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."

UK links to Bahrain's 'torture prisons'

"Meanwhile, documents obtained by the legal charity Reprieve reveal that officials from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons visited Bahrain and helped prepare for an official inspection of the country’s most notorious police station, where a number of inmates have alleged ill treatment. The inspection of Bahrain’s CID building took place on 24-25 December 2014, leading to a report that ran to only six pages and failed to mention several high-profile allegations of torture."

US-backed Saudi war on Yemen - millions on brink of famine

"The UN says millions of Yemenis need humanitarian aid as the country slides into a catastrophic famine. This report contains disturbing images of starving children."

Zionists are often anti-Semites: How the Israel lobby political exploits and invents charges of anti-Semitism

"In episode two of The Lobby, Israeli embassy agent Shai Masot is seen telling the undercover reporter that complaints of anti-Semitism should be pursued against long-time anti-racism activist and Labour Party member Jackie Walker. “Do not let it go,” Masot says. He encourages similar tactics against others: “Not just her, all of the party.” " (thanks Amir)

Israeli Mossad experts think that Hizbullah members wear Jalabiyyahs: I am not making this up


Hizbullah attends a memorial for Fidel Castro

Leader of Hizbullah parliamentary bloc, Muhammad Ra`ad, gives a tribute to Fidel Castro.

This is it

This is it. I have finally found the best desk chair there is. I want this exact chair in my new office at school. Look how comfortable it looks. And I am always on the look out for the most comfortable chair.

How Fake News started in the Middle East media: it began with--you guessed it--Israel

In the Syrian war, it has been coming by both sides to invent stories.  But the first time I can remember when fake news were invented was by the dumb Israeli Mossad.  When Israel began its terrorist assault on Lebanon in July 2006, they leaked through a "friendly" sleazy Saudi "news" site, Elaph, among other sources a fake story claiming to be Reuters that suggested that Lebanese mega star, Haifa Wehbe, had criticized Hasan Nasrallah.  Saudi regime media ran with the story but it took only a few days for Haifa to come out and expose the story as a lie.  Since then, regimes have resorted to this kind of fake quotations and citations.  

Fake News in Bahraini regime media

Look at this story.  It cites a Russian paper which cites a Russian intelligence official claiming that Trump has asked British intelligence to "end the services of Sistani", implying that he was their agent.  Something is funny about the Bahraini royal family accusing someone of being an agent for British intelligence--as much as I detest Sistani.

Finally, Kenneth Roth reveals his role model: it is Ronald Reagan

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
At Reykjavik, Reagan stood up to Soviet autocracy. If Trumps meets Putin there, will it just be more adulation?

Saudi Embassy manages the Twitter account of Syrian Coalition

"Qorvis-MSLGROUP’s latest disclosure reveals that the firm has suggested story ideas to The Weekly Standard and NPR, and pitched other interviews on behalf of the Saudi government.  The disclosure also shows that the Saudi Embassy, through Qorvis-MSLGROUP, manages the Twitter account @SyrCoalition, which is touted as the “official” voice of the Syrian opposition to Bashar al-Assad."

PS Sorry. This is an old one form 2014.

Watch how the family of the Palestinian who ran over Israeli terrorist soldiers faced an Israeli TV reporter

Watch the courage of the Palestinian family of the Palestinian man who ran over Israeli terrorist soldiers.  

Joseph Massad's Islam in Liberalism reviewed

Read here.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ben Hubbard and Arab media: learning through Zionist eyes

So he wrote this piece about Arab media: nothing original,  just that media are split between two rival camps but:
1) He does not say that Qatari regime and Saudi regime media dominate more than 95% of Arab media, while Iran and Syria control the rest--to varying degrees (for example, he does not mention that Al-Mayadin--which he calls "pro-Iranian" is more pro-Syrian regime as it is not run religiously.  Minor point? Not really if you are writing about the media.
2) He relishes bringing in his pro-Israeli passion: "Once, after militants in Gaza fired a volley of rockets at Israel, I called a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad group to ask who was “responsible” for the attack." Do you think he ever calls Israeli government "after it fires a volley or rockets on Syria or West Bank or Gaza?
3) This is how he defines Hizbullah's mission: "Hezbollah and other groups committed to the destruction of Israel". But Mr. Hubbard does not explain why Hizbullah emerged after the Israeli invasion of 1982, which killed more than 20,000 Lebanese and Palestinians and Syrians--mostly civilians. The date of emergence must have been a pure coincidence.
4) He leaves out from his tally the number of Arabic language propaganda media belonging to Israel, US, EU, and even Israel.  
5) As he concludes the article, he talks to two "objective" experts on Arab media. One is a professor of Arabic at Brown.  Fair enough.  The second, however, works for Al-Arabiyya TV, the same channel which he had earlier told us is a propaganda channel for Saudi regime.  Can you imagine if he were to speak to "an expert" on Arab media at...Al-Manar TV?  
6) I left the article learning about Zionist reading of Arab media what I knew not before.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Where was Islam?

