Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The generalizations of the correspondent of the New York Times in Iran: Thomas Erdbrink

Look at the size of the crowd in the picture and then read this sentence by this arrogant correspondent who is not reluctant to speak on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Iranians: "Afterward, most in the audience were confused, friend and foe."  How on earth did you know that "most in the audience" were confused? How did you measure that?

The United States is resuming security aid to Bahrain’s military forces: due to “meaningful progress” on human rights

"The United States is resuming security aid to Bahrain’s military forces, saying there had been “meaningful progress” on human rights four years after the kingdom’s deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters." "At least 89 people have been killed in confrontations with Bahrain security forces since 2011, and hundreds have been arrested and put on trial, rights groups say." “Bahrain’s logistical and operational support enables the US to lead a 30-nation military coalition that counters piracy and terrorism, maintains the free flow of commerce and energy resources through the strait of Hormuz and demonstrates international resolve to Iran”, state department officials said."

""Left-wing" Israeli lobby groups"

"B’Tselem and the US Israel lobby group J Street are offered as prime examples of such “left-wing” assets in Israel’s fight against BDS." (thanks Amir)

Typical Western media account about Arab Jews: TV serial The Jewish Quarter

"The military’s real-life role in expelling Egypt’s Jews under President Gamal Abdel Nasser is omitted completely." Kirkpatrick does not mention the Lavon Affair and the role Israeli crimes and dirty covert operation and the callous recruitment of Egyptian Jews for Israeli terrorist operations inside Egypt. None of that.  2) it is not the most-talked about TV serial of Ramadan. Not at all. 3) the characterization by Kirkpatrick is typical of the Zionist rhetoric about Jews in Arab countries: if they stay inside the country, Zionists in the West yell: they are being held as prisoners. They are hostages. They should be allowed to leave and get exist visas. And when they leave, the same Zionists of the West yell: look. They kicked them out. They kicked them out and for that, the Palestinian refugees should never be allowed back into Palestine just because.

PS Don't you like the new trend among Western correspondents like Mr. Kirkpatrick? In the past, they regaled us with tales of a cab driver. Now they regale us with a comment by an anonymous Arab on a page on Facebook as representative of Arab public opinion.

Dia Hadid of the New York Times

So this token Arab correspondent at the Times is allowed to cover Palestinian suffering but only when the suffering can be blamed on Palestinians themselves. That is her gig.

This is how Turkey screens those who wish to enter into Syria

Iraqi Communist Party statement from 1946, signed by comrade Fahd

Compare this to the lousy Iraqi Communist Party of Paul Bremer.

Moderate Islam of SISI (and US)

Al-Zahar chief cleric refuses to declare the infidelity of ISIS.

Saudi regime pressures Thailand to accuse "Iran or Hizbullah" of assassinations

Monday, June 29, 2015

China's annual report on US Human Rights record for 2014

"Full text: The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2014"

Grimaces of Muhammad bin Salman

Haqqani had a Saudi passport

"The cables, published by WikiLeaks, have provided a rare insight into the contacts between Saudi officials and the Haqqani network in the recent past, even though the two are said to have had a long-standing relationship, going back to the days of CIA-funded jihad in Afghanistan." "Jalaluddin has been on the UN Sanctions list since January 31, 2001. The provisions of the UNSC resolutions 1267 (1999), and 1333 (2000) apply to him, which, among other things, bar the international travel of listed individuals and prevent any assistance to them. The Saudi cables show that Jalaluddin carried a Saudi passport since the days of the Afghan jihad."

Primary task of Saudi embassy

"More significantly, the leaked documents provide evidence that the Saudi embassy is deeply involved in the religious life and politics of Australia’s Islamic communities, with the particular goal of spreading and strengthening their puritanical Wahhabist branch of Sunni Islam. Indeed, Saudi foreign ministry instructions leave little doubt that engagement in Islamic religious affairs and the wider politics of Australia’s Islamic communities are primary tasks for the embassy."

"UN Human Rights Council operates just like FIFA"

"But the leaked Saudi diplomatic papers suggest human rights issues receive scant attention in the bilateral relationship, at least as far as the Saudis are concerned. One exception was Saudi Arabia’s offer of support for the election of Australian legal academic Professor James Crawford to be a judge of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, in exchange for Australian support for the kingdom to be elected to serve on the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva." (thanks Amir)

When Israel kills, destroys, demolishes, occupies, and massacres it does so peacefully--according to Western terminology

"Israeli navy peacefully intercepts Gaza-bound vessel".  Did it also peacefully kill the passengers back in 2010?  (thanks Basim)

Saudi cables on Egypt: standing in line for Saudi cash

All those journalists and even an academic standing in line for Saudi cash.

