Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Unfair to Ibn Taymiyyah?

Historian Mahmoud Haddad argues that people are being unfair to Ibn Taymiyyah. Really Mahmoud?

Jon Stewart and conventional wisdom

Alternative media in the US, assuming that the Daily Show is one, are not alternative when it comes to the Middle East.  Why on earth would Jon Steward host the insignificant Hadi Bahrah when he is being lambasted by his own organization and his days are truly numbered.

Al-Akhbar: the only Arabic newspaper that combats anti-Semitism in the Arab world

There is a special supplement in Al-Akhbar about Arab Jews. It is quite courageous as no other Arabic newspaper dares to write with such vehemence against anti-Semitism.  I have a few comments here and there: they should have mentioned the covert Israeli operations that Israel undertook in the Arab world (through bombs and flyers) to scare Jews away from the Arab world toward Israel.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hadi Bahrah

This week, to bestow legitimacy on the US war on Syria, the US media suddenly discovered the coalition "leader", Hadi Al-Bahrah, and highlighted his calls for US bombing of his country.  But none of the US media mentioned the revolt against him and the call by his own Military Council to oust him.

Israel's James Bond

This pathetic tribute to an Israeli murderer in the New York Times is not out of the ordinary given the record of the paper but this is rather ironic:
"Mr. Harari’s precise relationship to General Noriega was the subject of much speculation...But in a calamitous error in July 1973, members of Mr. Harari’s team who had traveled to Norway in pursuit of the terrorists mistook an innocent Moroccan there for a Black September leader, Ali Hassan Salameh, and gunned him down as he walked with his wife on a street in the city of Lillehammer.   Mr. Harari escaped from Norway, but six Israelis were arrested there and charged with complicity in the killing... Mr. Harari participated in the planning and execution of Operation Entebbe...Three hostages died during the operation, along with 20 Ugandan soldiers and the commander of the Israeli troops."  James Bond my...potato.

Block the Boat

"The Port of Oakland has a rich history of supporting social justice. For example, refusing to off load goods from South Africa, during the apartheid era. Now refusing to offload goods carried by the Israeli shipping company ZIM." (thanks Amir)

Islamic front fighter proves he is moderate

How can he not be moderate when he loves Angelina Jolie? (minute 5:04) (thanks Laure)

"The US and Israel are to blame for Arab misery: let me count the ways"

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English: "The US and Israel are to blame for Arab misery: let me count the ways".

It is over for Bashshar: but this time it is for real

We may all now go home.  Bashshar will be out of office finally. The man who regaled us with this theories about offshoots in Islam, and the man who predicted back in 2005 and 2006 that the Lebanese Shi`ites are moving in droves away from Hizbullah, and the man who predicted (accurately) back in 2011 that Bashshar's days are numbered, is at it again, with yet another accurate prediction.

Should the Syrian people be allowed to make purchases at Lebanese stores? The Lebanese racist festival continues

The TV station founded by the ill-cited Bashir Gemayyel posts this poll on its website: Should the Syrian people be allowed to make purchases at Lebanese stores?

Deputy Editorial Page Editor of the Washington Post calls for the threat of "destruction" of Alawites

ْFrom Mike:  "Hi As'ad,
Jackson Diehl is deputy editorial page editor of The Post. He wants to destroy the Allawite community if Assad fails to 'compromise' . Sounds like genocide.

"In the end, the Syrian political settlement Obama says he seeks will require pursuing Kerry’s original idea of tipping the military balance so that Assad’s generals and his Alawite community face a choice between compromise and destruction."  Can you imagine the outcry (and rightly so) at the international level and the street protests if this was said about Jews? 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thomas Friedman explains Reagan's military intervention in Lebanon

"Reagan hoped it would unleash a naturally democratic order, with just a little midwifing help from American Marines." And toward that end, the Reagan administration armed and financed the democratic order of...AMIN GEMAYYEL.  Is this guy for real?

ABC of Zionism

"For most of Israel’s existence, the majority of Israelis have allowed the state, in the name of Jewish sovereignty and security, to violate Palestinians’ basic human rights — including access to water and the freedom of movement and assembly. The state has killed unarmed protesters and then failed to carry out investigations; it has allowed settlers and soldiers to act with impunity; and it has systematically discriminated against non-Jewish citizens. After so many years of repressing those who stand in the way, the transition to targeting “one of your own” isn’t so difficult. Now it is the few Jewish Israelis who speak the language of human rights who are branded as enemies.

Zeev Sternhell, a political scientist and an expert on fascism, believes that “radical nationalism” and the “erosion of Enlightenment values” have reached new heights in Israel. “To grieve for the loss of life on both sides is already a subversive act, treason,” he told Haaretz. Mr. Sternhell has experienced Jewish extremist violence firsthand; in 2008, a settler planted a bomb in his home that wounded him."

It is a secret: don't tell anyone

"As usual, anonymity was granted to U.S. officials to make these claims. As usual, there was almost no evidence for any of this. Nonetheless, American media outlets – eager, as always, to justify American wars - spewed all of this with very little skepticism. Worse, they did it by pretending that the U.S. Government was trying not to talk about all of this – too secret! – but they, as intrepid, digging journalists, managed to unearth it from their courageous “sources.” Once the damage was done, the evidence quickly emerged about what a sham this all was. But, as always with these government/media propaganda campaigns, the truth emerged only when it’s impotent."

A propaganda coalition: tell them what to say in Arabic in their official media

"Mr. Stengel met with Arab officials to create what he called in an interview “a communications coalition, a messaging coalition, to complement what’s going on the ground.”"

How America through its propaganda is winning hearts and minds in the Middle East

"But one 2006 study of 394 students across the Middle East who listened to United States-sponsored Radio Sawa or watched al-Hurrah television found that their views of American policy actually worsened slightly the longer they listened."

Gulf potentates

“Once there is a determined America and a determined President Obama, he will find a receptive ally in the region to work with him,” said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political analyst in the United Arab Emirates."  Well, Abdulkhaleq: I think that with or without a "determined America"--whatever that means, although in the Gulf context it usually means a more aggressive and more war-mongering America--the US will find a receptive ally among the potentates of the Gulf. It is unconditional obedience.

The Khorasan Group

From Emily: "Buried in a The National story, taken from a detail in a CNN story (from five days ago):

There is reason to be wary of similar motivations in Syria. CNN has revealed that the claims of a plot against the US, which President Obama believes he has thwarted with his attack on JAN (which the US identifies as the Khorasan Group), might have come from a fighter held in a Syrian regime prison (under torture, no doubt).
And the CNN mention:
The source says al Fadhli's new focus on "external operations" was revealed by one of his bodyguards, named as Abu Rama, who was recently arrested by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
I have not seen this reported elsewhere, have you? I.e. the intel for striking "Khorasan Group" comes from a prisoner held in a Syrian regime prison...The CNN source for the claim is "a security source in the Middle East". "

sororities and fraternities

"numerous studies have found that men who join fraternities are three times more likely to rape, that women in sororities are 74% more likely to experience rape than other college women, and that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in four years away at school." (thanks Amir)

Wadi Foukeen

"Over a quarter of the confiscated land belongs to the village of Wadi Foukeen, which has already lost much of its land and natural resources to the constantly growing illegal Israeli settlements of Beitar Illit, Hadar Beitar, and Tsur Hadassah that surround it on three sides."

