Wednesday, April 30, 2014


"The agency brought in retired operatives to teach courses in basic espionage and combine the disparate NDS elements into a coherent structure. The CIA secretly turned some of its better students into informants on the agency payroll, former officials said."

America is proud

The US welcomes a torturer.

For the first time in three years, the New York Times concedes that Bashshar Al-Asad--whether you like it or not--has some support among the Syrian population

"although many Syrians have stuck by him, seeing him as a symbol of the nation or fearing that an opposition victory could lead to Islamist rule."  But wait: I thought that I read in the Times that he was only able to stay in power because Hizbullah sent its fighters to Syria? I am confused now, but not dazed.

Ben Hubbard justifies shutting off electricity for civilians in Syria

"Rebels who took over the power station that supplies the city shut off the electricity to government-held neighborhoods 10 days ago to protest continued government attacks".  I really really really believe that Free Syrian Army should be paying stipends for the extra work that Western correspondents in Beirut are doing for their case, don't you think?

This is a brilliant theory about why the Syrian rebels are predominantly sectarian: from the Carnegie Endowment of International War

"and sectarian manipulation by the regime".  I don't mean to bother you but can you explain further how that manipulation occurred? Like Nusrah, ISIS, and FSA and even the Qatari and Saudi branches of the exile opposition were all staunch secularists but then the regime manipulated them and they suddenly started spouting sectarian venom?  How does that work, if you care to explain to me?

The Druzes of Syria are about to turn against Bashshar

For the last three years, I have been reading this: that the Druzes of Syria (who have predominantly stuck with the regime) are about to turn against Bashshar. It got old, don't you think?

Capitalist police forces

""Not content with mere security guards, FedEx has created its own private police force.
The 10 officers don't wear uniforms, but they can carry guns and have full law enforcement powers to protect the world's largest cargo airline from terrorism or other threats.
"They primarily function in sort of a detective mode," said Kristin Krause, spokeswoman for the Memphis-based package delivery company. "They also have a heavy concentration on executive security.""" (thanks Krim)

What is terrorism for Israel? Feeding multritioned babies in Gaza

"But during decade-long audits of the group, the Canada Revenue Agency alleged that Ard El Insan, the Gaza-based charity that received much of the aid money, dealt with a food importer accused by Israel of providing funding to terrorist groups. Ard El Insan recently partnered with the Save the Children Foundation to combat malnutrition in babies."

attacks on Mosques and churches in the Zionist usurping entity

"MK Ahmed Tibi (Raam-Ta'al) told Israel Hayom, "This is an anti-Semitic crime and incompetence on the government's part. This is a wave of anti-Semitism carried out by extremist Jewish hooligans against mosques and churches. It is obvious that these anti-Semites are operating with no fear that they will be caught or fairly punished. Continued incompetence from the authorities and the government will lead to a response and the [creation of] local organizations to protect mosques and property in Arab villages." " (thanks Amir)

It is official: after mere weeks of sanctions, the Russian economy is--you guessed it--in shambles

From Akos: "BTW, the BBC now reports that according to the IMF the Russian economy is already in a recession, a mere few weeks after the EUSA sanctions. I have noticed you regularly mock these kind of news items, rightly so."

Prince Versus Prince in Saudi Arabia

Saudi media published a story that Prince Muqrin expressed thanks to Prince Talal for sending congratulations on his acclamation as second Crown Prince.  But Prince Talal said that he never really congratulated the prince.

Amal Alamuddin and Bahrain tyranny

"Alamuddin is no longer a legal adviser to Bahrain's king, but she co-authored a book arguing for an Arab Court for Human Rights, which will be based in Bahrain — a move that is certainly eyebrow-raising, given the country's human rights record.

According to pro-government newspaper Gulf Daily News, Alamuddin was part of a training program in Bahrain to "help professionals in Bahrain's judicial system achieve international standards in human rights law."

