Friday, May 27, 2016

Sirhan Bisharah Sirhan

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Sirhan Bisharah Sirhan: The First Palestinian in America".

What is it about US culture? Or is it the religion? Domestic violence in US

It seems that not everyone is opposed to domestic violence in the US. Some don't mind domestic violence if perpetrated by a cute actor.
#johnny_depp

The UN and the civilians in Raqqa

There are far more civilians in Raqqa than in Fallujah (more than five times) and yet: the UN officially expressed concerns over the plight of civilians in Fallujah but didn't say a word about the plight of civilians in Raqqa.  But the UN subscribes to the standards of GCC media: they happen to think that Arab civilians are fair game for US bombs and rockets.

US and and Raqqa

It is very clear: that the US rushed to "liberate" Raqqa (although US never liberates) only because they wanted to beat the Russian forces and the Syrian regime forces after the fall of Palmyra.  They wanted to enjoy the dubious honor of occupying the city first.  

US drone strikes in Pakistan see 631pc increase under Obama

"The US began carrying out drone strikes in 2001, after 9/11, under the administration of then president George W. Bush. Since then, the US has conducted 910 strikes in four countries ─ Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Pakistan is at the top of this list, with 424 drone attacks since 2004.   Over 2,500 people have been killed in US drone strikes, of which at least 350 were civilians."

Beirut Madinati

It figures that all journalists belonging to March 14 (like this Hillary hagiographer and Jumblat and Hariri cheerleader) would be cheering Beirut Madinati.  I wrote about the list at length in Arabic: it was basically an attempt by the Professional Managerial Class of Lebanon to get more power.   It raised generalized slogans that never threatened the corrupt political system.  And members of the list were caught sneaking into a meeting with Walid Jumblat (after claiming that they were opposed to all politicians in Lebanon).  Sa`d Hariri offered them praised later on after they lost.  They claimed to not raise political slogans as if "developments" is not political, and as if fighting corruption is not political.  Most if not all of the corruption of the municipal Beirut council is due to Hariri control lasting for over a decade and yet they avoided saying a word about the Hariri network.  They basically bragged about their professional degree and did not include one person who is not a graduate of a private Western university (from Beirut or form the West).  For the failings of the professional managerial class, read the new book by Thomas Frank, Listen, Liberal: or whatever happened to the Party of the People.

PS Also, what Ghattas said that they had specific solutions is quite untrue. On their website, they miraculously claim that all problems will be solved in...six years, meaning the duration of the term of the municipality.  Also, they link in one passing reference social justice to "economic development." So their ideas of social justice are derived from World Bank and IMF, it seems.  Whenever members appeared on TV, they always cited the authority of World Bank and IMF and WHO for their positions.  Typical Professional Managerial Class lingo.

PPS The Professional Managerial Class never reaches power without betraying the interests of the working class and the traditional middle class.  

Obama

Obama is the most unemotional person I have seen. And his tears always seem fake to me.

Steven Spielberg at Harvard

Steven Spielberg gave the commencement address at Harvard University. Lacking his essential visual and sound effects without which he can't perform, he warned the graduates against the "monsters" of the modern world, and he listed ethnic hatred and "class hatred". Don't worry, Steven Spielberg. The spoiled brats of Harvard won't resent the system of class inequality which produced people like you.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

How more far right can Carnegie Endowment for International War can go? An Israeli soldier is appointed as a Peace Fellow

"Award-winning journalist Jeffrey Goldberg will join the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a Visiting Distinguished Fellow in September 2016. During his nine-month fellowship, Goldberg will work on his forthcoming book on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East."

On Hitler and Nazi support for Zionism

The public (deliberate among Zionists) misunderstanding of Nazi attitude toward Zionism stems from the wrong assumption that anti-Semitism and pro-Zionism don't mix.  In fact, the rise of Zionism was aided in Western capitals by strong anti-Semitic tendencies (from Balfour among others).  But the record is clear.  In one speech from 1920, Hitler said: "Jews should seek their human rights in their own state in Palestine, where they belong" (p. 28 in F. Nicosia, The Third Reich and the Palestine Question)

Who are the civilians exactly?

All Arab oil and gas media feign great concern for the civilians of Fallujah.  But none of the same media feign any concern over the civilians of Raqqa although the civilian population there is far greater than that of Fallujah.  Or are civilians of Syria and Iraq a fair game for US bombs, according to Qatari and Saudi regime media?  

Reporting on Egypt at the Guardian: fabrications, literally

"In an investigation that included approximately 50 interviews, our fact-checker found articles that contained likely or confirmed fabrication, including stories about two events that organizers said he didn’t attend. Dozens of sources could not be found – either they had no online presence or they were anonymous and could not be substantiated – and several people quoted in Mayton’s articles either denied speaking with him or giving the quotes attributed to them. "  But don't worry: he found a new home.