Comrade Amer in English

"What is it about Iran that scares the US?: On Tehran’s military capabilities"

Saturday, September 27, 2014

CAIR and the clowns of Muslim American organziations

You know the story: all Muslim and Arab American organizations in DC have fallen under the direct influence of Gulf regimes, as have most Arabs journalists in the capital. This happened right after 1990 when the Saudi regime sent various princes to close the deal to control all Arab media and organizations in the West (as many were under the influence of Saddam or Qadhdhafi).  Saudi Arabia did not want dissent from Arabs in the West lest they disturb their lobbying and propaganda efforts in the West. I read that CAIR and other Muslim American organizations held a press conference to issue statements against ISIS: as if any Muslims in the US or elsewhere listen to them and adhere to their standards. And why is it their business to issue exclusive denunciations? Were Jewish organizations expected during the savage war on Gaza to issue statements of denunciations against Israeli terrorism? And don't they with their theatrics not reinforce the association between Islam and the terrorism and kooky ideology of ISIS (shared by the same patrons of Arab and Muslim organizations in DC)?  They should if they want condemn terrorism in all its form and not focus on "Islamic terrorism" and they should even categorically reject the notion that there is a religious label to terrorism.  But then again: it is a job and they have to do it and those are willing to abandon two of the five pillars of Islam in return for a photo op at the White House.  Instead, they should say that ISIS should be blamed on the foreign policies of the US and its allies who have in the last several decades produced the monsters of Al-Qa`idah and ISIS, among other terrorists roaming the Middle East region.

The Defense Industry

"—amidst a demand furnished by a rising tide of unrest around the world." (thanks Abduallah)

Richad Dawkins sexism

"Richard Dawkins has lost it: ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name".

The American official translation of "The Management of Savageness"

I have not read the American official translation of "The Management of Savageness" by Brookings' William Mccants (and the task is not easy: it is quite difficult to translate) but this passage in the account by David Ignatius Al-Saud struck me:  "In another passage, he notes that “we need to massacre” others as Muslims did after the death of Muhammad." In the original passage the author uses the word "Ithkhan" which does not mean massacre but means "heavy combat" or "intense killing", in fact. As for the book, its influence over ISIS is quite exaggerated in my estimation as the author (I personally think he is an Egyptian) is more concerned with PR and public opinion than ISIS is. 

Secret conversion to Islam: Fethullah Gülen

Fethullah Gülen is not less kooky than other Islamists, it seems. He talks about secret conversion "by many" to Islam among Europeans.

Half of America sees homosexuality as sinful

"A new Pew poll on religion in public life found that exactly half of respondents said they consider "homosexual behavior" sinful, a five-percentage-point increase since May 2013." "Half of the country sees homosexuality as sinful, opposes gay marriage, and believes businesses should be able to refuse to serve gay couples' wedding ceremonies".

Dark alliance: the story behind the crack explosion

"Carrying the full title "Dark Alliance: The Story Behind the Crack Explosion," Webb's series reported that in addition to waging a proxy war for the U.S. government against Nicaragua's revolutionary Sandinista government in the 1980s, elements of the CIA-backed Contra rebels were also involved in trafficking cocaine to the U.S. in order to fund their counter-revolutionary campaign. The secret flow of drugs and money, Webb reported, had a direct link to the subsequent explosion of crack cocaine abuse that had devastated California's most vulnerable African American neighborhoods." (thanks Amir)

House of Saudi continues to impress the world

"KSA sets world record with tallest flagpole" (thanks Basim)

My talk at the University of Texas

My talk at U Texas, Austin.

You know who is a big fan of Nicholas Blanford?

All Hariri propagandists in Lebanon, even in the most sleazy and vulgar websites and platforms, are hug fans (only fans) of the work of Nicholas Blanford, ever since he published the court biography of Rafiq Hariri.  As is known, in his book, Blanford accused the Syrian regime and not Hizbullah of responsibility for the assassination. I am told that the Hariri family now wants Blanford to put out a new edition to contain the new and improved accusation of Hizbullah.

So what does Syrian rebels have to do to receive advanced US weapons? Post a video of their use on Youtube

"If this goes well then more sophisticated weapons will be handed over. This approach has already been tested in the covert arming of rebels, some of whom have been loaned powerful weapons on the condition that they video their use, allowing American agents to verify that they have indeed been used for the purposes for which they were intended."

This just in from Saudi Arabia

The religious police in Saudi Arabia arrests a "naked female quack" while flying. Kid you not.

Yet another ICC investigation

Of course, the culprits are black.

Lebanese foreign minister is a class act

Lebanese foreign minister calls on his aides to show the body of a female staffer to the UAE foreign minister. 

Syrian regime brags: America is bombing us

The headline of the Syrian regime daily is: "Washington and its allies are in the same trench with the Syrian army to combat terrorism".

The US did not create ISIS but...

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The US did not create ISIS but..."

Friday, September 26, 2014

campaign against House of Saud on twitter

The US media are telling readers that Arabs are all supportive of US war on Syria and Iraq because the Gulf potentates and the Jordanian potentate are on board. They don't know that there is a hashtaq on twitter to reveal the names of the Saudi pilots involved.

If you advocate for Palestine, it can only mean one thing--according to the New York Times: that you have a problem with Jews

"And since the start of the conflict in Gaza this summer, many describe social media, especially Facebook, as a swamp of hatred.

“I have friends who are never political and they are posting things about Gaza every day,” said Ms. Frommer, the employee of the nonprofit organization. “It seems like an obsession. Is your obsession because you want to save children, or because you have a problem with Jews?”" What is the answer to this last question?

PS Wait. I was posting things about Gaza every day: does that mean that I too is anti-Semitic without knowing it?

An article about anti-Semitism in Europe is full of blatant anti-Islamic bigotry

"“The Socialist Party is afraid, because of the votes here in Belgium,” said Dr. Maurice Sosnowski, an anesthesiologist and prominent Jewish leader in Brussels. “In Belgium, they are not willing to speak loudly, because there are a lot of Muslims.”"  Can you imagine the uproar if an Arab were to say that this political party or that political party is afraid to speak loudly "because there are a lot of Jews"?? That is bigotry and prejudice whether it is said about Muslims or about Jews.

ISIS slogan in a school for girls in Saudi Arabia

The graffiti says: "ISIS in our hearts".

New York Times finally notices the Wahhabi connection

After years of waiting, the New York Times finally notices the obvious; that the Saudi Wahhab ideology is shared by ISIS (but also with Al-Qa`idah as well). But notice the interviews: there is such a rush to find experts at the Zionist research centers in the US.  What is most astonishing is that they talk to "experts" at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies: this outfit is close to the views of Meir Kahane and was never considered worthy of consultation only a few years ago. Now they have become experts on Arab politics and culture.  The day when they consult with Arab organizations about Israeli society and culture, I may allow that to pass.

It is official: Israeli nuclear weapons don't exist

"The IAEA rejected a resolution Thursday, at an annual conference of the UN atomic agency, circulated by Arab countries criticizing Israel over its alleged nuclear arsenal, in a diplomatic victory for Western states who opposed the initiative."

It is hypocritical

"Whatever the original intentions of Britain and the US, their in Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011 has been to produce devastating conflicts that have not ended." "The US and British alliance with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan – all Sunni monarchies – creates other problems. It is hypocritical for Mr Cameron to pretend that US and UK intervention are in support of democratic, accountable and inclusive governments when he is in a coalition with the last theocratic absolute monarchies on earth."

American recruitment of foreign fighters

"On average, the military recruits about 5,000 noncitizens each year, nearly all of them permanent U.S. residents, or so-called "green card" holders. Starting in 2006, DoD began accepting some foreigners with nonpermanent visas, such as students or tourists, if they had special skills that are highly valued."

Zionists & UAE are manipulating journalists

"The Israelis have chosen the direct approach of publicly accusing their new enemy in Doha of being terrorist supporters, while the UAE has opted for a more covert strategy: paying millions of dollars to a U.S. lobbying firm – composed of former high-ranking Treasury officials from both parties – to plant anti-Qatar stories with American journalists. That more subtle tactic has been remarkably successful, and shines important light on how easily political narratives in U.S. media discourse can be literally purchased." (thanks Amir)

The family of the UAE female fighter pilot disowns her

The family of the first UAE female fighter pilot who allegedly participated in the bombing of Syria disowned her.  The glowing article about her in the Times missed that.

Nicholas Blanford explains family ties to Western readers

"Mr. Hamiyah, a Lebanese Army soldier, was executed Saturday with a bullet to the head by Jabhat al-Nusra, Syria’s Al Qaeda affiliate, which along with the Sunni extremists of Islamic State is holding hostage at least 21 Lebanese soldiers and policemen along Lebanon’s northeast border with Syria.

