Saturday, December 31, 2016

US administrations and UNSC resolution critical of Israel

The argument du jour for Syrian rebel supporters in the Arab media

Writers in Saudi/Qatari media never run out of arguments against critics and foes of the Jihadi Syrian rebels.  Every week, almost, there is a new argument. The most dominant argument has been that if you oppose Syrian Jihadi rebels then it means you are an Islamophobe.  But that argument did not stick. So they have a new one: those right-wing anti-leftists hacks stumbled lo and behold on class analysis (in Saudi media, mind you): they now say that if you oppose the Syrian Jihadi rebels it means that you are against the poor.  I kid you not.  Yes, class analysis and love of the poor is a feature of the political behavior of oil and gas princes.  

Kenneth Roth: the human rights clown who discredited so many human rights

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Using typical violence, ISIS is trying to keep as many civilians as possible in Mosul to serve as human shields.
Look how he insists from NYC that all the civilians in Mosul were kept as human shields when he didn't invoke this argument about the civilians in East Aleppo,

"UN resolution on settlements is a step back for Palestinians"

"These clauses are toothless, in the sense that they are devoid of any coercive power to force Israel to comply with the resolution, let alone to see the “full implementation of the present resolution”; as such, it is no surprise to see the lack of any material impact on Israel’s settlement project. Similarly, UNSC resolution 2334 was also adopted under Chapter VI of the UN charter, and as such, also lacks a coercive mechanism to fulfill its directives (in fact, the language used to enforce the resolution is again weaker than that of UNSC resolution 465). Indeed, operative clauses 11 and 12 simply state that the UNSC:
11. “Reaffirms its determination to examine practical ways and means to secure the full implementation of its relevant resolutions;
12. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council every three months on the implementation of the provisions of the present resolution”.
As such, given the lack of a real enforcement mechanism in UNSC resolution 2334 coupled with its weaker language relative to prior resolutions that have had no practical effect on the ground regarding the halting and dismantling of Israel’s settlement enterprise, it is a mystery why anyone would be celebrating this latest iteration."

New York Times does not believe in expertise by its correspondents: Neil MacFarquhar

In this week alone, Neil MacFarquhar had a piece on the Middle East, followed a day or two later by a piece on Russia.  Of course, he is an expert of neither.

Immigration and public imagination in the US

racist and bigoted influences on Bernard-Henri Lévy

"Which writers — novelists, playwrights, critics, philosophers, journalists, poets — working today do you admire most?
Portuguese novelist António Lobo Antunes. Michel Houellebecq, the cardinal writer of my generation, the one before whom all of us, whether we like it or not (and without his having willed it), have had to measure ourselves. This actually worked out well for me, because we wrote a book together (“Public Enemies,” Random House, 2011)."  Think about it: for a bigoted man like this guy to have such respectability and acceptability by New York Times and other mainstream media is very much like the Nazis who accorded respectability on the likes of Alfred Rosenberg.   Notice how he has the habit to granting himself legitimacy by invoking places he visits as in this article: "I’m answering your questions from Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan....As a matter of fact, I was tidying up my library before leaving for Erbil."

Friday, December 30, 2016

Muhammad bin Salman as Crown Prince

I had a dream that Muhammad bin Salman finally struck and appointed himself Criwn Orince. Stay tuned. 

Angelina Jolie and George Clooney

It is sill to think that Angelina Jolie or George Clooney will bring peace to the world.  But if anyone can bring peace on earth, it will be Lindsay Lohan.  

This is not a story: mass graves in East Aleppo

"Russia: Mass graves found in east Aleppo: Russia’s Defense Ministry said Monday that its troops had found mass graves in the northern city of Aleppo with bodies showing signs of torture and mutilation. Dozens of bodies have been uncovered, according to a spokesman for the ministry, Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov. He said some bore gunshot wounds. Although the Syrian war is now largely fought with mortars, tanks and air power, death has come at close quarters as well. Human rights observers and the media have recorded numerous examples of massacres and organized torture, perpetrated by the government, the opposition and Islamic State militants."

And now some sample of political courage by American liberal Democrats

"Leading DNC Candidates Duck Debate Over Obama's Handling Of UN Israel Resolution"

Kerry's speech in Europe and the Middle East: According to the New York Times

"In Europe, however, Mr. Kerry’s speech was greeted warmly, with officials calling it a courageous and thoughtful effort to salvage the idea of a two-state solution for the Israelis and Palestinians. Still, across the Arab world, his harsh words for Israel were met with a collective shrug, coming at the end of eight years of Obama administration policies that left many in the Middle East frustrated."  When they talk in Western media about "people in the Middle East" or "the Arab people" they only have Gulf regimes in mind.

Look at the gentle tone of Kenneth Roth when he talks about Netanyahu

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Netanyahu curried Putin favor at expense of Syria warcrime victims but berates those who condemn illegal…

Media and Aleppo

Now that the battle over Aleppo is over, and without downplaying the war crimes committed by Syrian regime and by Syrian rebels and their external allies, is it not time to conceded that talks in Western media of Holocaust and genocide in Aleppo were crude and highly inaccurate terms for that situation?  

The popularity of Syrian rebels

If you know the status of Syrian rebels and their cause in Syrian eyes, just look no further than areas under the control of the rebels.  This week, Syrian rebels called for massive demonstrations in Duma in Rif Damascus in their support and against the regime.  This is the turnout.

Where are Western human rights organizations?