Banned U.S.-made cluster bomb "minefields" killing children in Yemen

"Since March 2015, well over 6,000 people have been killed in Yemen, approximately half of whom are civilians. The U.N. has said the Western-backed coalition is responsible for two-thirds of civilian casualties. It has bombed hospitals, schools, residential neighborhoods, weddings, a refugee camp and more." "This is the first confirmed use of U.K.-made cluster munitions since Britain adopted the Convention on Cluster Munitions in 2008. A Brazilian-manufactured Avibras ASTROS cluster munition rocket was also found in Yemen, as was a U.S.-manufactured CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon. In August 2013, the U.S. Department of Defense reached a $641 million contract with Saudi Arabia for the manufacture of 1,300 CBU-105 weapons. It is also in the stockpile of the United Arab Emirates."

Diaa Hadid won't be reporting on this: Israeli forces shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian woman at a checkpoint

"Israeli forces shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian woman at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem on Monday." "The woman was identified as 19-year-old Sawsan Ali Dawud Mansour." "Twenty-six Palestinian children are among those slain. The majority of Palestinians were killed during what Israel alleges were attacks, though in many cases, eyewitness testimony and video footage shows Palestinians were shot dead when they posed no immediate threat in what may amount to extrajudicial executions."  Or this is how Diaa Hadid would report on the crime if asked by the Times: a woman named "Um Mahmud" who is afraid to give her full name tells the Times that killing of Palestinian civilians is good for the Palestinian people.

An Arab fighting in the US army in WWI

Misha'il Nu`aymah's literary masterpiece, Sab`un (and when you think that Najib Mahfouz was the one Arab who won the Nobel Prize for normalization with Israel) has not been translated into English. It is too massive. But the second volume contains a great insightful remarks about an Arab serving in the American Army in WWI.  He said that part of the experience made him to briefly state: "my mind and heart are gradually pushing me toward radical leftism".  (volume 2, p. 133).

Don't you like the fruits of collaboration between US media and think tanks with GCC based media and think tanks? Look at this

Basically, they are saying that Saudi-US war crimes in Yemen have been really great for training purposes: "The 15-month long conflict has provided some vital lessons and experience to the Gulf militaries. The scale of the war in Yemen, as well as the human toll it has taken on both sides, has provided many units operating on the Kingdom’s southern border and within Yemen with significant experience in combatting guerrilla-type warfare. And although the price paid in casualties has been high, particularly for Border Guard units, Saudi Airborne units and artillery battalions of the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG) have proved to be very effective. By regional standards, Saudi Arabia has one of the best-equipped forces and is also the second largest operator of Apache helicopters in the world, which if utilized properly provides for effective close air support, with the additional value of eliminating the inaccuracies of high altitude air strikes."

“What?! What do you mean pictures with cats?

On a televised broadcast, Sheikh Saleh Bin Fawzan Al-Fazwan, a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars, was told about “a new trend of taking pictures with cats has been spreading among people who want to be like Westerners.” He replied: “What?! What do you mean pictures with cats? Taking pictures is prohibited. The cats don’t matter here.” The sheikh continued: “Taking pictures is prohibited if not for a necessity. Not with cats, not with dogs, not with wolves, not with anything.” (thanks Basim)

PS Like me in this picture.

Turkish-Israeli-Azeri alliance

"Behind closed doors, the Turkish-Israeli-Azeri bloc seems to be working fine on almost all fronts."

Is this guy for real?

" “Big nations should not bully smaller ones, disputes should be resolved peacefully,” he told an audience in Hanoi, referring to the disputed maritime region."

Women sold in US-UK-allied Saudia Arabia & Bahrain

"Indian women are being sold “like products” for just £4000 in Saudia Arabia and £2000 in Bahrain, according to India’s welfare minister." (thanks Amir)

Human Rights Watch is about to declare the digging of tunnels to be a war crime--if dug by the Palestinian people under siege

"Sari Bashi, a spokeswoman for Human Rights Watch and expert on international law regarding warfare, said that building tunnels in residential neighborhoods was not explicitly prohibited. But she said militant groups had “an obligation to take all feasible measures to protect civilians, including not taking the armed conflict to civilian areas, to the extent possible.”" What is this malarkey.  Not explicitly prohibited? What does the digging of tunnels have to do with war crimes in the first place.  Human Rights Watch strains to find excuses and justifications for Israeli war crimes, and to declare all manners of Palestinian resistance, defiance, and even survival to be a war crime.  