The Hamiyah clan is from Taraya, a straggly village wedged between a towering escarpment of barren limestone to the west and flat fertile fields to the east. Farmers grow wheat, potatoes, tobacco, and lentils; they also provide some of the Bekaa Valley’s finest hashish. The US Treasury Department listed a Hamiyah on its drug trafficking blacklist in the 1980s, although the individual says he has long since retired. Other members of the family are represented in the Iran-backed militant Shiite Hezbollah organization, among them the elusive Talal Hamiyah, a top security official."  Of course, if Blanford is a knowledgeable correspondent--which he woefully is not--he would have known that Hamiyyah is one of the largest family in the Biqa` and numbers in the thousands or tens of thousands. (thanks Basim)  This business of "represented" in Hizbullah can apply to any Shi`ite family in Lebanon, including the AbuKhalil, who are also "represented"--I don't know what that means--in the Lebanese Communist Party and in Amal Movement. I know Hamiyyah who are SSNP and who are far left activists.  Ridiculous.  After the fiasco of reporting on Hariri assassination and his "interview" (although he later admitted he was not present) with Hariri murder suspects, I don't know how the hell he was able to retain his job.

What the Sisi regime will monitor in on-line communications

From Ahmet in Tunisia:  "Asad, a week late but this is too delicious:  "In a copy of the tenders issued by the Interior Ministry, and published on several Egyptian news sites, the ministry spelt out the type of online communications it will be searching for:
Blasphemy and skepticism in religions; regional, religious, racial, and class divisions; spreading of rumors and intentional twisting of facts; throwing accusations; libel; sarcasm; using inappropriate words; calling for the departure of societal pillars; encouraging extremism, violence and dissent; inviting demonstrations, sit-ins and illegal strikes; pornography, looseness, and lack of morality; educating methods of making explosives and assault, chaos and riot tactics; calling for normalizing relations with enemies and circumventing the state’s strategy in this regard; fishing for honest mistakes, hunting flesh; taking statements out of context; and spreading hoaxes and claims of miracles.""

Thursday, September 25, 2014

My interview with the Huffington Post: the US is also to blame for the rise of ISIS

For those who don't care, watch here.

Secret Saudi-Hizbullah negotiations?

I am told that Hizbullah is now secretly negotiating with the Saudi government (through the embassy in Beirut) to save the Shi`ite Saudi cleric, An-Nimr, from execution.

UAE female fighter pilot

What does the UAE and US propaganda on the matter imply? That Muslims should also be proud that ISIS and Nusrah and other terrorists also employ female fighters and that is an indication of gender progress?

Look how the murder of Palestinians is described in the New York Times

"Israeli troops closed a significant chapter in the summer’s bloody escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Tuesday by cornering and killing the two men..." SO next time an Israeli is killed by a Palestinian, the Times should describe it thus: "Palestinians today closed a significant chapter of a bloody month's escalation by killing an Israeli".

The New York Times is so pissed that Karzai attacked the American occupation

"But what the president did not say, omitting any recognition of the more than 2,000 American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars the United States expended in fighting the Taliban, may have grated more." Yes, the US did all that for the Afghan people and their freedom.

American legal justification for the attack on Syria

"“The Syrian regime has shown that it cannot and will not confront these safe havens effectively itself,” the letter states. “Accordingly, the United States has initiated necessary and proportionate military actions in Syria in order to eliminate the ongoing ISIL threat to Iraq, including by protecting Iraqi citizens from further attacks and by enabling Iraqi forces to regain control of Iraq’s borders."  So a Chinese diplomat living in LA can claim that the US government has not dealt with the gangs in LA effectively, and can then use that as a justification for bombing sites of LA gangs?

Whenever you think that Thomas Friedman can't get any dumber, he surprises you

This is one of the silliest of someone who is known for writing only the silliest in US discourse on foreign policy.  He basically says that the hope of the Arab world and Islam are three writers in Saudi media (and two write in English), and one, Turki Al-Hamad included praise for the Saudi King in his article.  So what Thomas Friedman seems to be saying is that the hope of the Arab world and Islam is the Wahhabi Saudi regime.   OK.

So any Muslim who ever fought colonialism is ISIS

So all those Muslim movements that fought against Western colonialism were replicas of ISIS.

Gulf regimes

"But with the Islamic State waving its black flag at the gates of Baghdad, Persian Gulf nations have decided to set aside their differences." The paper does not say that there is another simpler explanation: that they received orders from the US.


Now I think that my IPad is bending.

Paradox? Or Arab potentates and US orders

For three years, Saudi Arabia and Qatar and UAE pleaded with the US to bomb positions of the Syrian regime in the interests of the Syrian rebel groups sponsored by those regimes.  This week, the US dragged the same Arab regimes to participate in bombing campaigns against the same rebel groups and in the interest of the Syrian regime.

AUB from 1895

(I am the one to the left).

Not exactly

"After enumerating a list of proxy conflicts in Syria, As’ad AbuKhalil writing in Alakhbar English says, “These proxy conflicts now determine the course of events in Syria and the Syrian people themselves, on either sides of the conflict, have very little control over them. The slogans that are being raised by both sides of the conflict merely serve to rationalize the policies and decisions of external patrons.” It is no longer about the aspirations of the Syrian people for a more democratic society. It’s about Salafis, Shias, Alawites and what not." Well, not exactly: I meant to say it is about the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, Iran and others.

The Mauritanian cleric cited by Obama

Now we know why Obama cited him.  He was deputy to Qaradawi in the Union of Islamic `Ulama' and carries a Saudi diplomatic passport and is a big fan of the Saudi regime.

They behead too but you love them nevertheless: House of Saud

"Still, in the space of just 18 days during the month of August, the kingdom beheaded some 22 people, according to human-rights advocates. The spate of killings was surprising not only because it was so sudden—the kingdom carried out a total of 79 executions last year—but also because many of those killed were convicted of relatively minor offences, such as smuggling hashish or, strangely, “sorcery”. In one case the defendant was determined to be mentally unsound, but lost his head anyway."

China and Israel

Much of the discourse promoted within these conferences taps into the “narrative of commonalities” that some pro-Israeli activists seek to spread within the context of Chinese academia. These include for instance emphasizing the shared threat posed by “radical Islam” and secession originating from the Muslim populations of these two states (a formulation that echoes to some extent Raphael Israeli’s discourse on Chinese Islam,) the strategic problems associated with hydrocarbon dependency (and thus the potential role Israeli research and technologies could play in helping China “find” alternative sources), and more interestingly, how to deal with “sovereignty” challenges emanating from the West (for example sharing “lawfare” strategies to ward off the questions Tibetan/Uighur independence)."

Can you imagine if the son of a major columnist is revealed to be serving in the Hamas army?

"One of the more interesting nuggets buried in a long, Hebrew-language interview with New York Times columnist David Brooks in the recent Ha’aretz magazine is the revelation, toward the very end, that Brooks’s oldest son serves in the Israel Defense Forces."

Widely blamed: WP

"Assad is widely blamed for backing extremists in order to undermine legitimate opposition to his government." Widely blamed by whom? In fact, in the Middle East region--rightly or wrongly--the US is in fact "widely blamed" for backing extremists to provide pretexts for wars and invasions.  Yes, the Free Syrian Army staffers at the Beirut offices of the US media do peddle the theory that the Syrian regime does not attack ISIS but there has not been one evidence presented of the regime's complicity with ISIS, or for what the Post calls--without evidence--"backing extremists".  By the way, the regime yesterday attacked ISIS sites but I did not read about that in any US newspaper.   Also, Washington Post: Are Saudi Arabia and Qatar "widely blamed" for backing extremists?

If Muslims did that the story would be discussed in a special session of the UN Security Council

"El Al passengers on New York-Israel flight claim Haredi men refused to sit next to women, even offering secular passengers money to switch seats, delaying flight's departure."