A citizen in Saudi ARabia sent me this (my translation from Arabic): 
"In Qatif, there is a historical precedent. The government announced a list of "Iranian-supported terrorists" and they were randomly selected which triggered a real chase story, followed by operations either by disguised death squads going after villages.  The human rights violations are varied from sieges to holding hostages to stealing and burning of homes".  

You have to read this very long article about Russian hacking and recruit of hackers to stumble in passing on this

"American intelligence agencies, including the National Security Agency, have for decades recruited on college campuses. In 2015, the N.S.A. offered a free summer camp to 1,400 high school and middle school students, where they were taught the basics of hacking, cracking and cyberdefense."

Stupid US media insist that Russians should consider their puppet Yeltsin as the era of freedom

"According to a poll by the Yuri Levada Analytical Center last December, just 14 percent of Russians saw the country’s first president as a positive figure. The Levada Center has published other polls that suggest that a majority of Russians regret the fall of the Soviet Union, think that it could have been avoided and feel as though the Yeltsin years brought more harm than good."  Nobody has abused the word "freedom" as much as Western propaganda, just as the word "Jihad" at the hands of Islamists and Saudi wahhabi propaganda.

Where are the fake tears of Western correspondents in Beirut? Four million people in Damascus have no access to water

Look how this story does not mention that the rebels were the ones who deliberately targeted the water resources of Damascus: "The United Nations is alarmed that four million inhabitants in Damascus and surrounding areas have been cut off from the main water supply since 22 December. Two primary sources of drinking water- Wadi Barada and Ain-el-Fijah-which provide clean and safe water for 70 percent of the population in and around Damascus are not functioning, due to deliberate targeting resulting in the damaged infrastructure."

The bigotry of U.S. liberals

"The Democratic Party will support justice in the Middle East only if it takes on the forces of intolerance in its own ranks. That means the Israel lobby. You can’t defeat an enemy if you can’t name it."

The truth behind fake news

"Consider the testimony of John Stockwell, former CIA intelligence officer and chief of the Angola Task Force in the mid-1970s, which recounts how the CIA continuously manufactured false news stories to feed to major media outlets in Britain and the US. Among these widely reported fabrications, Stockwell notes, was that Cuban soldiers were raping Angolan women."

Extreme pro-Zionist neocons within the German left

" “It’s ridiculous. These people call themselves left while using slogans like ‘anti-fascism means solidarity with Israel,’” said Dayan. “The discourse in Germany, especially inside the left, is a big problem. For many of these so-called leftists, the bashing of pro-Palestinian activists is the only way to keep their political careers afloat.” "

Namibian Genocide 1904-1907

"Even after the centennial of the Namibian genocide in 2004, Germany’s willingness to acknowledge it officially has proceeded so slowly — and, to critics, grudgingly — that it has set off accusations of racism in how the victims in Europe and Africa have been treated. “The only difference is that the Jewish are white in color and we are black,” said Sam Kambazembi, 51, a traditional Herero chief whose great-grandparents fled during the genocide. “The Germans thought they could keep this issue under the carpet and the world would never know about it. But now we have made noise.” "

World's 200 wealthiest people made a combined $237B this year

"The world's 200 wealthiest people made a combined $237 billion (£193.3 billion) this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, bringing their total net worth up to $4.4 trillion (£3.4 trillion)." "Meanwhile, the world's poorest 3.6 billion people — just under half the world's population — had a net worth of $1.76 trillion (£1.44 trillion) in 2015, according to a study by Oxfam, amounting to just $488 (£398) per person." (thanks Amir)

Syrians from East Aleppo

  • "Over 110,000 people have been registered as displaced from formerly besieged neighbourhoods of eastern Aleppo, including 74,941 displaced to areas in and around Aleppo city, and 36,086 people to Idleb and rural western Aleppo."

What about those lies about how many people were in East Aleppo?

Will Western media and Western human rights organization and Western NGOs apologize for vomiting the propaganda line of the rebels in this case (not to mention other cases)?
Numbers out of nowhere near the 275k mentioned by activists and aid groups. Max seems 2b 111k.

So were did all those Syrians in East Aleppo go?

Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) tweeted at 9:43 pm on Thu, Dec 29, 2016:
Of 111,000 displaced fr east Aleppo, 74,951 or 2/3 went to Gov-controlled areas, & 36,086 to reb areas. v @aronlund

PS I have no doubt that Liz Sly of the Post and various other Western correspondents in Beirut would come up with some idiotic reasoning to explain this discrepancy: a vote with their feet (against the rebels).

The lies of the New York Times about Syria

This article has been changed.  I read it on the plane yesterday.  And they have a phrase (which consistently appears in ALL US media although it is a lie. And you point out that it is a lie, you are accused of being an Asad apologist, just as if you point out lies of Zionists you are accused of anti-Semitism.  The statement which was later deleted (without a not in the editing changes below the article) said that "The Asad government labels all its opposition terrorists".  This has appeared repeatedly in US media.  But if the editor of the articles bothers to check you will see that it does not match the record.  Here in this interview with Bashshar Al-Asad he was asked (I am translating from the official Arabic transcript released by the government):  "To be clear, do you classify all the opposition groups as terrorists?  Bashshar:  "Certainly no. When you talk about an opposition group which adopts political means, those are not terrorists.  But as soon as you carry a machine gun or other weapon and you terrorize people and attack civilians and public and private properties then you are a terrorist".  I have never seen a story in US media where there is such a race to lie, fabricate and and not care about accuracy and professionalism like the coverage of Syria. In the same article (since changed and emended and altered), the article says that Bashar has called "Trump a natural ally".  Without the various qualifications to that sentence.  I don't know why not one member of the group of Western correspondent decides to abandon the propaganda frenzy and insists on professional standards on Syria.  I really don't get it.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Meet Peter Baker, the new Israeli occupation bureau chief of the New York Times

Here, he wants to summarize the lives of Israelis in occupied Palestine: "Israelis live under the constant threat of terrorism, enduring sometimes daily assaults by attackers wielding knives or driving cars into crowds. The Palestinian authorities venerate such “martyrs” and compensate their families financially." As for the Palestinians, this is how he describes the Israeli murder of Palestinians: "[Israelis] respond to provocations with decisive force."