ISIS leaders in Syria and Iraq

As-Safir published this

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Zionism is always racism: Israel's war on African migrants

"He says police carry out random sweeps of Africans and that a friend once was accused of theft because he couldn’t show a receipt for his phone. Israeli police say they aren’t targeting Africans, but that they routinely carry out identity checks and sometimes ask for receipts."

Excellent article on "who is to blame" in Iraq by Sinan Antoon and Zaid Al-Ali

"By 2003, the United States’ record of supporting dictatorships and authoritarian regimes in the region and its history of aggression against Iraq through war and sanctions had diminished any credibility or trust. The duplicitous case for the invasion and the United States’ behavior in Iraq after the occupation did not change this perception. But this seems to escape U.S. officials such as Jeffrey and Khedery, whose comments on recent events somehow assume that the United States was or should have been an “honest broker” and that it was the United States’ decision to support Maliki in 2010 that ruined its bona fides. In fact, it would have been virtually impossible to find anyone in Iraq in 2003 that would have attributed positive intentions to the United States given its sordid history of involvement. In addition, although Iraqi actors made their lack of trust clear from the start, the United States worsened its already toxic reputation in the country through its own political, military and financial misdeeds for the following years.  As soon as the U.S. occupation commenced in 2003, the former exiles (who were supposed to be its closest allies) capitalized on the United States’ unpopularity to force it to hand over partial political and administrative authority far sooner than it would have preferred. The result was the establishment of the Governing Council and its associated executive offices, the first officially sectarian government in Iraq’s history. A few months later, the United States proposed a plan to draft the country’s new constitution, which involved indirect elections through a caucus system. The plan was immediately rejected by the country’s most influential actors (including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani) not because it was unworkable but because of the justifiable concern that the United States would manipulate the process. In the end, the United States did interfere in the constitution drafting process and contributed to creating a divisive and unworkable text. The political system that it designed and installed in Iraq was based on the understanding that Iraqis are sects and no more. It institutionalized sectarianism, injected it with political power, and made it the only political currency. It handed the country over to untrained, unworthy and corrupt former exiles, most of whom at the time had no credibility in Iraq."

House of Saud on Shi`ism

"Saudi diplomats are careful to estimate, for example, how many Eritrean students are studying abroad in Iran (40) and the number of Shiite Muslims in Mauritania (50,000). They were also concerned when a public debate was held between Shiite and Sunni Muslims near the Philippines' Al-Dahab mosque in Manila. Even though Shiites make up less than 1 percent of the Muslim population in the Philippines, a memo dated Feb. 4, 2010 appears to express alarm that the religious minority's message "managed to get out of its secretive circle to the public."

"It is obsessive," said Toby Matthiesen, the author of a book about religious politics in Gulf Arab states and a research fellow at the University of Cambridge. "It proves the theory that Saudi foreign policy is at least in part sectarian and seeks to contain Shiism and not just Iran."" (thanks Basim)

This is how the US State Department report on human rights refers to Bahran repression

"“Bahrain has a legitimate interest in protecting its people against violent groups." Nothing that comes after the sentence matters. The US government managed to provide justification. I have an idea; why does not the US State Department issue an annual report on human rights violations in Syria, Iran, and Venezuela (and Russia when it is on bad terms with the US)?

Egyptian regime ambassador in Israel

The return of the ambassador of the tyrant, Sisi, to Tel Aviv, was part of the deal with US Congress: he gets the arms in return for the return of the ambassador. This is what is called in the US government: human rights standard.

nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims

"But the breakdown of extremist ideologies behind those attacks may come as a surprise. Since Sept. 11, 2001, nearly twice as many people have been killed by white supremacists, antigovernment fanatics and other non-Muslim extremists than by radical Muslims: 48 have been killed by extremists who are not Muslim, including the recent mass killing in Charleston, S.C., compared with 26 by self-proclaimed jihadists, according to a count by New America, a Washington research center."

