Friday, April 24, 2015

"The Storm of Resolve" in the media

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The 'Storm of Resolve" in the Media: Between those who are silent and those who utter".

A new flag for Saudi regime?

From Laith: "Someone changed the @Wikipedia flag of #SaudiArabia to read "No GoD but #Israel" 

Gaza, a place of beauty & survival

"After the war, I wanted to show life in Gaza in all aspects — the joyfully colorful rocks at Gaza’s seaport that stand in contrast to the gray landscape of destruction left by Israel’s bombs."

Zionists' war on the Lancet for reporting Israeli war crimes

"The heavy-handed attempt to force The Lancet to withdraw the Open letter is the latest in a series of attempts to stifle media coverage of the Israel-Palestine issue and should be resisted."

An open letter for the people in Gaza

Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide

"President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to fulfill a campaign promise and use the politically fraught term on the 100th anniversary of the killings this week." "Historians estimate up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks, an event widely viewed by scholars as genocide." (thanks Amir)

Nicholas Blanford stumbles on yet another scoop: relying on Google earth he announces his finding

"Hizbullah sources have confirmed to IHS Jane's that the organisation is using UAVs to support operations against rebel forces in Syria, particularly over the mountainous Qalamoun region on Lebanon's eastern border."   Notice that Hizbullah consistently admits all their crimes to this man, who has a known record of hostility to Hizbullah and who has earned a deserved reputation as a propagandist for the Hariri family in Lebanon, and whose book on Hariri is treated as a laughable long press release from the Hariri press office.  Is there any crime by Hizbullah that the party does not admit to this man in particular? And notice that he said "sources", so this time it is not his usual source, Abu Johny, but two, Abu Johny and Abu Potato (the latter occupies a very senior position in the Hizbullah hierarchy.  Also, notice the meticulous professional language of this gifted correspondent: "it could potentially be used to extend the range of a UAV ground control station.".  But wait, this professional correspondent does not end there, he adds another nugget of information from a very reliable source: "The Saudi Al-Watan newspaper claimed in March 2014 that Hizbullah had built a "military airport" for its UAVs in the Bekaa Valley". Case closed.

Puppets of the House of Saud

Saudi regime wishes the man to the right, Sa`d Hariri, to lead Lebanon, and the man to the left, Ahmad Al-Jarba, to lead Syria. They look the roles, don't they?

Cornel West and Palestine

I am glad to see the strong stand that Cornel West has been taking on Palestinian.  But West's stance on Palestine has--shall we say in the terminology of American politics--"evolved" over the years.  As West moved away from the mainstream of American intellectual spectrum, especially after his disillusionment with Obama (who did not deserve West's hope and support in the first place), he became more vocal and courageous in his criticisms of Israel.  In his book, Race Matters, West's pronouncements on Palestine were most problematic on more than one level: 1) he belittled the solid Israeli alliance with Apartheid South Africa; 2) he accepted the insistence of Zionists to blur the lines between rejection of Zionism and anti-Semitism (and West didn't even mention that many Zionists in the US specially are characterized, nay motivated, by anti-Semitism (the case of Sen. Lindsey Graham is only a most recent example; 3) he basically marked the ills and brutality of the state of Israel with the rise of the Likud. He actually implied that all was well prior to Likud.  He in fact associated the savagery of Israel with the persons of Sharon and Sharmir--only Sharon and Shamir; 4) he basically believed that the ills of Zionism are confined to the West Bank and Gaza.  Nevertheless, I am gratified now with the stance of Cornel West. 

Armenian Genocide

All Saudi-led regimes in the Arab world are expressing solidarity with the Turkish government by being silent about the commemoration of the Genocide.  If the Ottoman Empire was Shi`ite, all Arab tyrants would have flocked to Armenia to commemorate the occasion.

Saudi "Storm of Resolve"

"more than 1,000 civilians killed, more than 4,000 wounded, and 150,000 displaced".

Incarceration rates

Thursday, April 23, 2015

We can't accept that his name be included

"We can't accept that his name be included among soldiers who killed his relatives in Gaza, Lebanon and the West Bank," said Khudair's father, Hussein." (thanks Marc)

The token Arab, the token Muslim

Western media love those stories. The ONE token Arab or ONE token Muslim working for the Zionist regime or its propaganda services. And they talk about that person as if he/she is famous and as if Arabs are really concerned over her role. In reality, and I checked: no one knows who she is and no one really cares.  Do you think for example that any Muslim knows who Hirsi Ali is?  Those remind me of stories I used to read in the US press when I came here in the early eighties about that one black man in South Africa who loves apartheid. US media loved those stories.

This American rabid anti-Semite will be forgiven by the Zionist media and organizations because he is pro-Israel

"If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing…  I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding.  [Chuckles.]  Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding."  Can you imagine if a critic of Israel were to vomit such anti-Semitic garbage? Can you imagine the (justifiable) reactions?  I don't think that Abe Foxman will condemn those remarks.