Which one is the clown in this picture?

 I really cant decide who is more the clown in this picture? 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Kerry' speech

I am on the road but I just want to say that pro-Palestinians should read the text of the speech in its entirety before commenting on it. The headlines are making it less bad than it actually is.  Is there something new?  Yes, 1) for the first time ever, I think, a US official critiques the Zionist ploy of equating criticisms of Israel with anti-Semitism.  There were a few members of Congress who made that point over the years but to my knolwedge it is the first time an official made that point. 2) He spokes about separation and segregation but without using the word apartheid.  That is rather new.  3) I am not sure if a Secretary of State ever used the word An-Nakbah before: that should be looked up.  But he used it in the context of the Zionist narrative of the history of the conflict.  For John Kerry: every Israeli war and ever massacre (past and future) is justified.  And for him: terrorism can only be genetically perpetrated by Palestinians but never by Israelis.  That is the deep racism of US government Zionism.  Oh, he also was able to tell us--like every single damn US member of Congress and president--how one flight over occupied Palestine made him/aware of the dangers to Israel: which means, Arabs should apologize to Israel for having their region in the area which Zionists occupied.  As if those Zionist congress people were not Zionists before they took that helicopter ride over the Golan.  Lastly, something was implied in the long speech: Arab governments have now going beyond normalization promises and are offering secularity alliance with the Israeli state.  

Look how Zionists defend US support for Israel.

In previous years the bogus was that Israel is the only democratic terrorist state in the Middle East. Now the argument: Israel is the real protector of Arab tyrannies. Hilarious.  Ha ha.
Mike (@Doranimated)
The exact opposite is true. Amidst chaos, Israel is a pillar of stability helping to stabilize countries around it, such as Egypt &…

Rebel attacks on the drinking waters of Damascus

Where si the outcry? Where are the crocodile tears of Western journalists and academics? Syrian rebels polluted the drinking water of Damascus with Diezel and bombed water springs and threaten the drinking water of Damascus  Where are your fake sympathies for the Syrian people--o Western correspondents in Beirut?

Noura Erakat on UNSC 2334: from Jadaliyya

"The most significant aspect of UNSC Resolution 2334 is that it forms the first break with an otherwise absolute US policy to obstruct every Palestinian effort to resist Israeli expansion, especially during the past eight years. During his tenure, President Barack Obama has witnessed and colluded in two massive Israeli onslaughts upon the Gaza Strip, helped shelve the Goldstone Report, and adopted an unprecedented thirty-eight billion US dollars memorandum of understanding with Israel that increases US military aid to it from 3.0 to 3.8 billon US dollars annually over the next ten years. The administration used its first veto in the Security Council in early 2011 to quash a resolution condemning settlements very similar to the one that has just passed, citing Washington’s distaste for internationalizing the conflict.

If the Obama Administration was concerned with ushering a new era of the peace process, it would have abstained five years ago and not mere weeks before departing office; or during Palestine’s 2011-12 statehood bid; or in 2015 when it quietly crushed an effort to set a deadline for ending the occupation in the United Nations’s law making body. The administration’s abstention appears more like a finger to US President-Elect Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather than a change of heart. At this juncture of its tenure, the Obama Administration only had two embarrassing choices: to veto law and policy it has rhetorically upheld since 1967 or to abstain and expose Israel to international scrutiny. A veto was simply more costly in this instance. The resolution itself is not binding on member states and includes no enforcement mechanisms. In the wake of the UNSC 2334, Israel is set to approve 618 new settlements in East Jerusalem."

The legacy of the Crusades in the Contemporary Arab/Muslim worlds

My article: "The Legacy of the Crusades in the Contemporary Muslim world".

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

BDS and Israel

Is Israel now launching its version of BDS against countries which voted for the UN resolution?

Saudi regime media are downplaying the UN vote

Saudi regime media, especially the mouthpiece of Salman and his sons, Ash-Shraq Al-Awsat, are doing their best to respect Israeli feelings by ignoring the UN vote, especially in the opinion pages.  I remember a few years ago when I spoke about the Saudi-Israeli alliance when people thought I was exaggerating.

A curse downed the Russian plane

An actual headline of Al-Hayat (the mouthpiece of Prince Khalid bin Sultan) says that "the curse of Aleppo" brought down the Russian plane.  Basically, the GCC leaders put a curse on Russia in the last meeting.

Saudi foreign minister

Saudi foreign minister (seen above at the feet of King Abdullah, literally) described the Iraq "hashd" forces as "sectarian".  Why can't all Arabs be secular like the Saudi regime, why? why?

Israel in Senegal

"On the ground in Senegal Israel enjoys unique respect, a fact this reporter saw firsthand in March. With the vast majority of Senegalese engaged in small farming, Israel’s expertise in drip irrigation is welcomed."  I have cousins who are citizens of Senegal and people of Senegal detest Israel as much as Arabs do.  

until this latest resolution, Obama had been the only president not to let a resolution critical of Israeli policy pass in the Security Council

"In fact, until this latest resolution, Obama had been the only president not to let a resolution critical of Israeli policy pass in the Security Council."