The Washington Post and The New York Times and the government party line

This sentence almost verbatim appeared yesterday also in the Times: "At least on the first day of bombing, there was little public backlash, with virtually no outcry beyond a pro-Islamic State protest in Istanbul." (See my comment from yesterday about it).

Obama and international law

"Second: Although Samantha Power, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, claimed in her words "a fundamental principle in the United Nations Charter that gives countries the right to defend themselves, including using force on another country’s territory when that country is unwilling or unable to address it," there is no rule in the Charter that would permit one country (in this case Iraq) to invite a second country (the United States) to bomb a third country (Syria) at the discretion of the first and second countries and without Security Council authorization." (thanks Amir)

Israel recieves 4th nuclear stealth submarine from Germany

"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu led a delegation of senior officials welcoming the Israeli navy's fourth nuclear capable Dolphin-class INS Tanin submarine on Tuesday at the Haifa naval base." "Reportedly Israel has modified the Dolphin-class submarine's 650mm launch tubes to allow the launch of missiles that could carry nuclear warheads."

The Syrian rebel moderate liver eater was American backed afterall

""When a rebel fighting with a U.S.-backed group became an Internet sensation due to a video that showed him eating the organs of a dead regime soldier, the State Department asked the Syrian Support Group to track down the man and get the story. The group’s network found him within hours, Abbar said."" (thanks Nu`man)

"prominent Mauritanian" cleric

Yesterday, Obama cited the views of Mauritanian cleric, `Abdullah Wild Bih.  US media described him as a "prominent" scholar in Islam.  I offered on Facebook a box of Halawah to any Arab who ever heard of him.  No takers thus far.

Now we know how to impress the West about women's rights in the Arab world

So regimes can treat women like cattle in the Gulf, and they can shut them out of the political process, and they can institutionalize a system of polygamy and gender segregation, but if they send a woman on a bombing campaign for the American agenda, Western governments and media will be willing to express admiration for progress in women's rights in those countries. We understand.

hypocrisy from Saudi regime and Hizbullah

الموسوي والمقداد وعز الدين يهنئون عسيري والزهراني (مصطفى جمال الدين)  A Hizbullah delegation attends the reception at the Saudi embassy for the Saudi National Beheading Day.

Lies of the Obama administration: there is no such thing as the Khorasan organization

Suddenly, this week, the New York Times dutifully carried an article based on administration claims about this horrific terrorist organization called Khorasan.  This article in As-Safir exposes the lies of the US administration: that there is no such thing as Khorasan: and those who are referred to as leaders of Khorasan are in fact none other than leaders of Nusrah Front. Khorasan merely refers to Al-Qa`idah operatives and cadres dispatched by Ayman Dhadawhiri to join Nusrah Front. The reason why the US suddenly declared the existence of this organization is to create a fake distinction between it and between Nurrah Front which is a close allies of its "moderate Syrian rebels" and to members of the American coalition of loyal Arab states. 

PS Nusrah Front a few hours ago confirmed that no such organization exists.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Interivew on Huffington Post tomorrow

For those who don't care, I will tomorrow do a 10 minute live interview on Huffington Post livestream TV to discuss my post about the proxy wars in Syria. It will air between 12:00PM Eastern time and 12:30PM.  You can follow it live:

It is official: queen Youtube of Jordan is now allowed to appear in public.

This is what tabbulah looks like at Safeway in Modesto. Obscene really.

Haytham Manna`

This was not reported in the US press: Haytham Manna`, probably one of the most independent and credible of all the Syrian dissidents, has been banned from visiting the US.

The battle for the liberation of Palestine has begun

My contacts in Jordan are informing me that the regime has started installing sirens in Amman.  The regime, it seems, is serious about liberating Palestine.

The master and the Arab students

Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisis coming out in favor of Nusrah and ISIS

Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi (one of the main ideologues of Jihadi Salafism) changed his mind: he has now come out in support of ISIS and Nusrah against the American war.

Sons of.........Zayid

Sons of Zayid treat women like cattle; they have more wives that they can even remember; they travel with a convoy of concubines; they view women as mere sexual objects to be replaced seasonally; they have established one of the sleaziest cultures in the world based on the sexual objectification of women, and yet they today decided that they have a new concept of gender equality: they are audaciously bragging that a woman pilot from UAE bombed Syria. This is gender equality to you, o polygamist potentates? 

Proxy Wars in Syria

Reproduced in the Huffington Post (with permission): "The 8 Proxy Wars Going On in Syria Right Now".

Arab public opinion and US bombing of Syria

The Washington Post: "At least on the first day of bombing, there was little public backlash, with virtually no outcry beyond a pro-Islamic State protest in Istanbul." 1) You can't blame them because they take the media of Saudi princes as representative of Arab public opinion. 2) Judging by street protests is not a measure: every Arab "partner" in the war bans protests against the government. 3) Look at social media and you may see the backlash since the first day of the bombing. 4) here is what Yasin Hajj Saleh (the key Syrian intellectual of the "revolution"--a man with whom I sparred in the past): "The despicable are bombing the despicable with the participation of the despicable and collusion of the despicable for despicable purposes, and from all this despicable [behavior] nothing will come out except that which is despicable" (he wrote this on Facebook yesterday--I know, he is known to write vulgarly and this is better than usual).  This should give you a glimpse of Arab public opinion but I know: the job of US media is to give the US wars support and to assume that Arab potentates speak for Arab youths everywhere.

US bombs, and New York Times--as usual--justifies

Look at this headline: "U.S. Strikes Follow Plea by Syrian Opposition Leader on Behalf of Kurds".  In response to pleas? US puppets in the Saudi-Qatari opposition have been begging for US war for months, how come the US decided to respond now? The US is that much response to pleas by Hadi Bahra, or whatever his name is?

The Khorasan group

From Basim: "When I first heard about the "little known Khorasan group" - and only within the last few days of course - I immediately knew it was another way of saying "Nusra Front" but Western capitals were reluctant to do so as Nusra has strangely come to symbolize moderation among the radicals. So here you go:

"Somsam Islam, a member of the better-known Al Qaeda-linked rebel group in Syria, Al Nusra Front, said Al Qaeda leaders in Pakistan and Afghanistan sent “a group of brothers” to be leaders within Al Nusra. They came to be known among other fighters by the moniker Khorasan, Islam said in a Skype chat." "

The man of peace

"Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq."

The US invokes--you guessed it--self-defense, yet again

"The United States said on Tuesday that the American-led airstrikes against the Islamic State — carried out in Syria without seeking the permission of the Syrian government or the United Nations Security Council — were legal because they were done in defense of Iraq." "International law generally prohibits using force on the sovereign territory of another country without its permission or authorization from the United Nations, except as a matter of self-defense." (thanks Amir)

Can you send this passage to Anne Barnard? It goes against everything she wrote only a few days ago

" "We are against American military intervention and an international coalition in Syria, whether that (action) is against the regime or IS," Nasrallah said in a speech aired on Hezbollah-run al-Manar television." "America, is in our view, the mother of terrorism and the origin of terrorism," he said, adding this meant the United States was not ethically qualified to lead a "war on terrorism"."

Proxy wars in Syria

 Embedded image permalink
A reader rendered my article about proxy wars in Syria into a visual summary.

Even US puppets in Syria are opposed to the American war on Syria: Harakat Hazm

Embedded image permalink This statement by US clients also acknowledge the death of civilians from US bombings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Moderare Syrian rebels and Nusrah Front

From Angry Arab chief correspondent in Turkey: "Syrian opposition leader confirmed their relations with Al Nusra shortly before UN General Assembly focusing on Islamic State.

"But he conceded that for now, the FSA and al-Nusra are on the same side, dividing up the battlefield against Assad’s army and not fighting each other. “It’s not coordination or cooperation,” he said, “but it’s facts on the ground … You make decision on the battlefield."

