Sunday, July 31, 2016

US media in numbers

(From Roman Kerch, and James Monroe, By the People, Oxford University Press).

Serving a snack on Scandinavian airlines in 1969

(thanks Amer)

Entrapment in terrorism cases is legal in the US

But not in Canada

The progressive agenda of Bernie Sanders

"In Philadelphia, donors were handed preferred suites at the Ritz-Carlton and “Friends and Family” packages created for longtime Clinton hands — some of them also longtime benefactors. Some were granted time backstage or in the Clinton family box with former President Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton. Blackstone, the private equity giant, scheduled a reception at the Barnes Foundation on Thursday with its president, Hamilton E. James, one of the leading Wall Street contenders for an economic policy post in a future Clinton administration."

The Obama Doctrine for the next 10 years: Arms to Saudi regime worth $60 billion and more than $37 billion of money to Israel

"The Obama administration plans to include attack helicopters in an expanded arms package for Saudi Arabia, swelling the size of the proposed deal to as much as $60 billion over 10 years, according to officials familiar with the matter."

Afghan fighters in Syria

"Others were coerced or duped into fighting, say human rights groups."  How are they duped? And who are those human rights organizations?  Are they told you are going to Switzerland and then they find themselves in Syria? Please explain.

Did you notice that the knife attack in Japan did not get much attention in the Western media

This man wanted to get rid of disabled people and the story was never big here.

Paper or Plastic? Pepsi or Coke? The mind of Thomas Friedman

This man has the most simplistic mind I have ever seen.  He can only think in terms of a binary view. Either this or that.  Complex ideas confuse him a great deal.  Notice that the wall Trump bother people in the US but not the wall in Israel.

Liz Sly is furious that Western governments are not accepting the Bin Laden followers as moderate rebels

"Whether the new name will work to persuade moderate rebels — and, more importantly, their Western backers — that the group should no longer be considered a terrorist organization is in doubt. It is also highly unlikely to convince Russia, which has consistently referred to all rebels as “terrorists” and has been escalating its bombardments of rebel positions in recent weeks, notably around the besieged northern city of Aleppo."

Nabil Hilali

The late Egyptian communist, Nabil Hilali, is one of the most wonderful human beings I have ever met.  

Isn't this terminology derived from racist times?

Who is the war candidate?

There is no question that Hillary is the war candidate.  She has the record to prove it.  In every conflict in the world, she stood (as a senator or as a Secretary of State) for more war and more bombs. You name it.

When I studied Soviet Studies, Stephen F Cohen was one of my favorite American experts

"Stephen F. Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies at NYU and Princeton, spoke with CNN's 'Smerconish' Saturday morning about Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin, and the 'New Cold War.'  Cohen says the media at large is doing a huge disservice to the American people by ignoring the substance of Trump's arguments about NATO and Russia, and buying the Clinton campaign's simplistic smear that Trump is a Russian "Manchurian candidate."  "That reckless branding of Trump as a Russian agent, most of it is coming from the Clinton campaign," Cohen said. "And they really need to stop."  "We're approaching a Cuban Missile Crisis level nuclear confrontation with Russia," he explained. "And there is absolutely no discussion, no debate, about this in the American media."  "Then along comes, unexpectedly, Donald Trump," he continued, "Who says he wants to end the New Cold War, and cooperate with Russia in various places... and --astonishingly-- the media is full of what only can be called neo-McCarthyite charges that he is a Russian agent, that he is a Manchurian candidate, and that he is Putin's client."  "This is a moment when there should be, in a presidential year, a debate," he said. "And that is not what we are given in the media today." "Let's go back to what you said Trump said about NATO," Cohen also said. "Trump said early on, he wanted to know, 60 years after its foundation, what was NATO's mission today. 100 policy wonks in Washington since the end of the Soviet Union, 25 years ago, have asked the same question. Is NATO an organization in search of a mission?"  "That's a legitimate question --but we don't debate it. We don't ask it. We just say, oh, Trump wants to abandon NATO.""