"Breitbart Is Leading a Smear Campaign Against a Scholar for Mocking White Supremacy, and His University Isn't Defending Him"

"In a public statement, Ciccariello-Maher explained the meaning of the tweets. “On Christmas Eve, I sent a satirical tweet about an imaginary concept, ‘white genocide,’” he said. “For those who haven't bothered to do their research, ‘white genocide’ is an idea invented by white supremacists and used to denounce everything from interracial relationships to multicultural policies (and most recently, against a tweet by State Farm Insurance). It is a figment of the racist imagination, it should be mocked, and I'm glad to have mocked it.”"  

A State Department's unclassified document links the overthrow of Asad with Israel's security

"UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05794498 Date: 11/30/2015

"The best way to help Israel deal with Iran's growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad." "Iran's nuclear program and Syria's civil war may seem unconnected, but they are." "What Israeli military leaders really worry about -- but cannot talk about -- is losing their nuclear monopoly." "Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel's security, it would also ease Israel's understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly.""

Bahrain royal allegedly shoots journalist to death in front of her child

"A funeral ceremony was held today on Sunday (December 25, 2016) at the Muharraq cemetary for Bahraini sports journalist Iman Salehi, who was killed at the hands of  Bahraini military officer."

This is also Obama's legacy: "U.S. Sold $40 Billion in Weapons in 2015, Topping Global Market"

"The United States again ranked first in global weapons sales last year, signing deals for about $40 billion, or half of all agreements in the worldwide arms bazaar, and far ahead of France, the No. 2 weapons dealer with $15 billion in sales, according to a new congressional study." (thanks Amir)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Saudi King with US ambassador?

Who is bowing to the other? Who is the King in this picture?

Was Jill Stein wrong in this tweet?

This is my take because many people were mocking it.  Yes, the US in the 1980s directly armed and tuned the various elements and personalities that later formed Al-Qa`idah.  As for recent years, the US indirectly armed and funded Al-Qa`idah and ISIS by allowing various GCC regimes to arm and fund those terrorist groups.  In the case of Libya--and we still don't know the full picture--the US may have directly armed and assisted Al-Qa`idah and ISIS in the eager hope that they will bring down Qadhdhafi regime.  In the case of Libya, the US cavalierly dumped money and weapons in the laps of rebel groups that the US knew would be sharing the goodies with Al-Qa`idah (and in some cases ISIS).

A rare Zionist admission

"There's one yardstick for Israel. Another for the rest of the world." (thanks Basim)

General Patton on Jews and Arabs

"Disturbingly, Patton had zero sympathy for the Holocaust victims living in wretched, overcrowded collection camps under his command. He was unable to imagine that people living in such misery were not there because of their own flaws. The displaced Jews were “locusts,” “lower than animals,” “lost to all decency.” They were “a subhuman species without any of the cultural or social refinements of our times,” Patton wrote in his diary. A United Nations aid worker tried to explain that they were traumatized, but “personally I doubt it. I have never looked at a group of people who seem to be more lacking in intelligence and spirit.” (Patton was no friend to Arabs, either; in a 1943 letter, he called them “the mixture of all the bad races on earth.”)"

Great coup for Saudi regime police

According to this main feature in Saudi regime newspapers, these "Satan-worshipping dolls" were found in the Riyadh at a major toy store.  I wish to congratulate the Saudi regime police for protecting the children of the kingdom from those horrors.

George Kennan on world communism

American anti-Communism is a disease. This is how George Kennan described communism: "World communism is like malignant parasite which feeds only on diseased tissue."  And this guy was considered the reasonable one.

This s how Huffington Post Qatari regime remembered George Michael

It says: "Was addicted to drugs and had homosexual tendencies".

This idiot is the king of Jordan: he has the maturity level of a toddler, always parading in different military uniforms

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Haaretz would like to tell you why Trump is not that bad on Israel

It says that one of his two advisors on Israel supports "moderate" Israeli settlements.  We can all go to sleep now.

Meet the LA Director of CAIR: the Arm of the Saudi global Islamist network

In response to UN vote, Israel threatens to decrease its foreign aid program

"Along with Mexico and Chile, Israel gives the least as a percentage of gross national income among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Israel gives one-tenth of the U.N.'s target rate, lagging behind Turkey, Poland, Slovakia and even Greece during its debt crisis, according to OECD data.
On an individual basis, Israelis are also less likely to send donations abroad compared with citizens of most European countries and the U.S., according to a study by Hebrew University's Center for the Study of Philanthropy in Israel. Over the last decade, 0.1% of individual charitable funds raised in Israel went to international relief, compared with 48% in Belgium, 13% in Italy and 5% in the U.S."

Don't you like American "balance"?

"The official said the White House would not back any measure that delegitimized Israel or imposed a solution on the two parties, and would veto any resolution that omitted mention of Palestinian incitement to violence and terrorism."

Will the Saudi government be severing its ties with the US for moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem?

From Alfred: "In the past, the Saudi government and all Arab states have said that if any country moves its Embassy to Jerusalem, they will break relations with that country. That was done with a couple Central American countries in the past who later moved their Embassies to Tel Abib. How come the Arab governments have been so silent? "  I will cut off a small toe if the Saudi regime will cut off its relations with the US.

When tyrant Sisi teared up

He actually teared up.

The theories of Kenneth Roth about Zahran Alloush: is Kenneth Roth a joke or what?