Those are the very same courts that have yet to offer concrete justice for victims of human rights abuses. According to a Human Rights Watch report released in 2012, entitled "No Justice in Bahrain," "grossly unfair military and civilian trials have been a core element in Bahrain’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests.""

A Christian militia beheads a Muslim Man in CAR: how come this beheading is not front page news?

"Christian militiamen decapitated a young Muslim man in the capital, Bangui,".  I realized that beheading is not a big news story if the victim is a Muslim.  I remember when Zarqawi resorted to such heinous methods how many commentators wrote about: what is it about Islam that permits beheading?  So let me ask: what is it about Christianity that allows beheading?

Look at this grotesque headline in the New York Times: justifications of indiscriminate shelling and car bombs by Syrian rebels

"Pro-Assad Areas Are Attacked in Syria".   Pro-Asad areas?  This is as outrageous as to headline barrel bombing as: "Pro-Jihadi Areas are Attacked in Syria".  Would the New York Times editor allow such a headline when the bombing is by the government?

"Elections" in Syria

I can understand that Lebanese would mock the presidential "elections" in Syria but to see parrots and propagandists of the Saudi regime mock that "election" is quite funny.  I guess they prefer the perfect electoral system in the Saudi Kingdom

300 dead and injured from Syrian rebel bombs: that won't be covered for sure

Yesterday, the Syrian rebels shelled Damascus indiscriminately and killed and injured scores of people. Rebels in Homs resorted to their favorite weapon of car bombs and killed and injured scores of people.  Western media only report war crimes by the rebels while I try to report the unreported war crimes by the rebels. The Syria story should be about war crimes by both sides.

and now for some hard news from the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law, Al-Arabiyya

"Jihad Khazen, a veteran Arab columnist and former editor in chief of Al-Hayat, met Bariaa more than three decades ago. Khazen describes her to Al-Arabiya News as a “Roman goddess”, speaking of unmatched beauty during her youth that dazzled many in the Middle East ... " (thanks Basim)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 is hacked: you may visit

the site is hacked for some reason, but this site ( is working.

Anyone knows anything about this group of hackers and their political stances?  They proudly announce hacking of my site on their page.

Is my blog hacked outside of the US?

I am told by some readers overseas that my site seems to be hacked outside the US. 

Western correspondents in Beirut: what they don't cover

There has to be a special award for the Western correspondents in Beirut--especially the correspondents of the New York Times and the Washington Post. There are so many things going on in Lebanon: 1) the rising culture of awareness about domestic violence, and victims of domestic violence are now coming forward to speak out against their husbands; 2) there is a rising union movements in Lebanon and they are tackling the inequities of the Lebanese economic system and not one article on that.  They are busy cover militia thug leaders of the Syrian "revolution".

Liz Sly in military fatique: another Syrian militia man is--yet again--found to be the real savior of the Syrian "revolution": and what Liz Sly does not tell you about Hazm Movement

I am accustomed to Liz Sly's pure crude and blatant propaganda on behalf of the Syrian rebel groups in the Washington Post and on Twitter but this by far is the worst piece I have seen (or the best if you have that militia that she is promoting).  Only recently David Ignatius told us that Jamal Ma`ruf is the real savior of the "revolution" and now a new name and a new organization. For a start, it would be nice if Liz Sly knows Arabic so that she won't translate the very name of the militia:  " Harakat Hazm — or Movement of Steadfastnes".  Hazm is not steadfastness (which is Sumud in Arabic) but it means either determination or firmness or resolve.  This for a starter.  Then she wants the readers to say that he is a democrat because he says so: "His resolutely on-message proclamations of support for democracy match the views that the United States has said it wishes more Syrian rebel fighters would embrace.   “I want a democratic state that rules over all Syria with equality and freedom for all citizens, free of fascism and dictatorship,” he said in an interview."  But nowhere in the propaganda piece does she mention that the group is formed of units and battalions that are not secular in the least.  As I was about to post this, "Mantiq Al-Tayr" sent me this about the same piece:  "It’s nothing but a PR campaign for this organization.  On the link above is a link to their sort of coming out statement on youtube.   The very opening lines of the statement are from Quran 9:36 - a verse often quoted by al-Qa’ida types and which makes it clear that they are engaged in a sectarian campaign.  The verse is deliberately mistranslated and you can see as soon as you click on the video.  The video link is here:So this group is said to have broken off from that of Jamaal Ma’rouf. "

