Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trump comes in "Style"

I wondered yesterday how long will it take Trump before he introduces his tacky, vulgar, Vegas taste to the White House? Apparently, it took only hours. There are new curtains in the Oval Office.

Trump made Nixon seems reasonable--by comparison: but it also reminds you to ignore inaugural speeches

Our Arabic poetry and your American poetry

Because Trump violated the tradition (since Kennedy) in inviting a poet, I went back to read some of the poem of Robert Frost (Your Mutanabbi).  I was astonished. This is what passes as poetry in the US? Bad Arabic poetry is better than Robert Frost's poetry.

Zionists and Trump

There is something going on in US political culture about Trump: as much as Trump is championing the most extremist and violent trends of Zionism (and Zionism is by definition extremist and violent), American Zionists are rather split: some are rushing to identity with him and his administration, while many others (from the left and the right and center) are expressing nervousness and even concern about his administration.  Not sure whether this will have an impact on Trump's foreign policies. 

Trump's foreign policies

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Fortune Telling: The Determining Factor in Trump's Foreign Policies".

Chief PA buffoon: Please, don't destroy me. I am a moderate.

"“This will destroy us as Palestinian moderates,” he said. “This will bring extremism to the region.”"

But pro-Israel figures also infested US government under Obama, especially Obama himself

"Pro-Israel Figures Will ‘Infest’ US Government After Trump Takes Office".

The US government, once again, insists that it has no ill will toward Al-Qa`idah in Syria

From WSJ:

Israel always shoots Palestinians during "clashes"

The Washington Post, like the New York Times, now consistently only refers to Israeli terrorist killing of Palestinians as "clashes".

What Islamists and others saw in the Trump speech in the Middle East

This Saudi professor of communication is widely followed on Twitter.  He is rather sympathetic to Turkish government and Muslim Brotherhood (and subsequently to Qatari regime).  He makes a point that Trump's declaration of war on "radical Islamic terrorism" was linked to biblical passages in his speech.  People in the region also know of Rev. Franklin Graham's hateful speech against Islam, as a religion.  

US-UK-backed war has displaced over 2 million Yemenis

"The humanitarian crisis in Yemen caused by the ongoing conflict over the past 22 months has led to the internal displacement of over 2.1 million Yemenis."

Israel begins ethnically cleansing Bedouin community to build "exclusively Jewish town"

"Some twenty percent of Israel's citizens are Palestinians, and none of them enjoy a modicum of legal or political equality. Institutional discrimination is particularly acute in the Negev Desert, inhabited by 80,000 Bedouin citizens of Israel whose communities and homes have been declared "illegal" by the self-proclaimed Jewish state. They are considered a demographic threat, and even an occupying entity. Thus plans have been put into place to "concentrate" the Bedouin in special development towns after their communities are demolished and replaced with exclusively Jewish ones." "Jared Kushner, a powerful multimillionaire real estate tycoon and Trump's son-in-law, will oversee Israel-Palestine issues for the administration. Kushner co-directs a family foundation that has donated large sums of money to organizations that support illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, which have been occupied in contravention of international law since 1967. Trump has reportedly also given money to an illegal Israeli settlement."

Congressman calls out the U.S. for war crimes in Yemen where 10,000 civilians have been killed

"The U.S. military has played a key role in the conflict for much of that time, supporting Saudi warplanes with intelligence and refueling even as their bombs have reportedly killed civilians. Rep. Ted Lieu, a colonel in the Air Force Reserves from Malibu, has been on a sometimes solitary quest to make the White House answer for its role. “That is morally outrageous,” he told Josh Hersh in an interview. “If the U.S. was doing this with our own pilots, dropping bombs on civilians, they’d be getting court-martialed right now.” "

Poor countries send trillions of dollars more to the west than the other way around

"In 2012, the last year of recorded data, developing countries received a total of $1.3tn, including all aid, investment, and income from abroad. But that same year some $3.3tn flowed out of them. In other words, developing countries sent $2tn more to the rest of the world than they received. If we look at all years since 1980, these net outflows add up to an eye-popping total of $16.3tn – that’s how much money has been drained out of the global south over the past few decades. To get a sense for the scale of this, $16.3tn is roughly the GDP of the United States." (thanks Amir)

Abu Ivanka: the sleazy media of Saudi Princes

This is a headline which refers to Trump as "Father of Ivanka", in a major Saudi regime mouthpiece.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Several years ago, when I spoke about the Israeli-Saudi alliance, some paid propagandists of the Saudi regime scoffed

Between Obama and Trump

The transfer of power between administrations are felt in the US, but not around the world, where bombs keep falling--regardless withther the president is Obama or Trump.