More revolutionary acts from Syrian rebels

"Damascus water supply cut after rebels pollute it with diesel"

Israel is so mad at the US

Israel is so mad at the US that it may ask for additional funds next year.

Rumors to the contrary notwithstanding, Israel is a giving country and not a recipient country

"Those who work with us will benefit because Israel has much to give to the countries of the world." (thanks Michael)

X-mas scenes from Aleppo

None of the Western media (left, center, and right) bothered to show footage of X-mas celebrations in Aleppo. Why is that? Is that considered "pro-regime propaganda"? Why is that reality bothersome to Western media? What is about those scenes that Western media want to suppress?  I mean the rigid propaganda line about Syria in Western media supersedes even the traditional sectarian Christian bias of Western media coverage of the Middle East.

Israel threats UN with withdrawal of financial assistance

I am not making this up. The entire amount of Israeli funding of UN and its institutions is less than $ 8 million.  Israel is threatening to suspend its contribution.  That is probably the amount Israel receives per second from the US.

Can you imagine Kenneth Roth justifying the appeal of Al-Qa`idah as he does here by saying it stands up to atrocities of US and Gulf regimes?

Supporters of Syrian rebels never run out of schticks to justify their support for rebels: Farouk Mardam Bey

"Qu’en Syrie même des nantis d’Alep, toutes confessions confondues, se réjouissent d’être débarrassés de la « racaille » – entendre les classes populaires qui peuplaient Alep-Est – n’est guère étonnant. On l’a souvent observé ailleurs, la morgue des classes dominantes est universelle."  Yes, that makes sense.  So the entire people (more than a million and a half) who live in West Aleppo are the bourgeoisie while the rebels in East Aleppo are the proletariat.  But this is what is funny: those same supporters of the rebels early in the conflict dismissed the poor conscripts in the Syrian regime army as uncouth poor (and they were dubbed Abu Shahhatah--those who walk in slippers) and now the employ an opposite class analysis.  But let me understand this correctly: so the Syrian rebels are the proletariat and the sponsors of the proletariat are none other than GCC and US which want to establish the Dictatorship of the Proletariat in Syria?  Of course, at least Mardam Best is not claiming that any of the ideologies--ANY--of the Syrian rebels speak on behalf of the working classes and their interests.  Neither the Syrian regime nor the Syrian rebels represent in their leadership or in their ideology the interests of the working classes.  But there is something absurd about this whole process: supporters of Syrian rebels especially in the West never tire of coming up with new tricks and ploys to reconcile Syrian rebels with progressive causes and agenda.  What is next: a claim that the Wahhabi Emirate of Qatar and the Wahhabi Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are now the new leaders of world revolution of the proletariat?  

PS This schtick has been running in several commentaries in Gulf regime media as this week.  

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Flash: Netanyahu's angry reaction to US abstention at the UN

Netanyahu is so angry at the US for its abstention at the UN that he just issued an order: he said to protect Israel's pride and dignity (of which it has none), Israel will reject all aid from the US until further notice.

Kuwaiti politician sentenced 10 years in prison over insulting Saudi Arabia

"Kuwaiti court of appeals canceled an “innocence judgement” that was handed to parliament"

Don't you like bipartisanship in support of Israeli occupation and aggression?

"A range of senators and congressmen from both parties also denounced the resolution, a reflection of the deep loyalty to Israel shared by Democrats and Republicans. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York said, “It is extremely frustrating, disappointing and confounding that the administration has failed to veto this resolution.”"

Western correspondents in Beirut don't tweet their sympathy with the victims of Syrian rebel indiscriminate shelling

"Syrian Rebels Shell Aleppo After Withdrawal: They’re still seeking to inflict damage on government-controlled areas.": Look how Reuters justifies the shelling and downplays the war crime: "The destruction in those parts of the city has been far less than in the eastern districts that rebels held until this month."

Jim Clancy used to be CNN correspondent in Beirut--when CNN was a serious news network

Jim Clancy (@ClancyReports)
No, Don't be confused. Terrorist land thieves were condemned, #Apartheid was confronted and Newt Gingrich exposed as pro-war crimes.…

Anti-Arab Bigotry of Kenneth Roth: Last week he insulted Egyptian Copts; yesterday he insulted Egyptian Muslims

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Egypt's Copts: Gov't pays lip service to protecting them as armed Islamists attack and public mainly ignores them.
Can you imagine him daring to make such a bigoted generalization about the Israeli Jewish public? Can you imagine that? Can you imagine the outcry if he were to say that?

Kenneth Roth says that a Muslim registry is not bad in itself but that it is not useful

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Prior effort to register Muslims accomplished "nothing." Total waste. Obama rightly abandoned it. Trump should too.

Israel's dirty hands: Israeli drug firm fined for bribing officials in Russia, Ukraine & Mexico

"The Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva must pay over $520 million following corruption charges made by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The company breached the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by bribing officials in Russia, Ukraine and Mexico."

Read the damn text of the UN resolution

Read the full text. There is much more in it than simply condemning settlements. There is a whole sale of the Arab cultural condemnation of Zionism and Israeli occupation and nullification of ARab right to resistance against Zionist occupation and aggression.  Stop celebrating the damn vote.  Remember what the Israeli ambassador at UN did with the UNGA resolution "Zionism-is-Racism"?

Do people remember when Kenneth Roth praised Saudi regime for its secular and democratic policies in Syria?

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Good to see Saudis pressing for secular government, free and fair elections.
In Syria.

American manufacturing of Enmity to Russia

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "American Manufacturing of Enmity toward Russia: Intersection of Academia and and Politics".