PS Notice in the video of the `Azm Movement there is none other than the old-new Gen. Doctor Engineer Lawyer, Salim Idriss, with the hair dyed fresh.

one in 25

"One in 25 criminal defendants who has been handed a death sentence in the United States has likely been erroneously convicted."

inequality in the US

""Here in the United States, our high level of income inequality corresponds with 883, 914 unnecessary deaths each year.""

David Burke dead

I dealt with David Burke when he was vice-president of ABC News at the time of Peter Jennings.  He was a very decent and kind man in my dealing with him.

Antoine Lahd of Syria?

Western correspondents in Beirut have not covered this yet: there is an Israeli militia (at least one) now operating as a rebel group.

These are the hope of Western civilization in the Ukraine

"The mayor of the east Ukraine city of Kharkiv, who was critically wounded after being shot in the back by an unknown assailant, has been flown to Israel for treatment, local officials and the Israeli hospital treating him said Tuesday.

The mayor is a colourful character, who has a criminal record for theft and fraud and is not known for tolerating dissent. He is under investigation on accusations of kidnapping and torture but has clung onto his post in Kharkiv, an industrial hub of 1.4 million people not far from the border with Russia." (thanks Basim)

Sisi rulings

Sisi wants to kill people he had already killed. (thanks Yusuf)

Privileges of the White Man

"They said he started swearing and talking about “non-educated Muslims”, then flashed his middle finger at Pakistani passengers. Police said he also exposed his behind."

Saudi Arabia criticises Norway over human rights record

"Saudi Arabia has criticised Norway's human rights record, accusing the country of failing to protect its Muslim citizens and not doing enough to counter criticism of the prophet Mohammed." (thanks Lincoln)

companies for the exportation of democracy

""For over a decade, the State Department gave 69% of its funding for Afghanistan to a single company—a company with a particularly checkered history. DynCorp, one of the largest corporations working in the government's army of private contractors, has long been known for corruption scandals and a questionable performance record.""

human zoos for Western spectators

""There were several human zoos or "colonial exhibitions" in Belgium, Germany, France, the US and other western countries at the time, exhibiting Africans and other non-western peoples. These helped to convince the European public opinion of the necessity of colonisation. Exhibiting Africans as animals, uncivilised, primitive and animistic made it seem justifiable to colonise them. It was also a source of entertainment for the European of the time to see how "backward" Africans were.""

And they call it "peace process"

""Israel increased settlement work four-fold during the latest round of peace talks, pushing forward with construction of nearly 14,000 new homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, a watchdog group said Tuesday.""

Israel demolishes mosque, among other buildings

""Israeli forces demolished several structures, including a mosque, in a Palestinian village on Tuesday, the day a deadline for a deal in now-frozen peace talks expired." "Other razed buildings included three one-storey family houses, animal shelters and a communal well. Locals said around 30 people were made homeless."" (thanks Amir)

Saudi-Qatari conflict and Arab media

`Abdul-Bari `Atwan, former editor-in-chief of Qatari-funded Al-Quds Al-`Arabi, speaks about the impact of the Qatari-Saudi feud on Arab media.

The Saudi King has another honorary degree: this time in political science

Sultan in Pakistan sent me this from the print edition of a newspaper: "On the occaison, an honorary degree in Politics and International Relations was awarded to Custodian of Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia.  A special representative of the King, Dr. Sulaiman Ibn Abdullah Aba Al-Khail, received the degreee.