The Washington Post is wrong: McCain did meet with Syrian opposition sectarian kidnappers

Now, yes, McCain did not meet with Baghdadi (as some in the pro-Syrian regime media are saying), but he did meet with men involved with the sectarian kidnapping of Lebanese Shi`ite pilgrims: "which two days after the meeting claimed that McCain had met with rebels responsible for kidnapping Shiite pilgrims. That story turned out to be false."  And the source of the Post's rebuttal is a silly piece in the Daily Beast which is dead wrong in its characterization of New TV of Lebanon, which is quite reliable on Syrian matters--much more reliable than the Qatari-Hariri-funded Daily Star, which the reporter relied on as the bible of professional journalism. Hilarious.  McCain did not meet with Abu Ibrahim but he met with other men who were involved in kidnapping. 

Russian media in Arabic

By the way, the Russian government has been really increasing its focus on producing media in Arabic.  Its Arabic channel (both the station and the social media version) has become quite successful and widely watched.  Just yesterday, the Russian government announced a new Arabic news agency.  In other news, whatever happened to Hurrah TV (the US funded propaganda channel that no one watches)?

U.S. nuclear weapons spending hits $1T

"Under Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Barack Obama, America's nuclear weapons spending will eclipse $1 trillion over the next 30 years as the United States spent more in 2014 on its arsenal than at any time in its history – including during the Cold War and World War II. The stunning news from The New York Times comes just five years after a newly minted Obama won the Prize for, in part, using international diplomacy to further a 'vision of a world free from nuclear arms.' "

God versus Allah

""Pat Robertson wants you to know that genocidal acts in the Bible aren't like violence in the Quran — the former, you see, were sanctioned by God, whereas the latter was commanded "by Allah." ""

France and the laws of colonialism

" "There is not, to our way of thinking, any legal impediment to responding to Islamic State attacks in Iraq as well as in Syria," Fabius told reporters on the sidelines of the annual U.N. General Assembly." "France is the only western nation to have publicly admitted to arming Assad's opponents," (thanks Amir)

This is hilarious; the Times makes it sound as if the US attacked Syria in response to an appeal by this Syrian (I know, you have never heard of him)

"Although the full scope of the airstrikes was not immediately clear, they followed an urgent appeal from Hadi al-Bahra, the president of the Syrian Opposition Coalition, for American military action.".  First, Hadi who? Who is this guy and who has ever heard of him.  And the Times did not report that just yesterday there were wide condemnation of this guy and for his decision to dissolve the military council of the coalition and he has been widely called names by members of the coalition itself.  When the US creates vessels and appoints puppets, only the US media take them seriously.

raids on Syria

One Egyptian leftist wrote: "Oh, what is happening is real.  The US is hitting Syria with the agreement of Syria's president and with the participation of Arab states--both those which are with Syria and those which are against."

Moderate Syrian opposition

"Since three years, much of the "western" reporting from Syria is actually done from Beirut. Why has none ever asked this simple question: "all violent opposition movements have been found in Lebanon, even the Syrian IS, but no Syrian said that he represents 'a moderate Syrian opposition.' If Beirut, which is open to all political, media and even military movements, is devoid of any — even a symbolic — presence of 'the moderate Syrian opposition,' then how could such forces exist in Syria itself?""

One of the ugliest anti-Semites of the 20th century: or how Israel covers up the anti-Semitism of the House of Saud

I found this in my archives: from the Egyptian weekly, Al-Musawwar, August 4th, 1972.  In this interview with King Faysal of Saudi Arabia, he says:  "And Israel has sinister intentions from ancient times, aiming at the destruction of all other religions.  It has been proven from history that they ignited the Crusades war during the time of Saladin* so that this war would weaken Muslims and Christians alike, and they consider other religions lower from their religion and their people lower than their levels.  And for the purpose of vindictiveness and vengeance, they have a special day where they mix the blood of non-Jews with bread and eat it...And this happened two years ago when I was visiting Paris after the police found five dead children and their blood was spilled and it has been revealed that some Jews killed them to use take their blood and to mix it with bread which they eat on that day.  This tells you the extent of their hate and vindictiveness against non-Jewish people."

*This ignorant fool thought that the crusades started in the era of Saladin.
PS How come there is not a single book in English or French about the anti-Semitism of King Faysal when there are tons of books on the one meeting between Hajj Amin and Hitler, when the former never uttered such ugly words like those of King Faysal?  And King `Abdul-`Aziz was a huge fan of Hitler although his British masters prevented him from declaring an alliance with him.

Anne Barnard and Hasan Nasrallah

See what happens when Western journalists rely on unreprestentative people for capturing the views of Hizbullah? Anne Barnard wrote a cover story for the Times just two days ago (see my critique of it) and its main premise (based on the pontification of a "former interpretor" of Hizbullah and current staffer at Al-Mayadin) was that Nasrallah welcomes the American war on ISIS.  Today, Nasrallah put that claim to rest and listed several reasons why his party would not in any way support an American-led effort based on an American agenda. 

Arab views on US war on ISIS

There is no sympathy for ISIS among young Arabs in the region but the response of young Arabs toward ISIS has largely been confined to mockery and dismissal, and many believe that the US was behind this monster.  Today's raids on Syria with the full participation of armies of pathetic Arab potentates could not in a million year generate sympathy for the cause or for its motives or for the agenda of those governments.  Many wonder where those Arab planes were during the Israeli war on Gaza.


I am horrified to discover that the translations of the works of Russian literature in Arabic by Sami Drubi (who translated all the works of Dostoevsky) were from the French and translations and not from the Russian original.  I am horrified.

Not in my Name?

The Not in My Name Campaign against ISIS should be coupled with Not in My Name campaign against the US-Qatari-Saudi-Bahraini-UAE-Jordanian aggression on Syria, which already has killed civilians according to reports.

The man to the left

http://www.alquds.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/picdata/2014/09/09-22/22m96.jpg The man to the left is considered a strategic thinker and wise leader in the US.  Kid you not--if you are outside the US.  Even liberals and leftists in US media treat him with respect.

Deception and lies and the attack on Syria

Arab regimes are too scared to announce to the Arab people their participation in the attack on Syria.  And the Syrian regime is lying--as usual--by claiming that he was notified in advance by the US, as if the notification is a sign of sovereignty.  But this regime registered the precedent: in 1991, it followed US orders (along with the Egyptian and Saudi regimes) to attack Iraq. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hexagonite Attack on Syria

In 1956, Egypt was a victim of a tripartite invasion by Israel, UK, and France.  Now, the US is leading the armies of the potentates of Bahrain, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan in a hexagonite attack on Syria.  The US has a proven record: when it attacks a menace, it replaces him with a worse menace.  Always.

PS I am told that I should have written Hexapartite instead of Hexagonite.

Syrian wars of proxy

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English: "Syrian wars of proxy".

Turkey and ISIS

"The Turkish government is denying any deal with the hostage-takers, making it unclear why Isis, notorious for its cruelty and ruthlessness, should hand over its Turkish prisoners on Saturday without a quid pro quo. Hailed in Ankara as a triumph for Turkey, the freeing of the diplomats seized when Mosul fell to Isis on 10 June raises fresh questions about the relationship between the Turkish government and Isis."

massacres of indigenous people

"In the Gulf War, the Second ACR played the role of chief scouts for the US Seventh Corps. A retired ACR commander proudly told a television interviewer that the Second ACR had been formed in the 1830s to fight the Seminoles, and that it had its first great victory when it finally defeated those Indians in the Florida Everglades in 1836. The Second ACR in the vanguard of the ground assault on Iraq thus symbolized the continuity of US war victories and the source of the nation’s militarism: the Iraq War was just another Indian war in the US military tradition."

the combined wealth of the world's billionaires increased by 12 percent to $7.3 trillion

""A new survey shows that 155 new billionaires were minted this year, pushing the total population to a record 2,325 – a 7 percent increase from 2013." "Nevertheless, the combined wealth of the world's billionaires increased by 12 percent to $7.3 trillion, higher than the combined market capitalization of all the companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average."" (thanks Amir)

Huthis and Shi`ism

The Saudi and Qatari Wahhabi media are purposefully confusing the issues about the religious affiliation of the Huthis: they are purposefully confusing Huthism with Zaydism and with Jardism and with Shi`ite twelvers.  Huthis are Zaydis but it is a political movement with its own agenda.  It is not part of the Shi`ite twelvers religiously.  It is also not the same as Jarudism.  But for the bigoted Wahhabi media, they all are the same. 