According to Diaa Hadid: the token Arab reporter for the Zionist New York Times, Palestinians fear other Palestinians only

It is not only that Diaa Hadid was obviously hired to basically report exclusively on damaging stories about the Palestinian people and stories which put the Israeli occupation in favorable light, and which basically justify the murder of Palestinian people, but she also is a lousy reporter. She tells you that the Palestinian people are afraid of tunnels (and not of Israeli jets and tanks and bombs and siege) and her evidence is this:
"Umm Nidal — Arabic for mother of Nidal, her eldest son — for fear of reprisal by Hamas...A neighbor who is 29 and goes by the name Abu Mohammad".   So what Ms. Hadid would like you to know is that the Palestinian people are very happy with the tight siege and that they are don't want any smuggled goods into the strip and that they basically have no fear of Israeli bombs and rockets over their heads.

In celebration of the Jordan's independence day, this professor of media studies at Yarmouk University decided to pass all his students


This Arab cartoon about America

Man says: I am dying to know what America wants from the Arabs.  Woman says: hahaha. Be ashamed, man.  The boy is standing right here.  

Israel is...top ranked in child poverty rate: I am sure US Zionists will brag about this honor nevertheless


See what the US soldier said in preparation of the "liberation" of Raqqa

Report here.  If you ask me, neither the US forces, nor the Russian forces will "liberate" any Arab cities. And neither the Iranian forces nor the forces of Arab regimes will "liberate" Arab cities.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sean Penn in Lebanon

I have just learned that Sean Penn made an unannounced visit to Lebanon and visited the resistance museum in Mlita. 

Trump

It appears that Trump is emerging as a compromise candidate for Taliban leadership.  

When CNN reporter does not know the difference between Arabs and Kurds

From a Western correspondent in the region:
"i like how she mentions arab fighters and shows female kurds
that...woman says “arab fighters” like 4 times. like she is stressing what the US military told her to stress...i think all the fighters she showed training were kurds and she interviewed one arab
arab fighters my ass, its just a front for the PKK with a few token arabs who accept kurdish hegemony"

Some argue? Who argue?

"Some argue that Lebanon’s sectarian system of governance is a potential model for other countries composed of multiple sects and ethnicities." (thanks Basim)

Anniversary of Liberation: when Israeli army withdrew humiliatingly from South Lebanon

Today is an important national day in Lebanon. When the Israeli occupation army was humiliatingly kicked out of South Lebanon, and without a humiliating peace treaty imposed on Lebanon.  It is the day when Arabs looked at Israeli differently.  This strategic loss for Israel amounts to more than losing its nuclear arsenal, and it can't be compensated or regained.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

When Iraqi official, `Adil `Abdul-Mahdi, was a raving Marxist-Leninist anti-Imperialist

In 1978, `Adil `Abdul-Mahdi, translated (and published) this book about dependency theory titled "World Capitalist Economy: The Monopoly Phase and Neo-Imperialism".  Now, he is a sectarian Shi`ite. I have written before that i know of no one who has undergone more ideological transformations than this guy, ever: from Fath, to Maoism, to Marxism-Leninism, to Da`wa Party, etc.  

Why MEMRI can't be trusted: they deliberately mistranslated a word from this man's mouth in order to make him say "slave" about Obama which he never did

This is typical. I have always told you that MEMRI can't be trusted not only because it is part of the propaganda outlets of the Israeli occupation enemy but it also can't be trusted in selections of clips and news articles (going soft on Gulf regimes media these days, eh?), but the translation is either ignorant (the Lebanese who works there don't have a good command of Arabic, clearly) and sometimes purposefully distorted.  This loudmouth Algerian journalist is talking about Obama and talks about the history of repression of blacks at the hands of white and then say that the whites "have exploited you" or "subjuctated you" to conquer the Arab world.  So MEMRI's translation made him say: that "they have enslaved you", which he never said, clearly MEMRI wanting to put racist words to the man's references to Obama.   The Arabic word Sakkara does not mean enslave.

James Zogby writes in his own praise

"Because he meant so much to me, I will never forget a compliment Clovis once paid to my work. At a luncheon of local Arab American community leaders he had convened at Washington's Irongate Restaurant, he noted that "there are Arab American groups that pride themselves on being principled, but they are irrelevant. And there are others who work so hard to be relevant, that they end up with no principles, at all. But Jim has managed to create a group that is both relevant and principled.""  No, Jim. You are a great example of someone who is neither principled nor relevant.  

Oh, please: calm down. Bernie Sanders did not appoint Ghassan Kanafani to the Platform Committee of the Democratic Party

What the appointment of James Zogby will do is to ensure that the interests of the UAE ruling dynasty will be well-protected in the Platform.  Jim may insist that the platform includes a statement to the effect that: And the Democratic Party hails the UAE polygamous ruling families for the moderate repression that they have imposed on their people and for the not-so-secret relationship that they have maintained over the years with the enemy state of Israel.  Give me a break.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Elections in Arab countries


Religious kooks united against personal freedoms and women

"Muslim countries join forces with America's religious right"

I am against judging appearances but does this guy looks like a prime minister or a gang leader?