9th Convocation of IIU Islamabad Held, p25, News and Views, Higher Education Commission, Pakistan March 2014."

Blog delays: weclome Angry Kitten

There has been delays in blogging.  Michele and I added this kitten to our life. Her name is Bailey.  She is seen munching on my toes and fingers as I was trying to tell her that I needed to blog.

The military balance of the Middle East is altered forever

The US government supplied the Lebanese Army with "personal revolvers".  Kid you not. This should guarantee the protection of Lebanon against Israeli aggression.  The Middle East will never be the same.

Daughters of the Saudi King

Have you all noticed? While the British press published stories about the incarceration of the daughters of the Saudi king and published interviewed with them and their mother, not a single American paper published accounts about them. Not one to my knowledge. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Amal Alamuddin: what the Arab and Western media did not report, that she was an advisor on human rights to the Bahraini tyrant

Ms. Alamuddin served as an adviser on human rights to the Bahraini tyrant, an adviser to the head of the Hariri investigation team, and as a member of the prosecuting team of the Hariri International Tribunal

Israel's top-secret chemical and biological weapons laboratories at Ness Ziona

"After the war, Klingberg emigrated to Israel where he became a high-ranking military officer, and a deputy scientific director of Israel's top-secret chemical and biological weapons laboratories at Ness Ziona, 12 miles from Tel Aviv." "It is well known that Ness Ziona was one of the leading experimental weapons laboratories in the west. Ness Ziona scientists have published papers over the years revealing research into nerve gases, such as tabun, sarin and VX, and incapacitating agents and psychotropic drugs, such as LSD. Researchers also studied how insects could transmit plague, typhus and rabies" "I also knew about the [Israeli] co-operation with foreign institutes in the western world – the Netherlands, the United States and the United Kingdom," wrote Klingberg." (thanks Talal)

Cleansing of Muslims has been successful

"Peacekeeping troops escorted around 1,300 Muslims out of Bangui on Sunday, triggering looting and removing one of the last pockets of Muslims from the capital of a nation torn apart by religious violence." (thanks Amir)

Presidential elections in Syria

Regarding this sudden permission for candidates to oppose Bashshar: does that mean that since 1970, there has not been one qualified Syrian who could run for the presidency but that the regime has just stumbled on qualified candidates?  Of course, I will be at the edge of my seat on election night watching the results with great anticipation.  Finally, the SSNP in Syria is supporting Bashshar: does that mean that the SSNP is acknowledging that they have not one single qualified candidate and for that they are relying on the Ba`thist candidate?

Comrade Glenn and Comrade Electronic Ali

"So much ink has been spilled on Israel and Palestine that at times it seems impossible to encounter anything new or stimulating, but the arguments Abunimah assembles here are so thoughtful and forceful, and placed within a comprehensive, long-cultivated coherent perspective, that it’s almost impossible to read it without thinking about all sorts of old questions in new ways. That this outlook is so rarely heard in Western establishment media circles makes it all the more valuable."

If the CIA handlers liked him, he must be quite good

"Mr. Abdullah was one of Mr. Massoud’s few confidantes who could speak English, and had a close relationship with the alliance’s C.I.A. handlers at the time."

Other than that, every other word in the New York Times article is accurate and verifiable

"Correction: April 26, 2014 

An earlier version of this article misstated Abdullah Abdullah’s ethnic background and the ethnicity of his father. Mr. Abdullah  is part Pashtun; it is not the case that he is “non-Pashtun,” and his father was Pashtun, not Tajik. The article also referred incorrectly to Afghanistan’s political history. It has had several non-Pashtun leaders in the last three centuries; it is not the case that there have been none during that time. And the article misstated the turnout in this year’s presidential election compared with the turnout in 2009. It was about 50 percent higher this year, not “nearly double.”"

