Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reporters without Borders

This week it will award its Freedom of Speech award to the Saudi king. Congratulations.  

According to the Podesta emails, there is only ONE QUALIFIED MUSLIM IN THE ENTIRE USA

"2) There is only one candidate I thought was a viable one for a Secretary-level job among the Muslim Americans."

Secular and feminist leaders of the Syrian opposition

In this picture, you see leaders of the Syrian opposition: Voltaire to the right, and then Rousseau and Mills, meeting with their secular and feminist sponsor, the King of Saudi Arabia.

Where is the outrage about East Aleppo?

Why are there no Western media sharing footage of Syrian rebels shooting at civilians trying to flee East Aleppo?

Let me explain the crucial differences between the political recipes of a liberal think tank and a conservative tank in Washington, DC

The liberal think tank: US needs to bomb more in Syria.
The conservative think tank: US needs to bomb more in Syria.
The liberal think tank: US needs to do more to reassure Gulf tyrannies.
The conservative think tank: US needs to do more to reassure Gulf tyrannies.
The liberal think tank: US needs to provide more support for Israel.
The conservative think tank: US needs to provide more support for Israel.
The liberal think tank: US needs to do more to confront Iran.
The conservative think tank:  US needs to do more to confront Iran.
Welcome to the world of bipartisanship in US foreign policy.  

The grotesque sexism and misogyny of Huffington Post US (not to mention the grotesque sexism of Huffington Post of Arabic Qatari regime)

This is a disgusting misogynist and vulgar piece about Melania Trump.  In the US, liberal feminists don't get outraged over sexism against Republican women.  

Notice how difficult it is the for the UN to admit that Syrian rebels are not letting civilians leave East Aleppo

"It is deeply regrettable that no patients or accompanying family members could be moved. The evacuations were obstructed by various factors, including delays in receiving the necessary approvals from local authorities in eastern Aleppo, conditions placed by non-State armed groups and the Government of Syria’s objection to allowing medical and other relief supplies into the eastern part of the city."  This passage must have been edited by a US official to dilute the blame of Syrian rebels.  They just forgot to add to the factors the phenomenon of global warming.

Syrian rebel infighting

Syrian rebel infighting in East Ghutah

Those Syrian protest don't receive coverage in Western media: they just don't fit the dominant lazy narrative

Syrians have been protesting against the rule of the various Syrian rebel militias and there has never been a coverage of those protests in the last few years. The rebel militias in Ghutah have been engaged in bloody feuds and clashes and not a word about that in the Western media.  Western media are busy singing the praises of the non-existent Voltaire Battalion of Syrian rebels.

Reported STDs at unprecedented high in the U.S.

"Total combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in 2015 reached the highest number ever, according to the annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."

The other side of cute Trudeau

"These days, Canada is the second-largest arms exporter to the Middle East."

Overwhelming majority of Palestinian minors in Israeli custody are tortured

"The “overwhelming majority” of Palestinian minors held in Israel’s Megiddo and Ofer prisons have been tortured during their detention and interrogation, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said Tuesday, amid a marked increase in the incarceration and mistreatment of Palestinian children by Israel."

Compare the coverage of Mosul & East Aleppo

"The extreme bias shown in foreign media coverage of similar events in Iraq and Syria will be a rewarding subject for PhDs students looking at the uses and abuses of propaganda down the ages." (thanks Amir)

Western coverage of Mosul and East Aleppo: Is Patrick Cockburn the only Western correspondent who is free of propaganda burdens?

"But look at how differently the international media is treating a similar situation in Mosul, 300 miles east of Aleppo, where one million people and an estimated 5,000 Isis fighters are being encircled by the Iraqi army fighting alongside Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia and Sunni paramilitaries and with massive support from a US-led air campaign. In the case of Mosul, unlike Aleppo, the defenders are to blame for endangering civilians by using them as human shields and preventing them leaving. In East Aleppo, fortunately, there are no human shields – though the UN says that half the civilian population wants to depart – but simply innocent victims of Russian savagery. Destruction in Aleppo by Russian air strikes is compared to the destruction of Grozny in Chechnya sixteen years ago, but, curiously, no analogy is made with Ramadi, a city of 350,000 on the Euphrates in Iraq, that was 80 per cent destroyed by US-led air strikes in 2015. Parallels go further: civilians trapped in East Aleppo are understandably terrified of what the Syrian Mukhabara secret police would do to them if they leave and try to pass through Syrian government checkpoints."