Remember this name: Khalid Al-`Umayr

He is imprisoned in Saudi Arabia because he tried to organize a demonstration in support of Palestinians in Gaza.  Western human rights organizations don't care about his plight: imagine if he was trying to organize a demonstration in support of gay rights, for example. He would have been made famous worldwide.  Freedom of speech is only partially important for Western human rights organization.  

Class analysis of Trump's support

"Many behavioral psychology studies have shown that even when your life is improving in absolute terms, you see very little psychological benefit when your life isn’t improving as quickly as your neighbor. Your absolute size of the pie is less important than your relative slice of the pie (Christian Elger and Armin Falk — University of Bonn). This is why inequality is so damaging to the national psyche. The video below shows one monkey becoming irate as his neighbor receives more for the same work. Humans are not monkeys, but we share similar psychological patterns."

The Moroccan clown in the 21st century: if he was not a Western puppet (and a secret ally of Israel), he would be internationally mocked

Indian workers starving in Saudi Arabia

"More than 10,000 Indian nationals laid off in Saudi Arabia are facing a "food crisis", India's foreign minister says, as an airlift is prepared." (thanks Suheil)

Zionist crimes against Jewish immigrants from Yemen

"Time for Israel to Admit: The Yemenite Children Were Systematically Kidnapped". Time for Israel? It is never time for Israel to admit any of its crimes.  This occupation state must be dismantled before we can speak about addressing the grievances of the victims. 

Hamas launches propaganda against atheists in preparation for the municipal election

It seems that the priority of Hamas these days is fighting atheists and not Zionist occupiers. This is the official cartoonist of Hamas. It says:  (on top) "The Palestinian Muslims does not vote for atheist secularists".  And below in read it says: "The Palestinian people is innocent of those who curse God and religion".  

Obama's anti-communism

Did you notice that Obama decided to take a swipe against communism in his speech. Anti-communism is a disease in this country.  

Anti-Communist propaganda

This poster is from the Omani regime and its British colonialist sponsor during the Dhofar revolt.  It says: "the Hand of God destroys communism".

How Saudis expressed outrage yesterday on social media

Yesterday, Saudi people organized a massive campaign against any normalization with Israel on social media under the hashtag #سعوديون_ضد_التطبيع
(Saudis against normalization)
The regime had no idea at the anger to their rapprochement with Israel.

Julani and the man to his right in the picture

None of the Western media noted that the man sitting to the right of Julani was none other than Abu Al-Faraj Al-Masri, one of the key and early Al-Qa`idah functionaries and a comrade of Bin Laden and Zawahiri.  Liz Sly of the Washington Post will declare him a feminist secularist any minute now.  

This election and media's endorsement of Hillary

Of course, I oppose both Hillary and Trump and won't vote because I never voted in my life but this has to be said: I have lived in the US since 1983, and I have never seen more media bias in favor of a candidate (and against another candidate) as I see now in the media's endorsement of Hillary. There is something called establishment in the US and they all are going for Hillary. None even admitted that she gave one of the lousiest speeches in memory at the convention.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Hafiz Al-Asad from December 1970, shortly after his coup: "No Kidnappings and no interferences in the affairs of Lebanon". Kid you not.

Saudi people are posting against any normalization with the occupation state of Israel

An article against anti-Semitism in a Saudi regime newspaper? No way.

So this is the second article I see against anti-Semitism in a Saudi regime newspaper this week.  Of course, I welcome the appearance FINALLY of an article against anti-Semitism in a media which has specialized in decades in vomiting the most vile anti-Semitism.  It is high time that the regime media end this practice. However, like everything else coming out of Saudi regime: there are reasons for this.  These media still vomit out the most vile anti-Shi`ism and anti-Alawitism.  So basically: the media follower the orders of the regime to vomit whatever bigotry and hatred ordered by the regime.  The timing of this is interesting: I think that the regime was taken aback with the strong reaction of Saudis on social media against the visit by a Saudi delegation to Israel, and some--but not all--of the expressions of disapproval of this visit came from Islamists who expressed their disapproval anti-semitically.  And as the regime prepares to come out in the open about its alliance with the Israeli occupation state, it wants to downplay the anti-Semitic element of its doctrine (and anti-Semitism is an integral part of the Wahhabi ideology).  Finally, many Saudis respond to the Saudi visit to the occupation state of Israel by posting videos and speeches of King Faisal (who was one of the most notorious anti-Semites of the 20th century despite his secret alliance with Israel against Nasser).