Drone attacks only received scrutiniy when two Westerners were killed by mistake

"Drone strikes carried out by the C.I.A. and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command have received fresh scrutiny after President Obama disclosed in April that a strike had killed two Western aid workers held hostage by Al Qaeda in Pakistan."

UAE "diplomats" in Somalia? Are you kidding me?

"The car was loaded with explosives and moving quickly when it hit the rear of a United Arab Emirates convoy carrying foreign trainers". What were they training and who were they training?  In UAE media, they were referred to as "diplomats".

Saudi diplomat, Jamil Baroody

"Saudi Arabia’s first ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations was a Christian Catholic, Jamil Baroody.   He was chosen by King Faisal for his deep understanding of global politics and oratory."  Jamil Baroody was never allowed to become a Saudi citizen because he was a Christian, and when he died he wanted to be buried in Saudi Arabia, but the regime refused and he was buried in his birthplace of Suq Al-Gharb, Lebanon.

American control of Saudi Arabia

This American cable from 1976 represents the best summation of US control of Saudi Arabia.

Eulogy of Arab media and politics

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Eulogy of Arab media and politics: House of Saud's Wikileaks".

Unsolved murders of indigenous women reflect Canada's history of silence

"The study concluded between 1980 and 2012, at least 1,017 First Nations women were murdered, while a further 108 went missing in suspicious circumstances."

"tactics the agency uses to manipulate public opinion, its scientific and psychological research into how human thinking and behavior can be influenced"

"Among other things, the document lays out the tactics the agency uses to manipulate public opinion, its scientific and psychological research into how human thinking and behavior can be influenced, and the broad range of targets that are traditionally the province of law enforcement rather than intelligence agencies.
JTRIG’s domestic and law enforcement operations are made clear. The report states that the controversial unit “currently collaborates with other agencies” including the Metropolitan police, Security Service (MI5), Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), Border Agency, Revenue and Customs (HMRC), and National Public Order and Intelligence Unit (NPOIU). The document highlights that key JTRIG objectives include “providing intelligence for judicial outcomes”; monitoring “domestic extremist groups such as the English Defence League by conducting online HUMINT”; “denying, deterring or dissuading” criminals and “hacktivists”; and “deterring, disrupting or degrading online consumerism of stolen data or child porn.”
It touts the fact that the unit “may cover all areas of the globe.” Specifically, “operations are currently targeted at” numerous countries and regions including Argentina, Eastern Europe and the U.K."

Gay and Lesbian marriage

I wrote earlier in Arabic this: regarding gay and lesbian marriage, it can be summed up for me as follows: a dirty Saudi prince can own as many women and concubine as he wishes, and a man (or a woman) can't marry his/her lover of the same sex?

USAFRICOM's destabilization of Africa

"Since the launching of AFRICOM, instability has increased in Africa. From the ongoing war in Somalia, to the break-up of the Republic of Sudan and the subsequent civil war in the newly-created Republic of South Sudan, to the war against so-called Islamic extremists in Nigeria, Niger, Mali, Cameroon and Chad, these developments have fueled Washington's militarism on the continent." (thanks Amir)

Syrian regime corruption

A well-known correspondent who has covered the war in Syria from the start was telling me about the antics of the regime: 1) each henchman of the regime specializes in one particular smuggling.  Say the Maher Al-Asad's smugglers specialize in smuggling electronics, another henchman may specialize in smuggling fuel, etc.  2) the Syrian regime, known historically for its stinginess, is now quite generous with Arab and non-Arab journalists who cover its side sympathetically: they are now known to give fancy watches, lighters, jewelery, and cigar boxes.

Friday, June 26, 2015

What does the US Department of State says about anti-Semitism in Lebanon

"The national school curriculum materials did not contain materials on the Holocaust."  Wait: so the absence of teaching materials on the Holocaust implies that Lebanon is anti-Semitic? Does the absence of teaching materials about the Nakbah in the US curriculum imply that the US is anti-Arab/anti-Palestinian? Furthermore the report feigns the attitude of documented accusations but then state that Al-Manar broadcasts anti-Semitic materials but does not give examples except one derived from MEMRI. ANd then the report says: "In March the daily newspaper Al-Sharq published an article by Sana Kojok which claimed that, during Passover, the Jews eat matzoh made with the blood of non-Jews, a traditional anti-Semitic conspiracy charge. Hizballah-owned, Lebanon-based media outlet Al Manar continued to broadcast anti-Semitic content."  The report fails to mention that Al-Sharq paper is funded by the Saudi regime and the Hariri family in Lebanon.  How convenient to not mention that.