English and Arabic versions of Saudi media

The English version of Saudi media is often totally different from the Arabic version. The English version of websites of newspapers and TV news stations are intended for public consumption by Western diplomats and journalists. 

Hamza Al-Shimali: I want US cash, and I want it now--for my moderation

"A great deal remains uncertain about the Nusra Front’s ultimate aims inside Syria. Hamza al-Shimali, the head of the American-backed rebel group the Hazm Movement, said that he and his allies did not trust the Nusra Front. He said he feared that one day he would have to fight the Nusra Front in addition to the Syrian government and the Islamic State."

Presidential elections in Afghanistan: the joke of the 21st century

"Afghanistan’s American and other international supporters have made a democratic transfer of power a precondition for the continuance of extensive foreign aid programs to the country." WHAT? Condition for continuance of foreign aid? When did Afghanistan ever had a decent presidential election under US occupation? The last one which brought Karzai? Or this one?  What do you say about a presidential election where the two sides agreed to keep the results secret? 

Dalai Lama: if sleep is the highest form of mediation, according to him, why does he not sleep more?

""If we remain indifferent to what is happening around us, it is wrong," the Dalai Lama said. "The spiritual people can show the world that it can be a happy family [despite] the different faiths." " (thanks Basim)

fuzzy thinking

"The piece is riddled with contradictions and fuzzy thinking".

Zionist love affair with Gulf regimes

"It's worth a mention in passing that Ross's article also appears on the Washington Institute website where an introduction actually describes the Gulf monarchies as "non-Islamist actors". There is no sensible definition by which any of the Gulf monarchies can be described as "non-Islamist". All have Islamist features".

Muhammad `Afif talks to Anne Barnard

So the newly appointed director of media affairs for Hizbullah, Muhammad `Afif, spoke to Anne Barnard.  But he did not say anything newsworthy. So what did Ms. Barnard do? She talked to someone who claims that he used to be an interpreter for Hizbullah and who now works for Al-Mayadin, and the whole article is basically based on the views, opinions, and observations of that guy and not on `Afif. 

Kamel Wazne

Only in the articles of Ms. Barnard you read this: "said Kamel Wazne, an analyst who studies Hezbollah and American politics." In Lebanese media, Wazne is appropriately identified as an economic analyst. 

Anne Barnard on Shi`ism

Anne Barnard never studied the Middle East and that shows in particular when she delves into religious issues of the region.  Look at this passage:  "Hezbollah supporters argue that only it, along with Mr. Assad and Iran, can be counted on to fight extremists, in part because they are Shiites, and vulnerable as a minority Muslim sect. Pro-government fighters from the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiism that forms Mr. Assad’s base, are also increasingly rallying around Shiite identity, using Shiite religious symbols and slogans alongside Syrian flags."  First, Hizbullah never ever used such a blatant sectarian language.  They don't even use words like Sunni and Shi`ites. But here is the deal: Western correspondents in Beirut all rely on stringers and handlers who are Syrian supporters of the Free Syrian Army: some (as in the Times and Post) write for the paper now but their political affiliations are never revealed to the readers (especially the interpreters).  As a result, people like Barnard simply produce the polemical accusations that are carried on the pages of Syrian exile opposition, and she even carries their polemical tricks when they can't find something sectarianly damning in the rhetoric of Hizbullah so they attribute sectarian language to "supporters of Hizbullah" which is exactly what Barnard did above. She would never ever be allowed to attribute racist discourse to unidentifiable "supporters of Israel", for example.  Also, Barnard is quite ignorant of the deep religious differences between Shi`ite twelvers and `Alawites and always confuse the two together thinking that they are the same.  And what are the Shi`ite religious symbols, Ms. Barnard? Tell me how you can identify it?   Was it she who once wrote about "Shi`ite flags"? Oh, no: that was Liz Sly in the Washington Post. 

Lebanese racism

This is from Ashrafiyyah (a Phalanges stronghold). It says: "Depart, Depart o Syrian.  Beware: the Syrian is your enemy. Your enemy".

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What is brilliance for the Westerner? III

It is when the native assures the Westerner that Western colonialism, wars and intervention in the native lands have nothing to do with the problems faced by the natives.  It is when the Westerner hear the native absolve him of his war crimes.  The funny part? That kind of simpleton native believes that he is brilliant and mouths off and makes a fool of himself regularly. 

What is brilliance II

Brilliance is the racism of the Westerner that a native can express, in his own words ostensibly, without making the Westerner sound racist himself.

what is considered brilliant?

Any native who is willing to say what a Westerner says is considered brilliant by a Westerner.  The native who plays that role is too dumb to notice that the Westerner is actually praising himself, and not the native. 

An Arab view about China

I asked a brilliant Arab graduate student from a Gulf country who studies Asian affairs about his view about Chinese reticence in global affairs. He wrote this:  "Deng's 24 character advice exercises a role here, but there are strong pressures now internally for the state to assert itself (military, Han nationalists, corporate interests) that are pushing the state in new directions. However, the Chinese elite understand a few things: (1) they have too many internal economic and social challenges to get too assertive especially given the current administration's campaign to push for deeper economic reforms/transparency that will be painful (although regional conflicts particularly with Japan are very useful,) (2) they understand very well that while they want to hedge against the US military (and they are spending considerable amounts with almost yearly 12% increases) but at the same time want to keep the current status quo where they are free riders (why take on more responsibilities quickly - like defending the SLOCs which might alienate different countries - when the US can pay for it?) (3) the Chinese lack so far effective power projection capabilities on a global basis - they are developing a blue water navy and first-class airforce - but these are focused on strengthening China's hand in East Asia where its direct national interests like Taiwan, the South China Sea and East China Sea territories lie, and (4) they are deeply influenced by what they see as the US-experience of empire. They are, given many variables including have a Muslim population and their dependency on oil, worried about getting involved in 'hot regions'. To explain the fourth point, I'll give you an example: there are growing voices amongst Chinese academics and scholars for China to get involved in Iraq to defend their oil interests and investments against ISIS, but the elite will not countenance such a thing because they see the region as a graveyard. Another peripheral point I could add is that the Chinese ave been accustomed for the last three decades in playing a 'quiet' diplomatic role, and its only now that they are getting socialized into a more larger and activist role - a process that will take a while.

I wouldnt say the Chinese arent asserting themselves - they are working to erode the US security order (their recent energy deal with Russia or their attempt to aggravate tensions between Korea and Japan are good examples of this). However, this is done very slowly so as to not aggravate an already very anti-China US establishment and jeoprodize their most significant relationship (the one with Washington.) "

Banned in China?

I got an email that my blog is not available in China anymore: any confirmation?

Qatar and ISIS

"Last month, Gerd Müller, the German international development minister, implicated Qatar in the rise of Isil. "You have to ask who is arming, who is financing Isil troops. The keyword there is Qatar," he said." "Qatar also hosts the forward headquarters of US Central Command and the al-Udeid military airbase, serving as the hub for all American air operations in the region."