Hizbullah versus the AbuKhalil family in South Lebanon

Look. Hizbullah has a lousy sectarian alliance in elections (especially municipal elections) with the corrupt Amal Movement. Hizbullah can't continue to claim that it is insulated from corruption and that it is not tainted by the corruption of Amal Movement.  The results of the municipal elections in Biqa` and South Lebanon yesterday prove that people of the south, I am talking about Shi`ites specially, can distinguish between their support for Hizbullah in its war against Israel (and even its military intervention in Syria which unfortunately has the support of most Shi`ites) while opposing the political performance of Hizbullah in the cabinet and the political process.  While Hizb Ministers and MPs don't have the reputation of corruption as most other MPs, they are still part of the government which people complain about. Hizbullah does not object to the worst decisions reached by the government and Hizbullah stood by when the great leftist minister, Sharbil Nahhas, was ousted from the cabinet due to his diligence against corruption.  And Hizbullah covers up the corruption of Amal Movement and even covered the Hariri corruption in return for his support for resistance against Israel (verbal support).  People in Lebanon have had it and they are fed up with the entire political class, and Hizbullah is having a hard time convincing people that it does not belong to the political class when it has been in the cabinet for a decade now.  In Qulaylah, the village east of Tyre where most of the AbuKhalils reside, Hizb and Amal typically formed a joint list and the AbuKhalil family refused to join forces and they formed (under some secularist members) an independent list which won yesterday against the list of Amal-Hizbollah. Amal was furious at the result and they sent armed goons to threaten the head of the winning list.  Don't get me wrong: I am not in favor of the AbuKhalil's in elections all the time: they often represent the upper class mentality of remnants of feudal families and they have marginalized those who used to be referred to as "peasant" families, and to their credit, Hizbullah have in fact elevated the status of "peasant families" in South Lebanon. But the notion that people because of support for resistance against Israeli occupation and aggression should support the lousy lists of Amal-Hizbullah in municipal election is silly at best.

Liz Sly claims that Ahrar Ash-Sham never used car bombs and suicide bombers

Liz Sly writes: "The official, Labib Al-Nahhas, denied that Ahrar al-Sham carried out Monday’s attacks. “This is not our modus operandi: we do not target civilians,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter." I asked people on the ground on the matter and they confirmed that of course Ahrar Ash-Sham used car bombs and suicide bombers, and of course killed scores of innocent civilians. But notice how Sly cites the statement by the government but then refutes it and then cites the statement by Ahrar and does not bother to refute it.  

US calls on Russia to stop interfering in Syria: just as US does not interfere

"Votel, who has headed U.S. Central Command for just seven weeks, became the highest-ranking U.S. military officer known to have entered Syria since the U.S. began its campaign to counter the Islamic State group in 2014. The circumstance was exceptional because the U.S. has no combat units in Syria, no diplomatic relations with Syria and for much of the past two years has enveloped much of its Syria military mission in secrecy."

Banned British-made bombs dropped on civilian area in Yemen

"A British-manufactured cluster bomb has been found in a Yemeni village, all but confirming the banned weapons are being used by Saudi-led coalition forces in the Yemeni civil war. The BL-755 cluster bomb is designed to be dropped by UK-manufactured Tornado jets used by the Saudi Arabian Air Force, though the highly controversial weapons were banned in conflict decades ago." (thanks Amir)

More Western media justify car bombs by Syrian rebels

"Bomb blasts killed scores of people in the Syrian coastal cities of Jableh and Tartous on Monday, and wounded many others in the government-controlled territory that hosts Russian military bases monitors and state media said." (thanks Basim)

Academic standards in the UK: professor Angelina Jolie

After LSE hired Angelina Jolie (and we aren't sure if she graduated high school) as a professor at a Center run by William Hague.  Not to be outdone, Oxford has offered a chair in Media Studies to Kim Kardashian.  If an American university were to hire a celebrity to teach a course, UK media and academe would be mocking US universities mercilessly.  

Liz Sly and Washington Post thrice in one story justify the murder of Syrian civilians

First the headline: "Wave of bombings kills scores in area of Syria loyal to Assad".
Second the story: "A wave of coordinated bombings in Syria claimed by the Islamic State killed at least 78 people Monday in the usually calm coastal area where Russian troops are based, Syrian state media reported." 
Third, the story: "The coastal area is populated mostly by members of Assad’s minority Alawite community who have remained loyal to him throughout the war".  Liz Sly personally interviewed the residents and found out that every single one of them, children included, are "loyal to Asad".  Can you imagine if a random bombing in Israel is reported as: "bombings kill scores in area loyal to Netanyahu"?  She would be fired on the spot.