Reading list of "an Arabist"

""As a professional Arabist, if I have a bias, it is in the other direction. I have read everything from Sir Richard Burton, T.E.
Lawrence to Sheik Zayed al-Nahyan, Rumi and Sayyed Qutb."  Sheikh Zayed? The man was illiterate.  At least Sheikho mo paid someone to write a book under his name.

I know that this particular correspondent does not have any credibility, but he has an exclusive: Bashshar Al-Asad is falling

"Having clung to power for four years amid an armed uprising, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is being buffeted by a series of battlefield setbacks that could place fresh strains on its internal cohesion." (thanks Basim)

How arms imports are destabilising the Middle East

"Gulf states are increasing arms imports from countries including permanent UN security council members. Their increased involvement in regional conflicts is raising tensions with Iran"

Imagine if this was Iran who caused that: can you imagine the outrage by Western correspondents and journalists?

"Nearly 1,000 people have been killed in more than three weeks of fighting since the bombing campaign began, while more than 150,000 have been displaced, according to the United Nations. Many who have fled the violence have ended up in the East African country of Djibouti, a short boat trip across a narrow waterway separating it from Yemen."

Pakistan and pivot to China

"Meanwhile Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Pakistan this week with $46 billion in investment to build an economic corridor from Western China to the Persian Gulf. The Sharifs promised Xi that Pakistan will create a new special division of the Pakistani Army to protect Chinese workers in Pakistan. The "Special Security Division" will total 10,000 troops and be commanded by a two star. Half the men will come from the Special Services Group, Pakistan's elite commando force. The force will have its own organic air support.

So no troops for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; 10,000 troops for the People’s Republic of China. There are major differences in the specifics of course: troops for a foreign war versus troops at home; compensation for past payment versus securing future investment; Islamic unity versus Pakistan's all-weather ally since 1962.

But don’t focus on the details. It is clear Sharif has made his pivot. And like the United States, Pakistan would like to move away from the Middle East and toward East Asia."

Sony and the Israeli lobby

If one is to allege what now is being released through the Sony emails on Wikileaks one would have been accused of nutty conspiracy theory about the tentacles of the Israeli lobby.

Rafiq Hariri Center at the Atlantic Council

"Has the Atlantic Council's long slide into insignificance descended so low as to be the servant of Saudi/Hariri money (same thing in my opinion) in order to fund this crappy little center within its very bowels?  The Saudis have long desired the consolidation of Sunni/Wahhabi power in North Arabia.  This paper serves that policy goal.  The non-Islamist Syrian rebels are a ghost army that will never amount to anything.  The alternative to the present Syrian Government is an Islamist regime in Damascus. The Israeli/Zionist policy appears to be the creation of chaos and pauperization in the ME among their opponents.  I suppose that explains WINEP support of this stupid paper."

The Wall Street Journal is impressed: Saudi regime can drop by bombs

Do you also notice that long articles about Saudi Arabia in the US press don't bother to cite one critic of the regime?

Saudi-Egyptian rift

I am enjoying following the beginning of what promises to be a big rift between the regime of Sisi and the regime of House of Saud. What is interesting is that social media trend now precedes official media pronouncements.

Guess who won a journalism award? The guy who claimed he saw dead bodies when he later said he didn't see any

"The Peabodys also specifically cited NBC News reporter Richard Engel for his reporting on the Islamic state. Engel was in the news last week for saying that some of his and NBC's original reporting about his 2012 kidnapping in Syria had been wrong." (thanks Amir)

How Iranian negotiators look in real life vs. how they look in The New Yorker

New Yorker's rendition of Iranian negotiators.

Arab public opinion industry

It is an industry in which Western propaganda vehicles participate no so much to measure Arab public opinion but to influence Arab public opinion. Look at this supposed comprehensive Arab public opinion survey of the Arab youth.  Look at the methodology section: there is no methodology in the methodology section but we discover that the sample (and we don't know anything about the preparation of the sample) in Egypt is equal in size to that one in Saudi Arabia, despite the difference in population size.  And in Lebanon: they only surveyed people in Beirut, Tripoli, and Sidon (the last two are predominant Sunni cities) which clear skew the results in one direction in a deeply divided country like Lebanon. And then they ask people about "dangers" to the Arab world and the answers that they give them are phrased rather oddly: they ask for example about the danger from "the Arab-Israeli conflict" (and not from Israel itself, and I doubt that any Arab say that he/she feels danger from the conflict and not from Israel itself), and yet they offer a possible answer about of "Iranian nuclear threat" although they never offer a possible choice of "actual Israel nuclear weapon threat".  Yet, only 8% according to this lousy survey chose Iranian nuclear threat as a threat. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

This would never be in the New York Times or the Washington Post

The only people who are protecting us are the resistance of Hezbollah,” Nasrallah said. "The only one standing with the army is Hezbollah. Let’s not hide it anymore.” “They accept us as we are,” Nasrallah said. “They do not impose on us anything. When there’s an occasion, they come to our children’s birthdays. The people here accept that Hezbollah comes and helps.” One of the minor ironies in this profoundly divided country is that the chief of the Christians of Ras Baalbek and the head of Hezbollah share the same last name. The Christian Nasrallah, a big and bearded man, even looks strikingly like the Muslim one, Hassan Nasrallah."