Thomas Friedman has insights on Ukraine

"But it won’t be easy. Ukraine is a complicated place."  Basically, it takes Thomas Friedman the duration of a flight to a country to become an expert on that country.  How lucky we are to have him.  Tell me, Thomas.  is China complicated? And how much study did you do before reaching this really important conclusion about the Ukraine?  I always tell my students that a place is complicated if you don't understand it and if you have not actually study it.

Mahmoud Abbas and the most heinous crime

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English: "Mahmoud Abbas and the most heinous crime".

sexism in the New York Times

Why "refreshingly"???  "Refreshingly, Warren rarely dwells on her gender "

accomplishments of the Saudi King

"Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, who ascended the throne in August 2005, has played a remarkable role in taking the Kingdom into the elite club of world nations. King Abdullah has been instrumental in enabling the Kingdom to record marvelous and magnificent achievements in all walks of life. King Abdullah has spearheaded an unstoppable march of development and reforms with a human face. One can see every day something new that could be recorded in his achievements. In the glorious years of his rule, the King’s top concern is the welfare and well-being of his people." (thanks Basim)

Innocent European monitors

Don't get me wrong. I fully trust US and European governments and their declarations and claims.  I know that those governments would never lie and would never ever engage in espionage in other countries. That just does not happen. Only Russia spies.  But may I ask you about those monitors? What are they doing there and what is their mission exactly? What are they monitoring?  "The detained men are military officers who also were here under OSCE auspices, but under a separate mission from the civilian observers....It was not clear why the monitors, who were in military uniform but unarmed, decided to try to enter Slovyansk on Friday. The city, which has been known for weeks as a hotbed of separatist sentiment, was especially tense after a deadly Ukrainian military assault on several separatist checkpoints just a day earlier. "

The liberal democratic Senator, Schumer, argues that discrimination is OK if the victims of discrimination constitute a small group: I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP

"“Even if there is a concern that a small segment of a group will violate their visas, this is no reason to have a policy of presumptively denying visas for an entire group of foreign nationals from one of our most important allies and global partners in the world,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote to Secretary of State John F. Kerry this month. "

gays in Syria: Is Human Rights Watch fabricating? And Washington Post reporting?

Where on earth did Human Rights Watch and the Washington Post get this information from:  "Of course, the war did not bring homophobia to Syria. Gay men there have long been the target of “honor killings,” as they are considered a disgrace to their families. Others have been imprisoned on the basis of Article 520 of the country’s 1949 penal code, which calls for a three-year sentence for “carnal knowledge against the order of nature.” "  And while there are laws on the books, does Human Rights Watch have any information on whether people have been prosecuted under this law (which should certainly be abolished)?  I know that Human Rights Watch got generous funding to study the plight of gays in the Arab world, but how credible are your reports when you report about "honor killings" when that word does NOT EVEN APPLY IN ARABIC TO CASES OF GAY MEN.

PS Also in reporting about imprisonment, is the report talking about the wholesale imprisonment that the Syrian regime imposes or is it claiming that people are being imprisoned for sexual orientation?

PPS When the report talks about gays "have long been the target of "honor killings" ", how long is long? And is there one case reported as such?

Hariri family accepted as a member of the Liberational International

This lousy organization (that you have not heard of) has accepted the Hariri family's political organization as a member.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Jordanian "lawmakers": is that reference not funny in itself?

" But the law has drawn broad support from Jordanian lawmakers".  So basically, the Washington Post would like to tell you that the crackdown and repression by the king is really nice and dandy because the royally selected and/or controlled members of parliament (which is as much a parliament as much as the Syrian parliament is a parliament) approve of the crackdown. OK.

"Pentagon says Russia has violated Ukraine’s airspace multiple times in last 24 hours": how nice of the Pentagon to notice

I wish the Pentagon would care to comment on the daily violation of Lebanon's airspace by the Israeli enemy.