That the US created ISIS

Regarding this article: it is NOT ONLY in Iraq or Iran that people think that the CIA created ISIS. This is a widely held belief among Arabs and Muslims

Western gifts to Arabs

"The militant group Islamic State released a slick and disturbing new propaganda film, "Flames of War," narrated entirely in English and featuring an Islamic State fighter who speaks with an American or Canadian accent." (thanks Amir)

Why the disinformation and lies about ISIS are benefiting ISIS

There is a lot of lies and disinformation being spread by Gulf intelligence services about ISIS and their deeds (and they are being readily recyled by Western and Eastern media).  I saw this being promoted by director of HRW yesterday.  I maintain that the article, which contains lies and exaggerations, are actually helping the propaganda of ISIS. The ISIS are terrorist enough and we don't need to lie and exaggerate to show that they are bad. But there is no evidence that they cancelled classes in history or geography for example.  Those are made up.  In fact, ISIS closely monitors the inaccurate coverage and then rebuts them carefully on twitter and then makes the point that all coverage of its crimes and excesses are lies

A specialized Egyptian military team diffuse a bomb with a stick tied to a kitchen knife

Michelle Goldberg on the Salaita case

I never met Michelle Goldberg but we communicated extensively after Sep. 11 on stories that she was writing.  I have to say that her piece in the Nation astonished me: as if she was deliberately misconstruing the words of Salaita: "then it’s hard to see how you can simultaneously claim that Salaita, a professor who has tweeted, “Zionists: transforming ‘anti-Semitism’ from something horrible into something honorable since 1948,” deserves a place in the classroom."  Now this may not be the most elegant way that Salaita could express her point, but why does Goldberge believe that it has no place in the classroom?  If he complains that the Zionists made something as horrible as anti-Semitism "honorable" it does not mean that he is describing anti-Semitism as honorable by his standard. It is quite obvious.  What did Goldberg understand from it? Furthermore, why did Goldberg ignore that on the very same day, Salaita also tweeted this: "
Steven Salaita   @stevesalaita 
@mikehesselmial My stand is fundamentally one of acknowledging and countering the horror of antisemitism.  8:20 PM - 19 Jul 2014 ". This account tells the full story, unlike the really unfair account of Goldberg.  And is Goldberg serious in equating the one tweet by Salaita (which she distorts) to the public and categorical call by Hirsi Ali to "destroy" Islam? 

" US Key Man in Syria Worked Closely with ISIL and Jabhat al-Nusra"

Key US man in Syria works closely with ISIS and Nusrah. But he is moderate.

By Khalid Albaih

Authentic Al-Qai`dah

Check out the coverage of Al-Arabiyya (the news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law) and other Saudi media about `Irsal in Lebanon: they don't even try to disguise their sympathies for Nusrah Front: you see, those media are for the real authentic Al-Qa`idah and not for the fake versions. Let us call them the authentic terrorists.

Saudi regime: origin of the problem

  Saudi Wahhabi scientists examine an egg to verify that it has the word God on it.  Kid you not. (thanks Joe) 

Blame us, please: just don't blame Saudi regime

This is now the trend in Saudi media, especially in the English language versions: blame us, and attack us. We are at fault. We are backward.  The West is innocent.  Western bombs don't kill and its soldiers when they invade liberate.  Do whatever you want just don't blame Western wars and policies or Saudi regime.  The rest of this discourse is rhetorical jargon with no social science value whatever.

The Huthis

If the Huthis were clients of Saudi Arabia, their storming of San`a would have been reported like an event comparable to the storming of the Bastille. 

the race to inherit Fouad Ajami's role

It was expected.  A number of Lebanese journalists who work in Gulf regime media, especially those who write in English, are racing to inherit the role of Fouad Ajami's role.  I have only one sentence to all of them: at least Ajami was verbally gifted.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

British Hostage, John Cantlie: something odd about his video

He said in the video: "I may live or die".  But the ISIS Arabic translation says something different. It says: "I may get killed or live".  Why the discrepancy?

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi declares all-out war

This kooky caliph has a terrible speaking style: the voice and the tone is jarring.  He thinks he is reciting the Qur'an when he speaks.  Maybe he equates his words with holy words.  But the talk is rather defensive.  He is denying takfiring the people of Syria (or Levant as Obama likes to say these days).  But he insists on takfiring Shi`ites and `Alawites.

American bombs never kill civilians

"A senior State Department official said Sunday that the Iraqi air force’s “targeting is not nearly as precise as ours, and they’ve made some real mistakes.”"

Failings and shortcomings of Western correspondents in Beirut

Yesterday, New TV aired footage of throngs chanting allegiance to ISIS in Tripoli, North Lebanon. Western reporters were describing the militias in Tripoli as "pro-Western" simply because they were part of March 14. They were, as ISIS belongs to the "pro-West" March 14 movement in Lebanon.  And as the ISIS and Nusrah (they now want us to forget that Nusrah is also Al-Qa`idah) built up their presence in Lebanon in `Irsal and other places, no Western correspondents bothered to report on that phenomenon. They were simply referring to the military presence in `Irsal as Syrian "refugees".  Notice how they write about `Irsal now without any background or explanation or apologies about omission in coverage.

You will be aware that he has previously interned at The Jerusalem Post, a notoriously right-wing Israeli newspaper

"In August, the BBC published an online article questioning the UN's description of Israel's attacks on Gaza as 'indiscriminate'. The BBC's Head of Statistics, Anthony Reuben, spun the Palestinian casualty figures in an attempt to prove that Israel was carrying out targeted attacks only, as claimed by the Israeli government." "But Reuben’s impartiality on the subject of Palestine and Israel is extremely doubtful. You will be aware that he has previously interned at The Jerusalem Post, a notoriously right-wing Israeli newspaper, which is vocal in its support of Israel's occupation."

Israeli occupation forces destroy water networks & launch assault on farmers

"Israeli occupation forces issued on Wednesday a decree banning farmers from irrigating agriculture on their stepped lands in Atov, located in eastern Tubas city in the occupied West Bank, threatening to arrest any citizen who cultivates his or her land."

re: media response to Israel's blackmailing of gay Palestinians

"Second, singling out sexuality suggests that "sexuality" should be the most important priority for Palestinian organizations – including ours – in our struggle against Israeli apartheid, colonization, and dispossession.  It also suggests that sexuality can be singled out from Israeli apartheid, colonization, and dispossession.  This isolation of sexuality as a discrete site of oppression bolsters mainstream LGBT rights discourses which, historically, make this oppression legible only through the frame of purported Palestinian “homophobia” and Israeli “tolerance.”  In this sense, singling out homosexuality strengthens pinkwashing and, in particular, the specific and false pinkwashing narrative of the queer Palestinian who must remain closeted within their community, living in secret, always worried about being outed, and looking to Israel as the all-powerful, all-knowing entity capable of protecting their queer life and rendering it intelligible. Falling prey to this logic only entrenches a false, racist binary that actively frames Palestine and Palestinians as homophobic versus Israel and Israelis as sexually tolerant and liberal."

Zionist Jewish American organizations and the Islamophobia campaign

I have said this before but will say it again for someone who has always cared that the Arab-Israeli conflict should not be allowed to spoil the relations between Arabs and Jews or between Muslims and Jews: the silence of many key Zionist Jewish American organizations toward the blatant anti-Islam campaigns in the US, and the heavy involvement and endorsement by some of those organizations, is so dangerous not only to the future status of Jewish-Arab relations, but even also to the plight of Jews in Arab and Muslims lands. Can't the leaders of those organizations see that? Is that not too obvious? I mean, politically speaking: how dumb is it to be involved in bigoted campaign against 1.7 billion adherents of a faith?

Israeli occupation forces destroy water networks & launch assault on farmers

"Israeli occupation forces issued on Wednesday a decree banning farmers from irrigating agriculture on their stepped lands in Atov, located in eastern Tubas city in the occupied West Bank, threatening to arrest any citizen who cultivates his or her land."