Propaganda of Syrian rebels in Western media: The toy smuggler of Aleppo

"A story too good to be true – The toy smuggler of Aleppo’s jihadist connections, made-up stories and an orphan project run aground" (thanks Amer)

HILARIOUS: The most liberal think tank in DC offers its vision for the next US president: you need to bomb more in the Middle East

It is not amazing that the vision of the most liberal DC think tank is not that different from the vision of the Israeli lobby.  They basically want the next president to bomb Syria more and be more militarily involved in Syria; they want the US to fight Iran in the region and internalize Wahhabi doctrine; they want the next president to solidify the alliances with Gulf dictatorship; and they want the US to basically agree on the vision of Netanyahu for Middle East "peace".  The funny part is that they also mention human rights and democracy as it those goals are not in contradiction.

PS The Center has no Middle Eastern people among its experts, but managed to add Middle East sounding names as token signatories on its blueprint.  

The mafia which rules Syria: its war on the poor continues

The mafia ruling the Syrian regime has decided that the poor of Syria has had enough of indulgence and cuddling.  It decided yesterday to lift all subsidies on basic food stuff, like rice, sugar and bread.

Rober Lacey would like you to know this about the Saudi tyranny

“Some people refuse to give any credit to the Gulf monarchies,” he says. “It’s worth remembering that Saudi Arabia has never executed a single secular human-rights protester or campaigner—unlike Iran, which strings them up on cranes by the dozen.” (thanks Morgan)

Monday, October 24, 2016

When I was in Lebanon subject to Israeli indiscriminate bombardment in 1982, Tom Hayden was cheering Israeli occupation soldiers

From James:

"Jane Fonda Criticizes P.L.O.  TEL AVIV, July 2— Jane Fonda and her husband, Tom Hayden, arrived today for a weeklong visit here and said that the Palestine Liberation Organization's terrorist acts and refusal to recognize Israel had made the invasion of Lebanon inevitable. The visit was arranged by the Israeli Association for the Welfare of Soldiers, which has invited several American entertainers to Israel to improve morale. "

"Today Jane Fonda and her husband, Tom Hayden, briefly visited the Israeli position at St. Anthony's School and watched the shelling. The movie star and her husband have been visiting Israeli soldiers and Lebanese wounded in the invasion. Israeli soldiers crowded around Miss Fonda to be photographed with her, but she looked distant and uncomfortable.
Mr. Swersky, the Israeli command spokesman, gave Miss Fonda and her husband a private briefing on the military situation. Mr. Hayden, who was a leader of the opposition to the Vietnam War, has said that the Israeli invasion is justified because the P.L.O. refused to recognize Israel."

Once a month: Bashshar and sovereignty

Once a month, the Syrian regimes remembers the sovereignty of Syria--rhetorically.  

Bernie's endorsement of Hillary

His endorsement confirmed the distrust that many in the left have felt about him all along, and it registers as one of the greatest betrayals to progressive ideals.  

Banning liquor in Iraq

Those who ruled that US occupation is religiously permissible are the same people who ruled that liquor is religiously impermissible.

No one can save the sects in Iraq like the US occupiers

"The official emphasized the need for the US-led coalition’s close involvement in Mosul, especially after the experience of the recapture of Falluja, Ramadi and Tikrit, IS-held cities where refugees and local Sunnis suffered at the hands of Shi’ite militias." (thanks Basim)

Adonis and Nobel

Adonis contacted the Nobel Literature Committee and offered to receive the prize on behalf of Bob Dylan.

Al-Arabiyya lifts my post about Bob Dylan without mentioning the source

So I received a tape of Bob Dylan talking about Um Kulthum.  I asked readers to render it into a web link on Sound Cloud.  A reader took care of that and I posted it.  Al-Arabiyya posted it without mentioning the source.  But hey: if Saudi princes are willing the steal the wealth of the people, stealing a story won't be too much for them.