Israel's organized hate does not bother the UN

"This disturbing video shows Israeli youths, escorted by police and occupation forces, marching through the Old City of Jerusalem chanting “mavet la’aravim” – “death to the Arabs” – and other cries of hate."

Sony CEO on MidEast: let them all kill each other (except Israel)

"The massive collection includes emails CEO Michael Lynton wrote in response to an October 2014 Washington Post article about President Barack Obama's foreign policy in Syria. A relative forwarded Lynton the article with the comment "Brilliant." "Let them all kill each other!" Lynton wrote in a response email. "Face it the entire thing is a gigantic mess. And if it were not for Israel, we would let them all kill each other and wait for the dust to settle."

Sony cameras used by Israel in bombing of Gaza

"On 19 August, Stevan Bernard, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s head of corporate security wrote to David Diamond, executive assistant to company chairman and CEO Michael Lynton, to inform him about a media report “that Sony CCTV’s [sic] were being used as a part of the guidance system for Israeli rockets that were bombing Gaza.” "

Bahrain prison riot

"The guards tended to be from Jordan, Pakistan or Yemen and were exclusively Sunni Muslims who would insult the mostly-Shia inmates and their religion, he said. "They treated us like animals and they would [use] sectarian terms when they called to us," he said. Once the riot was quelled, the prisoners were put in a circle and forced to sing songs praising Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and disparaging their own protest movement leaders. They were regularly beaten by the guards, Johar said, forced to sleep outside and deprived of food and toilet facilities for two days." (thanks Amir)

Zionist-Saudi alliance: look how the New York Times protects the Saudi regime in its coverage

This is the headline of the Times: "Eritrea and North Korea Are World’s Most Censored Countries, Advocacy Group Says". How could the paper not notice that Saudi regime is next at number three? Was that not worth mentioning?

This just in

Pakistani military command and Egyptian military command have finally agreed to participate in the ground war in Yemen.  When told that the end of the war was declared, they exclaimed: too bad.

Say what you wish about the ousted president of Yemen but who can deny his charisma and mass appeal

Where does the US find its Arab potentates?

First female ambassador of the Iranian regime

I have never been a fan of the Iranian regime and I opposed Khumayni and his movement as a young radical leftist but the Saudi regime is far more backward and repressive (at all levels) than the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime has just appointed its first female ambassador (Mardiyyah Afkham, its spokesperson for the foreign ministry).  In Saudi Arabia, she will be seen and presented as a mere...pudendum.

Look how the Jordanian regime markets a speech by the spoiled brat of the King at the UN, of all places

This reminds me of when Robert Kennedy was appointed Attorney General of the US.  Someone asked Joe Kennedy about the matter because Robert had never practiced law.  Joe said: well, he has to start somewhere.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Too much collateral damage"

"A senior American official said “there have been discussions” in the past several days among officials from the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a Saudi partner in the campaign, about ending the bombing. Asked why, the American official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: “Too much collateral damage.”"  Was the number of women and children killed in Yemen beyond the number agreed upon by the US and its "moderate" allies?

Al-Arabiyya TV airs exclusive footage of the declaration of the end of its war by Prince Muhammad bin Salman

Saudi Arabia is the biggest funder of terrorists according to Clinton

"Saudi Arabia is the single biggest contributor to the funding of Islamic extremism and is unwilling to cut off the money supply, according to a leaked note from Hillary Clinton."

ICC fails to punish western warcriminals

"Few recall that David Cameron led Britain into one war in Libya that overthrew Gaddafi, but was disastrous for most Libyans. Without this conflict, the drowned bodies of would-be emigrants to Europe would not be washing up in their hundreds on Libyan beaches." "The US and Europe may think they can safely retreat to the sidelines of wars in the Middle East that they have either provoked, prolonged or made no effort to stop, but they will inevitably find out that they are wrong."

Israel deported African refugees because they weren't Jewish, then rebels executed them

"The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants reported on Tuesday that three asylum seekers who left Israel for a third country over the past year have been executed by the Islamic State in Libya." (thanks Amir)

Look how the language of the New York Times serves the propaganda of the Saudi regime

"Sana has been bombed almost daily for more than three weeks. The city has been a stronghold of the Houthi militia since September and a primary target for the Saudi-led aerial offensive, which is meant to cripple the Houthis and restore the exiled Yemeni government to powerThe Saudi-led coalition has bombed military installations across Yemen".  Take it easy in your propaganda, o New York Times. This is not an Israeli war. Wait, maybe it is.

End of the GCC war on Yemen

There is something noteworthy: the Saudi regime declared the official end of the war on Yemen hours after a royal decree for the participation of the "National Guard" in the war.

10 Most Censored Countries

Congratulations is due to all the journalists of the House of Saud as Saudi regime won the 3rd rank, after Eritrea and North Korea

FLASH: Saudi regime announces the end of the war on Yemen "after accomplishing its goals"

Wait: how did it accomplish its goals, when the declared goals were the restoration of the rule of Hadi and the eviction of Huthis from power?