AUB and soft power

The representative of AUB in Washington, DC considers AUB as part of US "soft power." Kid you not.

Saudis in Yemen

""One Western diplomat recalled how expertly the U.S. and Israel were able to pressure Ban into removing Israel from the same Children and Armed Conflict annex—a development that angered many, but garnered far less attention. Not so for the Saudis. “It’s the difference between how big corporations handle things and how the Corleones handle things,” said the diplomat."" (thanks Joe)

Zionist Lovers of the Syrian people in the US

By the way, do you notice that neither the sudden Zionist lovers of the Syrian people and the Western correspondents in Beirut (who write on Syria) uttered a word about what even the pro-Syrian "revolution" Gulf media has admitted: that Syrian rebels in Aleppo have forcibly and violently prevented the civilians from leaving the city.  None of those people, nor the Western human rights organization, dare talk about how rebels hold Syrian civilians hostages.

Daniel Serwer: A professor at SAIS and a fellow at Middle East Institute calls on the US to bomb Hizbullah

This Daniel Serwer, whose relationship to Middle East studies is similar to my relationship to potato studies, wants the US to bomb Hizbullah.  And he thinks he has a simple plan without any repercussions.  I just have one question. Since when it becomes part of the job description of US professors to call on the government to bomb countries and organizations?  What would happen to the career of a professor if he/she were to call for bombing, say, of Israel?  Would that person retain his/her job?  And this guy who is pontificating about the Middle East, and who is a fellow at the new and improved Middle East Institute (which has no passing resemblance to the old Middle East Institute which used to boldly challenge the Israeli lobby), and yet he has no academic background in the study of the Middle East.  But wait: look at his language skills: "He speaks Italian, French, and Portuguese, as well as beginning Arabic."  Let me explains: when I see someone says that he speaks "beginning Arabic" it only means this: that person is able to say the following sentence (in English): May I have a sandwich of Shaweeermaaa?

A professor at King's College explains why the terrorism of Nusrah is not that bad

From Basim: "The twin lures of a Syria-focus (as opposed to an internationalist concept threatening Western and other Middle Eastern states) and relative cohesiveness and strength in pursuing its goals have long made it a key player. But now that it has explicitly and exclusively committed to the Syrian jihad ..."

PS: Did this professor assume the position of Nusrah by describing their actions as "jihad" ?

Friday, July 29, 2016

Writing about Gulf regimes in Western media

You can investigate that yourself: but is there anyone writing in mainstream Western media about Gulf affairs who is not tied to one of the regimes there?  Just wondering really. 

Saudi and Iranian regimes

They are competing in who can execute more. If it was up to me, I would overthrow them both at once.  

How American politicians got to love Israel

From Bill Clinton to Mike Pence, American politicians seem to conveniently tell the same story: how their hometown pastor asked them on his deathbed to take care of Israel and its occupation and massacres.  

How Hummus helped Tim Kaine understand the strategic partnership between US and occupation state of Israel

"My wife and I were invited to dinner at the Virginia Governor’s Mansion in Richmond for a farewell dinner that Gov. Kaine hosted for retiring Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor. The two men had worked very closely with each other (yes, hummus was a part of it) as the governor sought to deepen his understanding of the strategic partnership between Israel and the United States."

This Israeli is not a racist but...

"Israeli Council Head: 'I Don’t Hate Arabs, but I Don’t Want Them at My Pools'"

This is a true story of a good, decent American

"A Muslim woman is getting attention for the heartwarming story she shared on social media about a Jewish man who approached her out of the blue to empathize with how difficult it must be to face prejudice as a Muslim.  Leena Al-Arian, an American from Greater Boston, wrote in a Facebook post Thursday about the moment a stranger, Lenny, approached her at a Barnes & Noble, told her how beautiful her daughters were and apologized for the anti-Muslim sentiment in society today. “He had tears in his eyes and told me that it must be so hard to turn on the news, that he feels awful about the bigotry my kids might one day experience, and that as a Jewish man whose parents didn’t speak any English growing up, he personally understands what it feels like to be rejected and discriminated against,” the post read in part.  Al-Arian told Yahoo News that she had taken her 4-year-old, Hiba, and 20-month-old, Huda, to the bookstore on Wednesday to meet characters from the cartoon “Paw Patrol.” After meeting Lenny, Al-Arian asked if she could hug him because it looked like he needed one (and she needed one as well). He reassured her that most Americans are not prejudiced against Muslims and don’t believe everything they hear in the news, she said."