Sisi's Islam

"Last month, for example, state television cameras followed Mr. Sisi to a military installation for a Friday Prayer service led by Sheikh Ali Gomaa, a former mufti and a close Sisi ally. During the broadcast, Sheikh Gomaa referred indirectly but unmistakably to Mr. Sisi’s Islamist opponents as a “faction of hypocrites” who were “plotting schemes against the Muslims.” He lauded the soldiers and police officers who fought such “terrorists.”

“Blessed are those who kill them, as well as those whom they kill,” Sheikh Gomaa declared. The cameras caught Mr. Sisi listening attentively."

Typically: in every UN report on Syria, violations and war crimes by Syrian rebels are always placed at the end and always in passing (and with tons of qualifications)

"The report singles out extremist groups fighting the government, in particular the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which was blockading a town called Ar Raqqah. The United Nations said it also received unconfirmed reports of attacks on homes and churches after a strike on Latakia, on the Turkey-Syria border, by the Nusra Front, another extremist group."

Repression in Gulf countries

US media basically ignores repression in the Gulf unless courts rule against Americans or Europeans.  As for the natives? The rulers can behead them for all they care.

American covert operations can bring peace to your country

"In Kenya, the Yes Youth Can service started shortly after the disputed 2007 presidential election, which left more than 1,500 people dead after gangs of unemployed youth linked to losing parties attacked voters.

The service allowed young people to send messages and use other tools to organize into youth associations that helped them register to vote and encouraged them to participate in the political process. American officials credit the project with helping to pave the way for Kenya’s more peaceful 2013 presidential election."  And of course a Harvard professor agrees: "Archon Fung, a professor at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, who has researched the role of social media in public participation, said tools like the ones used in Pakistan and Kenya could be valuable to American diplomacy — up to a point."

So Mahmoud Abbas now speaks for Hamas, and Netanyahu speaks for Abbas: woe to the Palestinian people

" "The upcoming government will obey my policy," Abbas told the PLO council. "I recognize Israel and reject violence and terrorism, and recognize international commitments." "

anti-Shi`ite alliance

""Last week's declaration by a group called the Anti-Shia National Alliance in Bandung could be a precondition for violence. The persecution of Shia in Indonesia has escalated over the past few years; several homes belonging to Shias in Sampang, Madura in East Java were burned and they have been forced to take refuge until today."" (thanks Amir)

Lebanese poliical elite

""Families like the Gemayel, Hariri and Berri have no need to demonstrate that they are part of Lebanon. Instead, they assume that the country belongs to them.""

the world’s first ever “Anti Shia Alliance” convention

"Last week, the world’s first ever “Anti Shia Alliance” convention was held in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. The event was attended by thousands of participants, who called for “jihad” against Shia Muslims.  The convention resulted in an “Anti Shia Declaration” which reads as follows:" (thanks Basim)

And now the Syrian Ikhwan representative of the Syrian Natioanl Council in the US steers US foreign policy

"“I think a lot can be done vis-a-vis the Russians,” he said. “We see an opportunity in telling our friends that, 'Hey, you could get back at Putin in Syria.'" Why is it that Arabs who are subservient to the US feel that they in fact can steer US foreign policy? When did that happen?

March 14 democracy rhetoric of democracy

This is a letter from Marwan Hamadi (a figure from March 14 leadership in Lebanon) to the Saudi king on the anniversary of his Bay`ah: "I present to your majesty hearty congratulations and blessings, and the most sublime of sentiments of appreciation on the ninth anniversary of your receiving acclamation as king over the hearts of the Saudi people; leader toward reform, modernization, progress, and prosperity.  A few years full of accomplishments at the level of the kingdom from the development and social point of view, as well as the Arab and Islamic levels.  The kingdom has become due to your wise and well-guided leadership one of the most prominent players in international politics.  And in the whole nine years, you have not forgotten about the Lebanon and its people who are loving of the kingdom, its leadership, and people, and your white prints have become a firm headline in the memory of the Lebanese people and their hearts." Verbatim.  Things like that made me the Angry Arab that I am.