How the US government reports about violations of human rights among its client regimes versus how it reports violatiosn in Iran and Syria

When it comes to client dictatorship of the Middle East, the US annual report on human rights resorts to a cheap method to gloss over violations of human rights in that country: it basically reproduce the rhetoric of the regime about the matter as in this section about torture in the Saudi Arabia section of the report: "The law prohibits torture and holds criminal investigation officers accountable for any abuse of authority. Sharia, as interpreted in the country, prohibits judges from accepting confessions obtained under duress; statutory law provides that public investigators shall not subject accused persons to coercive measures to influence their testimony." Also, notice that there is a special section in the report about anti-Semitism but there is nothing about anti-Shi`ism of the regime and its media. Worse, the report fantastically claims: "According to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, no imams publicly espoused intolerant views warranting dismissal during the year. Cases of government-employed imams using anti-Jewish, anti-Christian, or anti-Shia language in their sermons were rare and occurred without authorization by government authorities."  Also, the section about corruption focuses on the poor civil servants and says not one word about massive corruption of the Saudi royal family. Does the US Department of State expect that anyone in the Middle East or anyone who studies the Middle East would not scoff at this silly report?

EU versus the Warsaw Pact

It occurred to me yesterday during my swim: it would be fair to say that Western (and Eastern) European governments today are more subservient today toward the US than Warsaw countries were toward the Soviet Union.  The question is when will Europe have its own "spring"? When will European protest American hegemony?  No matter how much is exposed about US violations of rights and privacy of Europeans, European governments (including the formerly proud France) simply disregard the matter and march on toward more subservience toward the US.

Meet the moderate and democatic Syrian rebels: what Western correspondents don't tell you about the Free Syrian Army

It seems that the Free Syrian Army in its official correspondence with their Saudi masters, according to the Saudi cables in Wikileaks, identify the enemy as the International Free Mason movement personified in the Syrian regime, and they have no qualms about making reference to the enemy as the Manichean (or Safavid) Shi`ite regime. The political adviser of the Free Syrian Army even maintains that Free Masonry is aimed at attacking Sunnis.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"Sadat: The Mask and the Truth"

I was late in reading the book by Muhammad `Abdul-Salam Az-Zayyat, "Sadat: the Mask and the Truth" (Arabic).  I found a copy at UCLA library.  It is probably the best analysis of Sadat and his rise to the presidency. Unlike Hakal's account in Autumn of Fury, Az-Zayyat knew Sadat up close and provides an comprehensive analysis of his personality and rule.  I highly recommend the book, and the author has another book about the danger's of Sadat rule, titled "Whither Egypt" (Arabic).  Az-Zayyat was secretary-general of the People's Assembly in Egypt in the 1960s, and then served as minister and deputy prime minister under Sadat, before he broke with him and was persecuted and jailed by him.

PS I knew Az-Zayyat as a boy during our regular visits to Egypt. He was a very close friend of my parents and he would invite us to Egypt almost yearly.  I remember his house and his mother, who lived with him, and his feminist academic sister, Latifah, who also was persecuted by Sadat.

Saudi war on Ahmadiyyah

The Ahmadiyyah sect in Pakistan has been subjected to persecution and terrorism. This Saudi cables directly implicates the Saudi government in the war on Ahmadiyyah.  Sultan in Pakistan sent it to me with this note: "RE: Saudi foreign policy over the decades was a liberal one based on the premise of “noninterference” in the affairs of others.

Prince Nayef not interfering in Indonesia".

Communist Sudanese martyr

This is Sudanese communist martyr, Ash-Shafi` Ahmad Ash-Shaykh minutes before his hanging. He walked steadily to his death and insisted on tying the rope around his neck and yelled: Long live the working class.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Why Al-Akhbar?

Some people ask: why was Al-Akhbar chosen by Wikileaks to publish Saudi cables? Answer is very simple: because no other newspaper in the region dares publish them.  As-Safir has not even said a word about the cables as of yet. Not one word.

How Prince Muqrin's son was involved in the smuggling of the wealth of Egyptian corrupt businessman, Husayn Salem

Here is the summary and the link.