Disrepair in American democracy

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Areas of Disrepair in American Democracy".

Saudi responses to Saudi-Israeli meeting

The responses by irate Saudis against the Saudi-Israeli meeting continues.  Many of are by young people who favor Qatari regime and Erdogan and Ikhwan.  This is a widely followed professor of communication who wrote an anti-Semitic article against the meeting.  Of course, not all the angry voices are anti-Semitic.  

Israeli dirty hands in the bloodshed in Congo

From Nabeel: "1. See

2. 'One of the best-known participants in the often unbelievably profitable DRC deals has been Daniel Gertler, an Israeli citizen. His name appears on more than 200 documents in the Panama Papers.
In March 2005, Gertler’s DGI (Dan Gertler International) formed a new firm, Global Enterprises Corporate (GEC), in partnership with Benjamin “Beny” Steinmetz’s Global Resources, with a former DRC mines minister, Simon Tuma-Waku, named as “special adviser”.
Advertisement: Replay Ad
Steinmetz, also an Israeli citizen, is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, De Beers sightholder. His name appears on 282 documents in the Panama Papers.'


4.  Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten, reports on shady practices in Sierra Leone by one of Israel's richest businessmen, Steinmetz.
The heading reads: Super Rich Diamond Baron Avoids Taxes While Local Population Struggles in Poverty".

Clinton and Trump

From Bill Clinton's speech it becomes clear: Trump and Clinton are the same when it comes to Muslims (and Israel, among other things): that Muslims in the US are only allowed to stay here conditionally depending on their commitment to whatever they are fed to prove their loyalty.

Dead Muslims

So we learned from DNC yesterday that the only good Muslim is a Muslim who fights and dies for the US and Western wars.  

Western media are desperate to prove that Bin Laden's followers are now moderate

"Golani appeared in the video flanked by two other Nusra Front figures, in front of a new white flag for the group. Nusra Front's old flag was black, the color used by ultra-hardline jihadist groups such as al Qaeda and Islamic State." (thanks Basim)

US-Saudi-backed rebels are helping Israel to occupy southern Syria

"Then on July 11, the Israeli army deployed several bulldozers and a tank 300 meters (328 yards) inside Syrian territory in Quneitra and began digging, threatening to shoot anyone who approached them. Despite an official Israeli policy of non-involvement in Syria’s war — except for medical treatment for more than 2,000 Syrians, including fighters from al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra — some Syrian opposition figures with strong ties to Israeli officials confirmed to Al-Monitor an increased interest in the creation of a safe zone in southern Syria. Actions on the ground are proving that such a project may be underway." "There are around 14 brigades in the area, from the Free Syrian Army to Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State affiliate Shuhada al-Yarmouk. “None of these groups have a problem with Israel, and Israel doesn’t have a problem with them either,” Labwani said."

"Entrances to the corridors were effectively shut in rebel areas inside the city on Friday"

"Only a few residents of Syria's Aleppo were able to leave encircled opposition-held districts through humanitarian corridors before rebels prevented them from fleeing, a monitor said Friday." "Entrances to the corridors were effectively shut in rebel areas inside the city on Friday, the Observatory said."

The Arab League offers its services to Israel

" “There’s no doubt that the visit was authorized and quietly initiated by the Saudis behind the scenes,” said Steinberg, formerly a special adviser to heads of the Shin Bet security service. “I think that Egypt, too, within the framework of President [Abdel Fattah] al-Sisi’s initiative, was in on the secret.” One can also assume that without a green light, the retired general would not have met openly with the top official of Israel’s foreign service, Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold, and with Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the most senior IDF officer in the West Bank." "The Arab willingness to give Israel an advance payment in the form of normalizing ties with the Arab world without receiving anything in return on the Palestinian front signals a change in the Arab League’s strategy."

