me after reading (years ago) Ropes of Sand: America's Failure in the Middle East, Wilbur Eveland.  Read this book and see what the US did to win an election in...Lebanon of all places.  If I don't hear about briefcases full of cash, I dont call it a real intervention in an election.

The late Saba Mahmood (I still can't believe that she died).

By "independent" the Wall Street Journal means "UAE-funded".

"independent Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington".

The story of Malala: how verifiable is the tale about her?

Of course, you are not supposed to question any story or narrative or tale spun by Western governments. It is against the rules and ethics, I know. But: to what extent the story about her is true? If it is not true, I don't think that it was her fault as it was the Western governments and media that wanted that story to be true in order to justify films, books, documentaries, Nobel, and various Western government official statements and photo opportunities.  Was she really targeted when she was 14 or 15 by the Taliban because of her educational advocacy?  Why is it not mentioned that she and two other girls were shot by an unknown gunman when they were boarding a school bus? Why not mention that two other girls were also injured? Why did the story become an assassination against one girl only? And why did the story in Western media later change? From an unknown gunman to a story of the gunman boarding the school bus and asking for her personally (before he proceeded to shoot at not one but three girls).  And there was a letter by a Pakistani Taliban but he claimed educational advocacy was not a reason but her defamation of the Taliban.  This happened after the story because big.  Also, under pressure from Western governments, the Pakistan government arrested 10 people but later released them and conceded that there was no evidence to their involvement.  If this story was one which served regimes opposed to the US, all Western media would be assigning investigating units to look into the story but this won't happen in this story.  Yesterday, I read that she said that people in developing countries consider the West to the "the ideal".  When she says something like that you realized: if Malala did not exist, she had to be invented.  How could you after this question the tale about Malala?  Again, I am not ruling one way or another but the story should be looked into.

PS I may have been misunderstood as I heard from a loyal reader: no, I did not in any question whether she was shot. Of course, she was shot. That can't be disputed. I said that she was shot but along with two other girls on the bus. 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

I need help: does anyone recognize the Arab leader being received by Hilter in his Berghof here?

Most likely, Shaykh Yusuf Yasin, advisor to King Abdul-`Aziz of Saudi Arabia.  No, not Yasin. Possibly another advisor, Hafiz Wahbah, but the latter wore glasses.  No, it was yet another advisor, Khalid Al-Hud. 

The stupid Washington Post actually maintains that every singe woman in North Korea is a victim of sexual assault. The evidence? See below

“based on testimony from more than 40 women who have escaped from North Korea.” And US media has the audacity of mocking the media of Russia and China?

Saba Mahmood is dead.

I was very sad to wake up to the most unpleasant news of the passing of Saba Mahmood. She was a very influential scholar in the field of anthropology, Gender and Middle East studies, and a very nice person to know and talk to. I first met Saba in Beirut, not in Berkeley. She emailed me and suggested that we meet there during one of her trips to Lebanon. And we met at a cafe in downtown Beirut. We stayed in touch then in Berkeley and she once cooked a great (southern Indian) meal for me (she was an excellent scholar and a great cook) at their home in Richmond. Her book, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, is in my opinion one of the most original books on gender and the Middle East in many years. Her book had a great influence on how I thought and taught issues of gender and Islam. I saw how loved she was by her students at UC, Berkeley, where she had a loyal following. It was fitting that her last post dealt with BDS. Our last communication--as typical of the age of social media--was on Facebook. Our last conversation was about the problematic views and stances of Syrian poet, Adonis. My sincere condolences to Charles, her family, friends, and all her students out there.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Russian propaganda

I can see why the US is really furious about Russian propaganda.  Russian propaganda has become much better since the days of the USSR.  One of the biggest imbalances in the Cold War was that the US was far better and more effective in propaganda than USSR, which was lousy in that field. The US today is dealing with an adversary who is much better at propaganda.  And US propaganda is not what it used to be: it sells much less and the decline of the US TV and radio propaganda broadcast (and the shutting down of Sawa Radio) are recent manifestations.  The US was really effective in propaganda in the Cold War.

Hizbullah and social justice

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Hizbullah and the Elections: Resistance and Social Justice".

Thursday, March 08, 2018

UN Panels explains that US bombing of civilians in Syria--unlike Russian bombing--cant be said to be war crimes

"The international coalition had also inflicted countless civilian casualties in daily airstrikes on Islamic State fighters in the city of Raqqa, launching attacks even though the militants were using civilians as human shields, the panel said."

UN Panel explains why when US killed 150-200 civilians in a school in Raqqa it was not a war crime

"The coalition attack did not amount to a war crime because it had no intent of hitting a civilian target".  Let me translate UN lingo: we were afraid that US would punish us with cut off of funding.

Fanatical Buddhist Monks really have good press in the West: and you never have articles: what is wrong with Buddhism?

"extremist Buddhist monks who have incited communal violence in the past"

What is happening to pro-Palestine activism in UK?

See this.

Look at this segment on Aljazeera: they award flowers on International Woman's Day but they skip the dark-skinned woman in the corner

Click here

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Israeli role in the Syrian war

My interview on the Israeli role in the Syrian war with the Realnews.

U.S. military and Hollywood: so nice

"The Defense Department has a long-standing relationship with Hollywood." "There will always be large-scale scripted projects, like the recent “12 Strong,” “The Long Road Home” and “15:17 to Paris,” or TV shows like “NCIS” and “Hawaii 5-0.” But there are also a lot of unscripted projects that require DoD attention, such as documentaries on the History and Discovery channels; game shows like “Jeopardy” and “The Price is Right” that often have military-themed episodes; and talk shows like Ellen, Steve Harvey and Conan."

The world's forgotten humanitarian crisis

"The UK has used standard arms licences to approve more than $6.4bn in arms to Saudi Arabia since the start of the war in Yemen in 2015, including advanced jets and munitions." "The conflict in Yemen killed more than 10,000 people - many of whom were civilians who died in Saudi-led coalition air strikes. Millions more civilians face starvation and disease in a humanitarian crisis aid agencies say has largely been ignored by world powers."

Hollywood and the Pentagon: this is real

It’s Sunday and did you know the works with to ensure the is correctly portrayed in films? Find out how these partnerships work: . Be sure to follow our coverage over on !