A Sample of the Arabic Qatari regime, Huffington Post

This is an actual headline: "the underwear of the anchor woman appeared on the screen".

Saeb Erekat threatens to resign

Chief PA's negotiating buffon, Saeb Erekat threatened to resign if the US moves the embassy to Jerusalem.  If that does not deter the US, nothing will.

Being a research fellow in DC think tanks

If you support Gulf regimes, it is suffices to have a BA to become a research fellow.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Malcolm Kerr and the Camp David accords: A correction of the record

Professor Edmond Burke III sent me this correction about my post (below) about Malcolm Kerr's stance on the Camp David accords. My response was based on the recollection by Steve Kerr of his father's joyous reaction to Camp David accords.  Professor Burke wrote: "Recent postings about Malcolm Kerr and Camp David have prompted the resurfacing of this memory which may be of interest:
Following the announcement of the Camp David Accords Malcolm Kerr wrote a letter to the LA Times in which he stated (more  or less) that anything that was not agreed to by the PLO was not worth the paper it was written on. He was the only senior figure in the U.S. Middle East field to take this position. At the time Kerr was Professor of Middle East Politics at UCLA. Soon thereafter the garage of his home was fire-bombed by the Jewish Armed Resistance (an armed-struggle off-shoot of Meir Kahane’s group). The assailants were never caught. In the early 1980s the same group attacked the office of  Congressman Darrell Issa."

Flash: Trump responds to US abstention at UN

Trump said that Obama's name will be added to the registry of banned Muslims in the US.

US abstains at the UN: Obama found some political the last few days of his presidency. So don't get too excited

I am not a fan of the UN resolution (as it tries to achieve "balance" by condemning the right of the Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation and aggression under the banner of rejecting "terrorism" and by creating a fake moral and political distinction between Israeli occupation of West Bank and Jerusalem and Israeli occupation of 1948), but the Obama administration abstained. So let it be noted: Obama did find some political courage vis-a-vis the last days of his presidency.  He does not deserve a blender for his political cowardice.

Rabih Alemaddine on X-mass in Beirut

He wrote: "We don’t have a food orgy at the end of Ramadan, we don’t flagellate ourselves during Ashura, and for Christmas, we certainly don’t shower our children in gold, frankincense, and Dolce & Gabbana."  No, Rabih. You are proving here that you know about other sects as much as average Lebanese.  Not all Shi`ites "celebrate" their religious holidays (and it is Ashura only as you reduced it to that).  And not all Muslims gorge in the month of Ramadan: most are too poor to gorge.  And not all Christians can afford to buy from Docle & Gabbana.  

PS Why do we blame Westerners about stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims when some Arabs themselves promote such stereotypes? 

Demorats and Republicans

Syrian regime and Tal Az-Za`tar

It is now proven beyond a doubt that Syrian regime forces shelled Tal Az-Za`tar to assist the right-wing Phalanges assault.  The unpublished memoirs of a key Lebanese player in the Lebanese civil war (and whose family kept the memoirs and has not published it but it will soon appear--and I have read it) also proves that the Syrian regime was actually much more involved in the assault on Tal Az-Za`tar than previously thought.  Supporters of the Syrian regime and of the mumana`ah camp often accuse me of holding a grudge against the Syrian regime because of 1976.  And my answer has consistently been: you bet.  It was not a small thing.

New York Times and the article about Steve Kerr

The article (with contribution from Anne Barnard) got this so blatantly wrong: "Yasir Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization, expelled from Syria, had its headquarters in Beirut. "  By the time Malcolm Kerr arrived into Beirut, the PLO was expelled from Beirut.  You just had to insert the Palestinians into this, instead of talking a bit about the horrors of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon?  Also, the article does not mention a common theory about the assassination at the time: Malcolm Kerr stood against Phalanges plan to create a branch of the AUB in East Beirut. This had been the plan by Bashir Gemayyel for several years and Kerr resisted that strongly.  The theory goes that the Lebanese Forces thugs (who were the dominant force when Kerr served in Beirut) were the one who killed him.  

PS I met Ann at UCLA a couple of times and liked her very much.
PPS I was not happy to read in this article that Malcolm Kerr was happy about Camp David and Sadat's role.  While Kerr was hated by Zionists and considered an "Arabist" who was sympathetic with the Arabs, his actual writings were in fact too accommodating of the Israeli occupation state.

Look at the courage of this LA Times correspondent

"To b clear, tweet re last msgs in NOT meant 2 belittle suffering. Merely counseling caution in reporting all claims in -n war."
You know what he is apologizing about? Yesterday, I pointed out that he was the only Western correspondent in Beirut who posted from Aleppo pictures of Syrians in West Aleppo celebrating X-mass and even celebrating the defeat of Syrian rebels. He was attacked and he felt obligated to offer this by way of apology.  This is incredible. This validates my theory about Western media and Syria: there is a rigid consensus and anyone who slightly deviates will be intimidated and punished.   Why does he need to explain that he did not intend to belittle suffering? If some Syrians are celebrating--for whatever reason--it is their responsibility to explain and not the correspondent who simply posted pictures from the scene.

PS I am told that I am in error that he was talking about some other post on East Aleppo and not about the pictures of X-mass in East Aleppo.

look at the cautious and qualified language that Kenneth Roth uses about war crimes by US and allies

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
US weapons are known to have been used in 23 apparently unlawful Saudi-led coalition bombing attacks in Yemen:

Notice that when it comes to Syrian regime and Russian bombing he talks daily about "slaughter" and "war crimes" but when it comes to war crimes by US and its allies it is merely "apparently unlawful".  Apparently unlawful? I will tell you what: you are certainly non-credible on human rights.  You are a gift to Israeli war crime propaganda.  