Trump's speech

When people said that Trump wrote his own inaugural speech, I was skeptical. Now I believe it.

Rev. Graham

Rev. Franklin Graham is the most unabashed hateful bigot. If what he says about Islam is said about another religion he would not be allowed into any event--official or private.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

10,000 civilians killed in Yemen

"At least 10,000 civilians have been killed and 40,000 wounded in the ongoing conflict in Yemen, a United Nations official said Monday."

US-UK-backed war on Yemen & the western media

"The biggest known player involved in Yemen is Saudi Arabia, who has been carrying out its military campaign with arms brought from the US and Britain. In December, the US announced it would be halting an arms deal worth $350 million to the Kingdom amid concerns of the coalition's indiscriminate bombing inside the country. But up until that point, President Obama had reportedly sold arms to the tune of $115 billion (107 billion euros) to Riyadh during his eight years in office - more than any US administration in history." "The UK, meanwhile, approved 3.3 billion pounds (3.7 billion euros) worth of arms to the Kingdom in the first 12 months of its bombardment of Yemen. So it may not make for good business sense for the corporate media in the US and the British mainstream media to cover a war and the negative impact it's having on civilian life when their governments are making huge profits from it."

Israeli terrorists kill father of five

"The fatal shooting of Mahdawi came one day after Israeli forces were shown on video dragging an injured Palestinian teenager who would later be declared dead."

Zionism and anti-Semitism

"Zionism and antisemitism are long-time bedfellows, and not strange at that. They’ve been consistently sharing the cause of emptying Europe of Jews while transplanting them in Palestine. Theodore Herzl, the founder of colonial Zionism, stated very clearly in his Diaries: “The anti-Semites will become our most dependable friends, the anti-Semitic countries our allies.” This alliance continues to this day as the burgeoning extreme right aims to have a Jew-free white America while maintaining a staunch support for Israel. Trump’s friendship with Netanyahu is emblematic of this tendency." (thanks Amir)

US is primary responsible for the creation of the war criminal regime of South Sudan

But now it claims that it can't interfere there due to the "limits of diplomacy".

This is now a standard: Whenever Israeli terrorists shoot and attack Palestinians it is during a "clash"

"NYTimes: Villager and Israeli Police Officer Die in Clash at Bedouin Hamlet"

Saudi regime magazine, Al-Majallah, portrays life in Iran

The headline says: "Iran: the cemeteries are homes for the displaced in the brutal winter nights".

The ranking of media in the Arab world: rise in Russian RT

I was looking yesterday at ranking of media in Lebanon.  I was rather surprised that the website of RT is now ahead of the BBC.  

Edward Snowden as a Soviet Agent

So Edward Snowden was recruited by the KGB when he was a toddler.  He infiltrated the world of babies on behalf of the USSR

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Missing Obama

Propaganda and fake news

In the Cold War, US invented the notion that propaganda by enemies of the US is...propaganda, while propaganda by US and its allies is the truth.  Something similar is happening these days with the stories of "fake news".  I like it when Obama speaks against "Fake News".  I mean, is there a source producing more fake news around the world than the US government?   And the US intelligence report on Russian hacking kept talking about Russian propaganda TV stations. What about US propaganda TV station in Arabic?  

This liberal love for Joe Biden

Joe Biden was a terrible Senator.  He was not known as a friend of the feminist movement at all (remember what Alexander Cockburn write about him during his last presidential run?).  He was instrumental in creating a Democratic posture of bending over backwards to accommodate Republicans.  He was the one who aborted the attempt to block the nomination of Judge Thomas.  He was for all his career a tool of the Zionist lobby.  He once had lunch with a foreign policy person I knew to discuss about the Middle East. I asked him: so is he one of those people who criticizes Israel in private but then says that he can't say it in public?  He said: no, he speaks the talking points of AIPAC in private and in public.  He had a history of plagiarism and fake claims and fabrications.  He has no legislative record to speak of.  He is annoying and sleazy.  Yet, liberals are in love with him because they have on one else to love.  