U.S. military says it may have killed more Syrian civilians

"A day after announcing a formal inquiry into what watchdogs call the United States’ worst civilian casualty incident in its war against the Islamic State militant group, the US military said that more civilians may have been killed in another airstrike around the same Syrian city." (thanks Amir)

Huffington Post Arabic now specializes in sexist misogynistic humor

This article in Qatari regime's Huffington Post Arabic is titled: "How tell your wife that it is necessary for her to lose weight without any harm to you"

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rebranding of Nusrah Front

So does the rebranding of Nusrah Front opens the door for it to receive US aid and weapons?

The Qatari regime handlers of this terrorist, Julani, told him to smile for the cameras

Comrade Electronic Ali on Israeli-Saudi relations

"Palestine solidarity activists in Saudi Arabia and neighboring Gulf states are expressing outrage after a Saudi delegation visited Israel to meet with senior officials.
The group BDS Gulf said that the visit by academics and businesspersons, led by former Saudi general Anwar Eskhi, “is the newest episode in the ongoing Saudi normalization [with Israel], whose pace has increased in recent years and which has been openly led by such public figures as Eshki and former intelligence chief Turki al-Faisal.”
The visit is all the more shameful, coinciding as it does with the second anniversary of Israel’s 51-day summer 2014 assault on Gaza that killed more than 2,200 Palestinians, BDS Gulf stated.
Eshki has held numerous senior posts, including as an advisor to Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the US. The general now heads a “strategic studies” think tank in Saudi Arabia.
News of the visit generated harsh criticism from Saudi and Gulf commentators and social media users.
Eshki tried at first to deny the visit. After that failed, Eshki claimed he went in response to a Palestinian invitation, seeking to revive the Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Initiative.
But the visit is a sign of a warming relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel founded on their mutual hostility towards Iran, especially since the latter’s rapprochement with the United States and Europe following last year’s deal over its nuclear energy program."
PS It has to be said that Saudis took great risks in expressing their outrage on social media against the visit by this Eshki guy to Israeli government.  

War crimes by Syrian rebels, including Jaysh Fath Al-Sham (formerly Nusrah Front)

Amnesty International Report.  (The report is by AI because HRW is a huge fan of Syrian rebels, and a cheerleader on twitter).

War crimes by Syrian rebels, including Jaysh Fath Al-Sham (formerly Nusrah Front)

Amnesty International Report.  (The report is by AI because HRW is a huge fan of Syrian rebels, and a cheerleader on twitter).

The amusing part is that Al-Qa`idah has approved the disengagement from Nusrah Front: so all well between parties

"According to Charles Lister, a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute, the new group will include most al-Nusra forces, which are among the best trained and armed in the country. It also may be seen as a truly Syrian actor, not the offshoot of an organization based elsewhere that cares little about the fate of Syrians."  So by splitting from Al-Qa`idah formally, it becomes a true Syrian actor representing Syrian people's interests? It seems Western media cheers have started.

So Nusrah Front has a new name and a new logo

So basically, Aljazeera would like you all to know that by having a new name Army of the Conquest of Syria and a new cute logo the followers of Bin Laden have become all moderate.  

"How Twitter robots spam critics of Saudi Arabia"

"For several weeks now there has been growing evidence that Twitter is being used for a covert and highly organised propaganda operation which disparages Shia Muslims while supporting the Sunni Muslim governments of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The tactic is to deluge Twitter with multiple copies of identical tweets. These come from fake (robotic) accounts which are programmed to post tweets at fixed intervals. Last month Twitter closed down hundreds of suspect accounts but new ones were created. Altogether, several thousand robotic accounts are involved in the operation though they are not all active simultaneously. Besides inflaming sectarian tensions in the region, the apparent purpose is to obstruct genuine discussion on certain topics by swamping the relevant hashtag with automated tweets. The automated tweets often link to YouTube videos which have no connection with the topic.  The latest example — uncovered by Marc Owen Jones, who lectures in Gulf politics at Tübingen University in Germany — seems aimed at stifling criticism by Twitter users of Saudi Arabia’s economic aid package for Egypt."