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Both Russia and US are lying and both don't count the civilians that they kill

"Russian military: 71,000 strikes in 1 year, 35,000 terrorists killed.
US military: 16,806 strikes in 2 years, 50,000 terrorists killed".

Shame on the Guardian: stop participating in the exploitation of a little Syrian child

I understand that you want to promote the cause of the Syrian rebels. But why can't you do it by talking to adult Syrians? Just leave this innocent child alone and don't contribute to her exploitation by her lousy parents and by Syrian rebels.

Liberal Democrats on Trump and Israel

Liberal Democrats are acting as if Obama has been such a friend of the Palestinian people and that Trump is going to erase all that.  

Muhammad bin Salman away from protocols

He invited Saudi regime journalists to take pictures with him. How humane.

Nabih Bolous of the LATimes was the only correspondent in Beirut who

He was the only one who covered the X-mass celebrations in West Aleppo.

This liberal Zinoist argument for ethnic cleaning was endorsed on Twitter yesterday by Kenneth Roth

"Opposition to the Palestinians’ “right of return” is a matter of consensus among left and right Zionists because also liberal Zionists insist that Israel has the right to ensure that Jews constitute the ethnic majority in their country."  Here is Roth's endorsement for this call for ethnic cleansing.  

Regarding Western justifications for their bigotry against Muslims

My friend Maysa sent me this yesterday (I cite with her permission): "I feel like if Palestinians can manage not to have animosity toward Jewish people at large, others should be able to do the same with Muslims (especially when they live in America unscathed). But it's an entirely different dynamic apparently."

Merkel issues a hypothetical condemnation against Syrians

"I know it would be especially hard to bear for all of us if it should be confirmed that the person who committed this act sought protection and asylum in Germany," she said. "This would be especially despicable ... " (thanks Basim)

From Jadaliyya: "US and European Arms Sales to the Middle East 2011-2014"

"In this brief study, we aim to assess the value of official weapons sales between arms producing countries and the Middle East between 2011 and 2014. The focus will be on trade with Jordan, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Turkey (JUQKKT)—countries that have close links with the Syrian armed opposition. We then compare arms sales revenues with the cost of hosting Syrian refugees seeking protection in arms-exporting countries[1]—while taking note that comparing earnings from the arms trade with hosting refugees does not address or assume away the immorality of weapons sales. We grouped weapons manufacturers and transfer countries under the “Friends of Syria” banner—in reference to the group formed in 2012 by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy composed of France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Italy, Turkey, UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Egypt—and the rest under Eastern Europe.[2] The focus on Western countries does not imply they are solely to blame for the weapons trade. However, reliable data on arms exports from China, Russia, and Iran are not readily available. Though we do try to provide some plausible estimates based on available data. While this prevents us from including these in our calculations, it does not affect our main premise of the indirect but foreseeable link between Western arms transfer to the Middle East and the wave of refugees."

Damage to old Aleppo

There is no question that the most severe damage caused to old Aleppo was caused by the massive underground explosions by Syrian rebels.  I read that one of those massive explosions (for digging of tunnels) registered over 5 on the Richter scale.  

Have you noticed?

When Palestinians dig tunnels, they are called "terror tunnels", and when Syrian rebels dig tunnels, they are called "rebel tunnels".  

Aron Lund's terminology

"Assad’s Syrian Arab Army and its Shia Islamist allies have seized ground from Sunni Arab rebel factions".  Notice that Shi`ites are Islamist while Sunnis are rebels.  People are becoming way too obvious these days.

Western media are hailing Erdogan for posing with a little Syrian girl as a propaganda prop

I remember when Saddam posed with children of Westerners in Iraq back in 1990, Western media feigned outrage and said that children should not be exploited in photo ops and propaganda projects. But when it serves Western interests, it is fair and cut, I guess.

The Economist magazine is getting dumber and dumber: it unearthed "evidence" of Russian intervention in Reagan's election

"In November 1984 the Kremlin tried to stop Ronald Reagan from being re-elected. As part of its active-measures programme, Moscow promoted the slogan “Reagan Means War!” To discredit him, Russia propagated stories about Reagan’s militaristic adventurism, rising tensions among NATO allies, discrimination against ethnic minorities and corruption." What? That those who opposed Reagan around the world, and those who raised the plight of ethnic and racial minorities in the US were doing the Russian bidding?  And what is your evidence of what "Moscow promoted".  Let us put it this way, if this is the manner of Russian intervention in US elections, it really is insignificant compared to US heavy-handed intervention in elections in every country in the globe--except Israel (and even there, Clinton tried to help the Labor Party).

Gene Sharp

"Tattered copies of his book have been found on the streets of cities where people protested against their governments. In other countries, where the political scientist is portrayed as a dangerous CIA agent, his writings are banned."  What? No tattered copies of his book were found anywhere, and no country in the Middle East banned his books to my knowledge. He is too insignificant.  Let us agree on this: that this Gene Sharp business and the Arab uprising has been the worst news story of the last decade, by far.  

Human Rights Watch and the use of the word "atrocities"

By the way, correct me if I am wrong--I never am--but Human Rights Watch never in its entire history used the word "slaughter" to refer to Israeli war crimes and massacres.  I am only mentioning that because I notice that its director on social media uses that word casually about Russia and the Syrian regime.