Washington is populated by enough disingenuous, misinformation-spreading hucksters

"Drawing on nine years in the nation's capitol, Klein acknowledges one class of obstacles. "Washington is a cesspool of faux-experts who do bad research (or no research)," he explained, "but retain their standing by dint of affiliations, connections, or charisma." Sweet validation! I've often suspected that official Washington is populated by enough disingenuous, misinformation-spreading hucksters to fill an underground container of organic waste." (thanks Amir)

My review of the IPhone

My review of the new IPhone 6 and IPhone 6 plus. I went to the store yesterday to inspect the new IPhone (my contract does not expire until early November: for those who are outside the US, we can get the IPhone at much lower prices here in the US once we sign a two-year contract with a phone service provider).  The woman at the store told me that there were people who camped outside the store from 2:00AM just to get the first look at the new IPhone.  When I was there in the afternoon, it was not very crowded.  When you see the IPhone 6 Plus: one thing will strike you: it is very big, and I mean very big.  It indeed feels like a mini tablet.  A colleague told me about someone who confused the IPad mini with the 6 plus and tried to make a call on it.  I like the fact that the IPhone is very thin and the design is very pretty and I like the round edges. But the protruding back camera seems a flaw of design.  I don't know why that was necessary, technically speaking.  The resolution of both IPhones was spectacular.  The vividness of the color is better than real colors, I felt. You do notice the better picture resolution for sure.  The problem with IPhone 6 Plus, however, that there is a real danger of slippage in one's hand.  There is little friction and the way it fits in one's hand makes is easy to slip and fall.  For that, I think that one certainly needs a good sturdy case for it (that applies but to a lesser degree to the IPhone 6.  Despite all that, I am leaning towards the IPhone 6 Plus.  I like the big size.  Pictures below.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Hizbullah in the Face of Tornadoes

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Hizbullah in the Face of Tornadoes".

Al-Lidd airport, Palestine: 1939

This is a first: an article in Foreign Policy links to an Arabic website which has a reputation lower than the National Inquirer in the US

"Armed men posing with severed heads".  How can you continue reading when the link is to the sleazy Hariri yellow journalism website really?

Since 9/11 the US has launched 94,000 air strikes: most against Iraq and Afghanistan, but also Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia

"Forget the sobering fact that the western-backed Saudi regime has beheaded dozens in public in recent months, including for "sorcery", or that British troops infamously had themselves photographed with the severed heads of guerrillas during the Malayan war in the 1950s." "Since 9/11 the US has launched 94,000 air strikes: most against Iraq and Afghanistan, but also Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in the process."

The American empire

"The U.S. military used a camera as a torture device at Abu Grahib. To add further humiliation to detainees who were already put in cages, urinated on, stripped naked then stacked in macabre human pyramids, their photos were taken during these degrading acts."

Alan Dershowitz and his defense of Israel

If Israel were to kill one million Palestinians, I can see Derwhowitz defending the action. I can see him arguing: yes, they killed one million but they did not kill six. That is a sign of the humanity of the state.

Zionist dirty tricks

""Hardly anyone in Israel can speak 4,000-year-old Aramaic. Now, the Israeli decision to recognise "Aramean" as a distinct nationality in the country's population register is fuelling the ire of Israeli Arab leaders, who accuse the government of inventing a category of peoplehood to "divide and rule" the Arab minority."" (thanks Amir)

Ben Hubbard justifies alliances with Al-Qa`idah

Ben Hubbard justifies the alliance between the "moderate" rebel groups and Al-Qa`idah (which is part of the US coalition against ISIS):  "And some acknowledge that battlefield necessity has put them in the trenches with the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate".

Please, I beg you: don't be judgmental

Please, please. Don't be judgmental. According to the New York Times, the man to the right (a rebel leader, Sheikh Tawfiq Shahabuddin) is secular, moderate, liberal, feminist and thoroughly vetted by the CIA.  

Syrian rebels: vaccinates with poision:

So I read in the Free Syrian Army Times that the Syrian rebels will investigate the matter of spoiled vaccines.  Can you first report to us first about the results of previous investigations by the rebels of cases of war crimes? And then you can report back to me.  This is like American investigations in Iraq and Afghanistan of causes of helicopter crashes (always mechanical of course).

ISIS and the US role

This is an audio of the Boston radio program that I participated in about ISIS and the American role.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

On radio shortly: talking about ISIS and Saudi Arabia and US wars

I will be on the radio shortly with Patrick Cockburn and John Mearsheimer.

Hani Fahs is dead: Shi`ite Wahhabism

Lebanese Shi`ite cleric, Hani Fahs, is dead.  He is of course being praised in Hariri and Saudi media because he was an employee of those media.  I have said before that there is no man who switched political positions in a lifetime than this man and `Adil-`Abdul-Mahdi of Iraq (but I maintain that the latter genuinely changed positions from Fato to Maoist to Islamist etc).  Hani Fahs was first a follower of the As`ad reactionary family, and then became a supporter of Fath, and then became a supporter of Musa As-Sadr, and then became a follower of Khuymani and worked in Iran in the early years of the revolution, and then became close to Hizbullah, and then became close, again, to Amal Movement, and after 2005 became close to, or loyal to, Hariri family and Saudi regime.  That in Lebanon is being praised because the ultimate destination was the House of Saud.  I had written an article about him two years ago. 

Anne Barnard is back covering Syria from Beirut: the propaganda pitch is even higher about "moderate terrorists"

"Insurgents of all stripes, except for the Islamic State group, say the Syrian government appears to be stepping up its attacks on them ahead of the threatened American air campaign. Pro-government and antigovernment analysts say Mr. Assad has an interest in eliminating the more moderate rebels, to make sure his forces are the only ones left to benefit on the ground from any weakening of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS." The first version of this article, if I am not mistaken as I remember it from yesterday, claimed that ISIS has said that the Syrian regime has not stepped it attacks on it.  Now the new version by Barnard claims that insurgents "of all stripes" claimed that the Syrian regime stepped up attacks, leaving the impression (less strident than the previous propaganda version) that ISIS has actually said that the regime has stepped it attacks.  Now ISIS has not said anything on the matter, and I doubt that if asked, ISIS would say that, no, the regime has not stepped it attacks on it, as Barnard reports from her Ahrar Sham fighters (Saudi and American controlled).  Of course, those Saudi-American-run are going to claim to Barnard (who always report what FSA or those new favored rebels have to say without any questions or qualifications or investigation or verification) are going to claim that the regime is in cahoots with ISIS in order to receive yet more cash and arms.  Now, if Barnard knows Arabic she does not) only recently the same Syrian rebel media and oil and gas Arab media were reporting that the regime did step up attacks on ISIS but then accused the regime of killing Sunnis.  Oh, wait: as I reread the passage further, I realize that Barnard did not change the text as I read it further.  Here she says that sentence: "But Islamic State activists in Homs said on Wednesday that there had been no recent government airstrikes against the group". When did ISIS say that? You are telling me that ISIS made a statement in which it said: that the Syrian regime is not attacking us? are you kidding here, Ms. Barnard? Do you really believe everything that those rebels tell you? What did ISIS also say: that yes, we in ISIS are in cahoots with the regime?  How credible is this reportage?  But who cares as Ms. Barnard tells us that this rebel groups is--surprise, surprise--is yet another MODERATE group: "The Faith in God Brigade in Talbiseh is probably one of the most moderate forces left on the battlefield".  A moderate group with a name like Faith In God?  Why not add: this is a secular group named Faith in God?  Add more to the credibility of the article while you are at it.  Wait: I was wrong. Ms. Barnard does actually marshals evidence that this group is in fact moderate: "Before the war, Mr. Abu Nouh, 29, was an Internet technician. In the early days of the uprising, he wore his hair long, kept a poster of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden in his house, and watched American movies like “Fight Club” with civilian activists and asked them to bring him vodka from Damascus along with medical supplies and computer equipment." Long hair and vodka? If that is not a sign of Arab moderation nothing is.  And since the beginning of the Syrian uprising, I always identify when a Syrian rebel is lying: when the claim that they are independently funded from "Syrian exiles". Here is an example yet again: "The brigade in Talbiseh has refused to join with more extreme groups like the Islamic State or the Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda, Mr. Abu Nouh said. He said the brigade raised money mainly from Syrian émigrés in Persian Gulf states who have local relatives."  I bet. Was the TOW missiles also bought by Syrian emigres as well?  By the end of the article, Ms. Barnard seems to change her mind about the moderation of this group:  "And while they are more moderate than the Islamic State, the brigade’s Sunni fighters nonetheless express sectarian hatred toward the minority Alawite sect that forms Mr. Assad’s base. Mr. Abu Nouh shrugged at the news that 18 civilians were wounded in pro-government neighborhoods on Wednesday, saying, “They are Alawites.”" Did you mean to say, Ms. Barnard, that those are moderate terrorists?