Gulf regimes and Western media will now claim that those dudes are "moderate"--not to judge on appearance, of course

Reinvention of Al-Qa`idah in Syria

So Abu Muhammad Al-Julani announced that he is severing ties with (actually the term used is "disengage from") Al-Qa`idah.  Of course, Western media (especially Western correspondents in Beirut) will rush to declare this as the biggest gift to enlightenment since the birth of Rousseau and Voltaire and Descartes.  Western governments can now follow the footsteps of Gulf regimes and "do business" with Al-Qa`idah.  Of course, the declaration did not have to include a shift in ideology or a deviation from the thought and practices of their guru, Bin Laden.  It was a mere procedural matter that the Qatari regime arranged.  I won't be surprised if Julani becomes a guest in the Oval Office in a Clinton or Trump administration.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Letter in my mailbox.

I go to my office today and found this letter waiting for me from a man in Wisconsin. 

Sultan on Arab Emigrants in the UAE

This is a very well-intentioned great story.  It is a long-forgotten tribute to the Arabs who have worked in the UAE and were an integral part of the development there.  Sultan is paying a tribute to where tributes are never paid, and he proves in this effort that there should not be distinctions between Arabs.  However: 1) he makes no class distinctions.  If anything, the article suffers from class and social elitism: some people are described as "prominent" or "famous" when such distinctions always obscure the great contributions of poor workers.  There should have been coverage of non-elite Arabs: the average Arabs whose names are not famous.   2) The article implies that by working in the UAE, those Arabs are great by virtue of their settlement there.  Missing from the article is the obvious fact: some of those Arab emigrants are opportunists, mercenaries, sell-outs, crooks, and pimps who made fortunes and profited by providing pleasure services to Gulf rulers.  He mentions, for example, Bassam Frayhah as a "journalist".  This guy can't even write a letter, even if his life depended on it (and worse, Sultan cites the opinion of Samir `Atallah on the matter, and `Atallah is one of the most corrupt Arab columnists ever, who has devoted his pen for many decades to sing the praises of Arab oil princes and shaykh and whose work in journalism is part of his services in the entourage of various Saudi princes).  Bassam Frayhah basically benefited from the simple fact: that his father, Sa`id, sold his services and publications to Shaykh Zayid, and the publications of Dar As-Sayyad are now all subsidized by the UAE although they are not read.  This is not journalism, and this is a guy you don't want to brag about, Sultan.  Bassam Frahyah because a cash messenger from UAE government to Lebanese presidents and politicians (former president, Emile Lahhud, told the story that Bassam Frahyah brought him a briefcase of $5 million as a typical cash reward from UAE to every newly elected Lebanese president, and that he turned it down, but Frayhah kept the money for himself).  Also, some of those people were hosted by the UAE because they were previously loyal to Nasser or to the left, and were later bought by the UAE or some other Gulf regimes.  This is also nothing to brag about.  Let us take the case of Walid Kaddurah: a Central Committee member of the PFLP, and a rising star in the group in the early seventies.  He was later arrested and confessed that he was working for the Lebanese intelligence service (and Hilda Habash--the widow of Goerge--still believes he worked for Israeli intelligence), and was imprisoned in Beirut by the FPLP (but later through family connections, he fled).  Kaddurah moved to UAE and found employment in UAE media.  3) The call for naturalization is important and should not be limited or qualified.  4) Some of those Arab emigrants were not enlightened or progressive but were Islamists  who spread fanatical and extremist interpretations of Islam, and these were Ikhwan who staffed ministries of education throughout the gulf.  4) Sultan should have written about the hierarchy of wealth, power, prestige, and national origin among the emigrants: and how Europeans and Americans are treated better than Arabs and paid better than Arabs.  