Repression and censorship by Jordanian autocracy never gets covered or condemned in the West

Just yesterday, the Jordanian regime issued an ultimatum that any media which publishes information or news or articles or commentaries about the "domestic and foreign affairs" of the Kingdom without license will be closed instantly.  It also warned against publishing rumors "and fake news".  

Human Rights Watch director Supports the UN resolution on settlements because it is in Israel's interest

The Director of HRW yesterday tweeted in support of the UN resolution for the same reasons that France also supports: that it is good for Israel. In fact, director of Human Rights Watch bluntly supported the resolution because he said that it is balanced in that while it condemned (vaguely) settlements it also condemned "terrorism" of the Palestinian people under occupation.  Human Rights Watch was a necessary political development in the West because it really taught the natives that the entire Western human rights project is part of the "soft" and hard power of US empire.

Human Rights Watch on mistreatment of Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Notice that whenever Human Rights Watch talks about Lebanon's Internal Security Forces they never mention their political sponsors, namely: the Hariri family, the US, and Saudi intelligence service.  It just happens that HRW office in Beirut belongs to the same political camp of the Hariri family.  

Being black in the US

Contrary to O’Reilly’s fantasies about a modern and color-blind United States, evidence continues to mount that the system of oppression remains open for business. Witness a New York Times investigation spotlighting a massive discrepancy in how black inmates in New York state are treated vis-a-vis their white peers. Witness a stunning USA Today investigation showing that, in the words of the headline, “Black people are three times likelier to be killed in police chases.” Chilling: “Deadly pursuits of black drivers were twice as likely to start over minor offenses or non-violent crimes that posed little danger to the public until a police officer decided to give chase,” according to the USA Today article. Should O’Reilly need more information on this topic, he could always pull up the Justice Department’s damning and endless March 2015 Ferguson report. One passage:  Ferguson’s law enforcement practices overwhelmingly impact African Americans. Data collected by the Ferguson Police Department from 2012 to 2014 shows that African Americans account for 85% of vehicle stops, 90% of citations, and 93% of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67% of Ferguson’s population. African Americans are more than twice as likely as white drivers to be searched during vehicle stops even after controlling for non-race based variables such as the reason the vehicle stop was initiated, but are found in possession of contraband 26% less often than white drivers, suggesting officers are impermissibly considering race as a factor when determining whether to search. African Americans are more likely to be cited and arrested following a stop regardless of why the stop was initiated and are more likely to receive multiple citations during a single incident. From 2012 to 2014, FPD issued four or more citations to African Americans on 73 occasions, but issued four or more citations to non-African Americans only twice. FPD appears to bring certain offenses almost exclusively against African Americans. For example, from 2011 to 2013, African Americans accounted for 95% of Manner of Walking in Roadway charges, and 94% of all Failure to Comply charges. Notably, with respect to speeding charges brought by FPD, the evidence shows not only that African Americans are represented at disproportionately high rates overall, but also that the disparate impact of FPD’s enforcement practices on African Americans is 48% larger when citations are issued not on the basis of radar or laser, but by some other method, such as the officer’s own visual assessment."

Can you tell your Syrian rebels to stop masquerading little children for the cameras?

I don't blame Syrian rebels for this as much as I blame Western media who basically have encouraged the Syrian rebel exploitation of children as propaganda props. Look at this disgusting video: they made a child stand in the snow in order to say: look at the children. Why not take him inside?

The prisons of the Syrian Asad regime (father and son)

I have been reading an unpublished manuscript, of a memoir by a key player in the Lebanese civil war.  There is in the book the experience of this man in Syrian jail and the graphic description of the torture techniques and squalid conditions of those prisons.  Those prisons were not in any way accidental to the Syrian regime repression but were an integral part of its apparatus of power and repression.  

There are Syrians who just don't want to live in areas under Syrian rebel control--as much Western media want them to

This is something that can't be accepted by all the mainstream media (from Mainstream Media Now to New York Times and the WP) that millions of Syrian just don't want to live under Syrian rebel control.  Some of the refugees are Syrians who don't want to live under rebel control (and others are people don't want to live under regime control or people who were driven by war).  But there are Syrians who chose to stay in West Aleppo and who don't want to live under Syrian rebel control. Yesterday, they have festivities and celebrations and that is something that was not carried by Western correspondents in Beirut.  Their coverage has been so propagandistic that they failed to even capture that aspect of the Syrian war.   There were many on Arab social media who showed those celebrations in West Aleppo but Western media would not none of that.  People who identify themselves as Christians were particularly festive about this coverage--whether you agree with it or not.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Western governments rely on this royal clown in their anti-terrorism strategies: he released those pictures to show his toughness

All those pictures were shot in the Video Games Headquarters in Amman, Jordan. By the way, around the conference table (top), you see his son and his brother (to his right). 

Two pictures summarize US foreign policy in the Middle East

One picture (top) shows the fancy Cessna plane (we use for spraying pesticides on crops in California) which the US embassy--with great fanfare (the etymology of the last word is Arabic, according to M.W. Watt but he never convinced me)--paraded before the press in Lebanon with all the top brass of the Lebanese Army in attendance.  Worse, the US embassy in Beirut, which treats Arabs as if they are idiots, said that the Cessna was a gift to the "Lebanese Air Force"--as if US/Israel allow Lebanon to have an "air force".  We have US documents from the 1970s showing the US consistently blocked any advanced weapons to the Lebanese Army because of Israeli "concerns".  The other picture shows the F-35 in the Israeli occupation entity. (thanks Ted Bey for the second picture).