How the US Ignited the Lebanese Civil War (8)

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "How the US Ignited the Lebanese Civil War: Arms to the Phalanges And Ahrar from US, Israel, Spain, Germany, Italy, Belgium and France".

What is said about ISIS in Mosul: why is it not said about Al-Qa`idah and its allies in East Aleppo? They are morally superior?

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
ISIS endangers civilians by attacking from populated areas, preventing civilians fleeing Hawija, outskirts of Mosul. bit.ly/2eWnPtepic.twitter.com/M4iEbGuXXe

Warning to Syrian workers in Lebanon

Here, in this banner from Zgharta-Ehdin in north Lebanon (under the influence of Syrian regime ally, Sulayman Franjiyyah--a close friend of Bashshar Al-Asad), it is announced: "It is demanded that all Syrian workers who reside in Ehidin area should leave by 31/10/2016".  It should be explained that Sulyaman Franjiyyah loves Bashshar Al-Asad but hates Syrian people.

The New York Times celebrates female voting in Saudi Arabia

Calm down. Women and men vote in North Korea.  I don't see you cheering their voting. Cuba has more females in its legislature than the US. How come you don't cheer that knowing that Cuban legislatures is far more serious than the legislatures of Gulf regimes and Syria and Jordan combined.

When the sleazy media of Saudi princes mocks Jill Stein of the Green Party (Al-Arabiyya)

"The US Presidential candidate for the Green Party, Jill Stein, has tweeted that a planned Qatari-Turkish "US-backed" pipeline in Syria explains "so much" about the conflict, referencing a widely discredited conspiracy theory that appears to defend the regime of Bashar al-Assad."  When did Jill Stein defend the regime of Bashshar Al-Asad? She never did. Her vice-president spoke in a language which appeared apologetic of the lousy regime, but Jill Stein consistently distanced herself from views which are apologetic of the regime.  Also, Al-Arabiyya and other media of Saudi princes--which were founded on grotesque Jewish conspiracy theories and on anti-Semitism--are hardly the arbiters about journalism and conspiracy theories.  These are the same media which promote the view that Obama is a secret Shi`ite.

Who are the Arabs who want the US to be more--NOT LESS--engaged in the Middle East?

Notice how casually the Western media conflate Arab public opinion with the opinions of Arab rulers and pundits are Gulf-funded think tanks.  They speak about Arab disappointment with Obama for not "engaging" in the region (and engagement is another name for US wars and invasions) when the people of the region have had enough of US engagements for decades.  But those correspondents they speak either to the entourage of the Gulf rulers or to pundits are Gulf-funded think tanks and they take their opinions are representatives of Arab public opinion.  Oh, they also speak to Syrian exile oppositions leaders who are part of Qatari-supported or Saudi-supported organizations.   Look at this passage in the Times: "Here in the region, the United States is seen as disengaging under President Obama, who beyond fighting the Islamic State has been reluctant to be drawn into the swirling forces shaping the Middle East."  Here in the region? Where in the region? Tel Aviv and Riyadh?

The Nation magazine declared her a "progressive" candidate

"How mega-donors helped raise $1 billion for Hillary Clinton"

The Washington consensus

The worst policy options are those which are favored by the Washington consensus: whether about Syria or about Hillary.  

Eggplant Fries

You are looking at the greatest invention since the hummus.  This is actually Eggplant Fries, which is the speciality of a Lebanese-owned restaurant in Pacific Grove, near Monterey, California. The name of the restaurant is Jeninni.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Newsweek on Saudi Arabia

Does not the coverage of Saudi Arabia in most mainstream Western media reads like the press releases of Saudi embassies around the world?

Hillary buys into the "reforms" of Bashshar

In her leaked remarks, Hillary basically subscribes to the notion that the Syrian people would have been fine with Bashshar had he enacted "reforms" early in the uprising.  Of course, supporters of the Syrian "revolution" don't dare attack Hillary for arguments sympathetic to Bashshar.