From the slogans of the Syrian "revolution"

I am told that this picture was taken in the countryside of Idlib.  It says: "Let us dismember them with booby traps and belts; let us grill their skins with grenades; let us suffocate them with silencers; we have brought slaughter to you, o `Alawites".

methods of documentation: New York Times and People magazine

"A source with knowledge of the situation confirms Clooney popped the question".  I asked my self: is this method of documentation and substantiation any different from sourcing in the Syria coverage of the New York Times and the Washington Post?

Arab royal military figures

  I think that Anwar Sadat, Mustafa Tlas, and King Khusayn of Jordan started this trend: that military uniforms, medals and ribbons are the only measure of one's military accomplishment.  (This is Khalid bin Sultan bin Bribes).

on his knees

Look at this picture.  The man to the left at the feet of the Saudi king is `Adil Al-Jubayr, Saudi ambassador to Washington, and my colleague at Georgetown (he did not complete his degrees).  He went on to other things in life, like guiding Saudi princes during their visits to the US.  He went on to serve as the official interpreter of the Saudi King and amassed a fortune from what I hear.  I, on the other hand, never amassed a fortune but I never had to sit at anyone's feet.  Both of us were in the same classes and had to make choices in life courses.  I never regret my choice. That is for sure. Looking at the picture confirms my choice.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Ms. Anne Barnard and her inside story about `Alawites

I forgot to add this yesterday to my comment about the story by Anne Barnard about an impending uprising by Alawites against Bashsar (presumably to join the cause of organizations that publicly called for their extermination).  She has solid sources here: "Current and former American officials say that at least three people from the heart of the Syrian system — senior Alawite officials or their relatives."  How could this pass anyone who took an introductory class in journalism. But wait: I said yesterday that she only cited one "prominent Alawite" (an analyst with Carnegie Endowment for International War). She cited fwo `Alawites by name in fact. Here is the second `Alawite cited: "Frederic C. Hof, who handled Syria policy for the Obama administration until 2012, said another Alawite central to the state apparatus had described to him the “misery” of a community...."  I swear. Ms. Barnard has earned the right to receive the Nicholas Blanford-Robert Fisk award for foreign correspondents in the Middle East.

Hariri tribunal and Lebanese media

This story is of no concern to the Committee to Protect (Some) Journalists.  Hariri tribunal oversteps the Lebanese constitution and intends to punish journalists for publishing what they received from sources inside the court itself.

An American nightmare

"Piketty wouldn’t raise taxes on income, which thriving professionals have a lot of; he would tax investment capital, which they don’t have enough of. Think of what would happen to the Manhattan or Bay Area real estate markets if the financiers had to sell their stray apartments in order to get liquid assets to pay the tax bill. Think of how much more affordable fine art would be. Think of how much more equal the upper class would be."

a cute dictator child

I don't care if he grew up to be a dictator, but the North Korean dictator was one cute child.

Tony Blair theorizes on democracy in the Middle East

"'Elsewhere across the region we should be standing steadfast by our friends and allies as they try to change their own countries in the direction of reform. Whether in Jordan or the Gulf where they're promoting the values of religious tolerance and open, rule based economies, or taking on the forces of reaction in the shape of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, we should be supporting and assisting them'." (thanks Caroline)

Weizmann to Churchill

"Dr Weizmann thanked Mr Churchill for his unceasing interest in Zionist affairs. He said: ‘You stood at the cradle of this enterprise; I hope that you will see it through.’ Mr Churchill asked what Dr Weizmann meant ‘by seeing it through’. Dr Weizmann replied that after the war the Zionists would wish to have a State of some three or four million Jews in Palestine. Mr Churchill said: Yes, indeed, I quite agree with that. "

Churchill War Papers, Vol. 1: At the Admirality, 17th December 1939. pg. 832". (thanks Nu`man)