The assassination attempt on the life of a young Yemeni free thinker

Regarding this story by Brian Whiaker.  I would be very careful.  There are Yemenis on social media expressing doubts.  The fellow, Muhammad `Ali `Atbush, who authored a book challenging the Islamist and even mainstream notion of "Qur'anic miracle" of science, seems to be engaged in a degree of self-promotion.  I don't know whether he really survived an assassination attempt but the story seems fishy: that a team of hit men came to his neighborhood to kill him but that they missed him from a distance of...2 meters. How credible is that? The author on his Facebook page also seem to relish posting what critics says about him.  And how come there were no witnesses there? And killing with silencers is not very common there.  I won't judge either way on the matter but I would be skeptical especially that the book was really not as known as Whitaker seems to think.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Chelsea Manning and Judith Miller

Judith Miller just accused Chelsea Manning of hiding WMDs in her prison cell.

MTV of Lebanon: the most racist, sexist, and sectarian TV station: sponsored by US embassy in Lebanon

We don't know of the US finances MTV TV station in Lebanon. But we know that it was the only TV station which was visited by the US ambassador in Lebanon.  Not only it is notorious for its blatant sectarianism and racism (especially against Palestinian and Syrian people), and for its classism, and for its pleas for Saudi financing in Saudi Wikileaks, but it has referred to women as "whores" here.

Sudanese government: Dictators of the world Unite--but under US leadership

Here is the Sudanese government bragging that a US diplomat announced the removal of US sanctions on Sudanese dictatorship.  Where was George Clooney?

Zionists (and US govt) constitute the biggest threat to Freedom of Speech in the US: Fordham Bans Students for Justice in Palestine

"January 17 – Citing concerns that Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) would be too “polarizing” for the campus to tolerate, Fordham University denied status to a group of students seeking to establish an SJP club."

Have you noticed?

Whenever Syrian regime and its allies are engaged in bitter fighting with ISIS, all US media (and the hyper active Western correspondents in Beirut on Twitter) disregard the news.  Why? Because it simply violate their dominant narrative about the war in Syria. 

Samantha Power paying tribute to human rights at GCC-Hariri think tank in DC

Saudi foreign minister's praise for Trump

I notice that Western media went out of their ways to distort and invent statements by Bashshar Al-Asad to prove that this one tyrant who is not in US camp is very happy about Trump, while all the positive statements about Trump by Gulf leaders were ignored in Western media.  Saudi foreign minister said yesterday that he was optimistic about Trump, and if you read Saudi regime media lately there is a love fest for him.

What is this guy talking about? Are people in EU and US "included"--and he thinks highly of their governments

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Xi Jinping talks about those left behind by globalization but makes no mention of the human rights that would help them be included.

The new government in Jordan

Like his father, when he gets in trouble or faces political threats, the King of Jordan changes government (or dissolves parliament--he did both recently).  The change of the foreign minister is due to many factors, from what I gathered.  Nasir Judah was close to King but: 1) he was blamed for the non-delivery of Gulf aid; 2) he was seen as too close to the Hillary Clinton's team and the King wanted a new start with Trump.  The new foreign Minister is the first Druze Minister in the history of Jordan (there was a Druze prime minister before, Rashid Tali`).  He is very close to UAE government, and held a post of head of the government information service there.   (The first call he made after his nomination was to UAE).

This is most touching: Kenneth Roth's two idols sitting together

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Our credibility is at stake. West Bank is being eaten up by settlements. John Kerry at Davos #wef17

Monday, January 16, 2017

Trump as president

Several times a day since the election, I look at Michele and say: I can't believe that Donald Trump is the president. This is like having Peter Griffen of Family Guy (or an unfunny version of him) becoming president.

So which is more violent? Bible or the Qur'an?

"'Violence more common' in Bible than Quran, text analysis reveals: The Old Testament was found to be more than twice as violent as the Quran"

Bahrain executes 3 stateless torture victims

"Bahrain today executed three torture victims following authorization by King Hamad. Sami Mushaima (42), Ali Al-Singace (21) and Abbas Al-Samea (27) were executed this morning by firing squad, the first people executed in Bahrain since July 2010, and the first Bahrainis executed since March 1996." "We have previously recorded the torture allegations of Abbas Al-Samea and Sami Mushaima, two of the three sentenced to death. Al-Samea, a teacher, was at school at the time of the bombing incident. Sami Mushaima is illiterate. Bahraini authorities subjected them to torture and convicted them of plotting and carrying out the attack."