Bob Dylan's embrace of Israel's war crimes

"Already in 1971, Scaduto wrote, “Dylan’s enthusiasm for the militant Jewish organization has brought down the wrath of some in the radical movement.” Scaduto detailed this just four years after the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Syria’s Golan Heights and Egypt’s Sinai had begun: “To many young radicals, including Jewish kids, Israel is simply another one of those fascist states propped up by a fascist American Government, and Dylan’s fervent support of Israel and his over-publicized contacts with the JDL are to them a further indication that he has sold out to the political right he condemned.” " (thanks Amir)

U.S. complicity in war crimes

" “The continuing civilian carnage caused by the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition in Yemen is horrifying,” Lieu wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Salon. “It appears that either the Saudi coalition is intentionally targeting civilians or they are not distinguishing between civilians and military targets. Both would be war crimes,” he stressed." "Despite internal concerns about complicity in war crimes, large U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia continued."

The resort to human shields argument

Notice that US and Israel only use the argument that "they are hiding behind human shields" about enemies of Israel only and about ISIS but they don't even use the argument about Al-Qa`idah in Syria (and its allies and variants).  

Fact Checker of the Times

This is one of the lousiest jobs in US journalism.  Forget about the political bias in favor of Hillary, the checker can't get to admit that Trump can be right in some attacks on Hillary, like her leaving a mess in Syria and Libya.

Candidate Clump

"After careful analysis of Mr. Trump’s inconstancy on the Middle East and other matters, I have come to suspect that he is actually five guys sharing a single, oversized orange wig. Meanwhile, Mrs. Clinton presents herself as the pitiless goddess of air strikes, drone warfare, and dead tyrants. But, at heart, the two candidates faithfully reflect the narratives, prejudices, and conventional policy approaches of the nation they propose to lead. This gives them so much in common that it is more efficient to discuss them together than separately. So, I will refer to Candidates Clinton and Trump as one gender-fluid person: “Candidate Clump.” Candidate Clump is on the payroll of the Israel Lobby’s major donors, wants to isolate Iran, and loves sanctions and other forms of economic warfare more than trade and investment. Clump was for the invasion of Iraq before heshe was against it. Heshe is more interested in poking at the Middle East than in understanding it. Clump thinks terrorism is a function of theology rather than a violent response by misfits to humiliation and social marginalization. Heshe is convinced that bombing is the best antidote to what heshe imagines is a religious onslaught. Heshe is not fond of Egypt and wishes Saudi Arabia would go away. When elected, President Clump will give Israel whatever is must have to fend off political tantrums by it. In short, the next president will concentrate on keeping the lid on the explosive mess the last few presidents have made of the Middle East and America’s position in it, not on defusing or dismantling the mess."

Has Reuters been purchased by the Saudi regime? Their report on Iranian supplies to Huthis

Brian Whitaker has rightly expressed skepticism about this Reuters story about Iranian arming of Huthis. But the funny part is that the method of documentation reminds me of the methods of Nicholas Blanford (the hagiographer of Rafiq Hariri) when he writes about Hizbullah and cites unnamed member of the party who basically tell him: yes, we are terrorists. Yes, we deserve to be bombed.  Yes, Israel should take us out.  Yes, everything that Israel says about it is true--and they exclusively tell him all that using name like "Abu Potato".  Similarly, this report from Reuters cites an Iranian diplomat: so the Iranian diplomat exclusively told Reuters that "yes, we are terrible and we are violating international norms by smuggling weapons into Yemen.  But then again: we remember when Saudi regime complained about a Reuters correspondent, and then Reuters management simply relocated that correspondent because he was too knowledgeable and asked too many questions.

Treasury Department now classifies organizations and individuals as terrorist jointly with the Saudi government

"Action Includes Joint Designations by the United States and Saudi Arabia".  Will they also behead convicts jointly?

Syrian rebels propaganda

Rebels of Ahrar Ash-Sham and Nusrah Front and Jaysh Al-Fath have been posting those signs in Idlib and elsewhere. The sign reads: "Beware of Secularists".  Who remembers when Western journalists were writing that Syrian rebels are exclusively secularists and feminists and hippies and democrats?  I do.