Wait: Human Rights Watch released this statement about Jordanian regime's mass arrests against reform advocates

The statement says: "HRW condemns the Syrian regime of Bashshar Al-Asad".

Some wealthy Arabs are too cool to take their shoes off in mosques these days

Why is the Jordanian regime nervous?

Apparently, the reform advocates in Jordan were focusing in their campaign against corruption on the husband of Prince Basma (sister of King Khusayn--as Shimon Peres called him).  This explains the rush by the Jordanian government to ban any criticisms of government on social media because the talk focused on this guy.

William Polk (formerly ME professor at Harvard and Chicago) on his recent visit to Saudi Arabia

In the rest of his email letter about his trip to Saudi Arabai, professor Polk gushes about the hospitality of the King and his sons. They even flew him in a private jet. How nice is that?  

Repression by Iranian clerical regime

"Two women have been arrested for breaking “revolutionary norms and values” after being filmed riding a motorbike in IranOfficials in the city of Dezful said they had “exploited the opportunity” presented by a lack of police in a national park to commit an “obscene act” worsened by the spread of footage online.Colonel Ali Elhami, a local police commander, told the state-controlled IRNA news agency the women “committed an action against revolutionary norms and values by riding a motorcycle”."  You can't pretend you are against repression of women in Iran and not be against repression of women in Saudi Arabia--and vice versa.

John Kerry's speech on Arab-Israeli conflict

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "John Kerry's Speech: Declaring Israel as an Observer Member in the Arab League".

Saudi regime blackmails Lebanon

Saudi regime promised to the visiting Lebanese presidential delegation that they would release $400 million in military aid if Lebanon silences criticisms of Saudi Arabia in Lebanese media (i.e. in one newspaper only, Al-Akhbar).

When Kenneth Roth talks about Russia and Syrian regime he says "slaughter"--but not about US allies

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Another Saudi-led airstrike hits near a Yemen school, killing five including two children.

So When did Charles Lister discover that Nour Ad-Din Zengi is not a "moderate" Syrian rebel group?

The history.

Cory Booker

"Meet Cory Booker's Top Donor: A Right-Wing, Islamophobic, Pro-Israel Outfit That Backs Trump’s Extremist Agenda".  And yet, idiotic Muslims in New Jersey were recently honoring this Booker guy.

Qatari regime media and Lindsay Lohan

They are obsessed with her and they are on the edge of their seats hoping that she would convert to Islam.

The propaganda of Martin Chulov: FAKE NEWS Propaganda in the Guardian newspaper

And here I used to recommend the Guardian newspaper as an alternative to US media after Sep. 11.  Now the Guardian has become indistinguishable from the New York Times and Washington Post in its propaganda coverage of Syria.  This story is--simply put--made up.  As you all know, Syrian rebels regularly, if not daily, produce fake news and spread them throughout  social media and they are often carried in Gulf regime media, which in turn inspire Western media to reproduce them citing the authority of Qatari regime or Saudi regime media.  This story is made up by Ahrar Ash-Sham.  And you will see in dispatches by Western correspondents in Beirut, like Chulov, a reference such as this: "said one senior Lebanese leader".  Lebanon is deeply divided between two camps: one camp is led by HIzbullah and the other is led by the Saudi embassy in Beirut.  To which camp do you think this Lebanese "leader" belongs to?  And they cite "a Lebanese leader" as if any of the Lebanese leaders are independent and neutral about the war in Syria.  This is like citing "a US leader" in a story about Israel.

The battle for human rights worldwide: a priority

The battle for human rights worldwide should now include as a priority a campaign against fraudulent Western human rights organizations, like HRW, for its services to the agendas of Western governments.  

This is how Human Rights Watch whitewashes crimes and repression in Jordan

Can you imagine HRW including in its report on Syria what the regime "promises" about reform and human rights?  Or about Cuba?  "In March 2016, under King Abdullah’s instructions, Jordanian authorities also presented the Comprehensive National Human Rights Plan, a 10-year initiative that calls for changes to numerous laws, policies, and practices. It includes positive changes, such as a commitment to allow suspects the right to a lawyer at the time of arrest and to move jurisdiction over crimes of torture and ill-treatment from the police court to regular courts."