Intensification of conflict between Gulf regimes

You would not know about this in US media because Gulf lobbies don't want to talk about it, and journalists who are tied to the Gulf lobbies in DC are not under instruction to divulge it.  Basically, the relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia are getting worse and worse, and the relationship between Oman and Saudi Arabia have always been bad (yesterday the Omani minister of state for foreign affairs said that Saudi Arabia went to war in Yemen without consulting "with us" and yet "wants us to save it"), and the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Egypt are worsening. There has been a campaign by young Saudis (clearly orchestrated by the chief of social media in Saudi intelligence apparatus) against Aljazeera because it refers to Saudi soldiers killed in Yemen as "dead" and not as "martyrs".  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Why isn't this story in Western newspapers? "the rape of 41 Tunisian children by a French national"

"Minister of Justice Omar Mansour ordered the Public Prosecutor at the Court of First Instance in Sousse to initiate a criminal investigation into the rape of 41 Tunisian children by a French national. In a statement released Tuesday, the Justice Department called for the need to accelerate the execution of the letter rogatory issued by the French authorities to render justice to the victims. The jurors of the Assize Court of Yvelines (Paris) had condemned French aid worker Thierry Darantiere, 52, to 16 years in prison for having raped or sexually abused at least 66 boys, including 41 Tunisians."  If this was an Arab immigrant who raped 41 children in some European country, there would be a flood of articles about "sexual frustration among the Arabs" and about "Islam and modernity" and about the need for sexual fatwas from Azhar and about how Arabs can't handle their sexual urges, etc.  Just imagine.  His name would be a headline in newspapers in all Western countries.

Meet the Israeli army's chief rabbi: If he was a Muslim cleric, he would be the world's most infamous man

"The rabbi newly appointed to the Israeli army’s top religious post has made a long list of racist and misogynist edicts over the years, including one permitting Jewish soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during wartime." "In his Kipa column, Karim has promoted burning Christian bibles, killing wounded “terrorists” and torturing captives, stating: “Terrorists should not be treated as human beings, because they are animals.” In one of his responses, Karim called for the transformation of the state into a Jewish monarchy and a genocide against the people of “Amalek.” The Amalek people mentioned in the Torah are not known to have any modern-day descendants, but some rabbis attribute their bloodline to Israel’s current enemies, dooming them to a divinely commanded death sentence." (thanks Amir)

The president of the occupation state of Israel confirms that the people of Gaza are held hostages by Israel

"We must ensure that this human obligation to bring our sons home will also be raised as part of any negotiations to solve the humanitarian distress in the Gaza Strip."

Is Russia intervening in US elections?

That would be outrageous.  Why doesn't the Russian government adhere to the strict American standards of non-intervention in other countries' affairs?  Why can't countries be like the US: keen on respecting the sovereignty of other countries, why?

You have to read the new book by Trump chief foreign policy adviser, Michael Flynn: he promises total wars on friends and foes alike

"Most Americans mistakenly believe that peace is the normal condition of mankind, while war is some weird aberration. Actually, it’s the other way around. Most of human history has to do with war, and preparations for the next one. But we Americans do not prepare for the next war, are invariably surprised when it erupts, and, since we did not take prudent steps when it would have been relatively simple to prevail, usually end up fighting on our enemies’ more difficult and costly terms.  So we don’t know our enemy and are not prepared to fight effectively.  Fewer still have any idea how to win. I’m in a better position than most on this score. I’ve seen, shot, captured, interrogated, and studied our enemies."  On the other hand, some of these countries are considered “partners” of ours, but they aren’t. We can’t afford to be gulled by foreign countries that publicly declare their friendship, but then work in cahoots with our enemies....This kind of war is not at all new. It created our world. I dare say that most Americans don’t realize that the religious and political transformation of Europe that we call the Reformation entailed hundreds of years of very bloody fighting. The religious people who settled America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were fleeing that terrible bloodshed. The world badly needs an Islamic Reformation, and we should not be surprised if violence is involved. It’s normal. The important thing is to defeat the Islamists, and we must make it clear why they have declared and waged war against us, and why we reject their doctrines.  We’ve got to stop kidding ourselves about the intentions of the state and nonstate supporters and enablers of violent Islamism, whether on the ground, in the mosques, or online. We speak for freedom, they denounce it and crush it. That means we are the bull’s-eye at the center of their gunsights. And we’ve got to stop feeling the slightest bit guilty about calling them by name and identifying them as fanatical killers acting on behalf of a failed civilization."  You probably know who Michael Ledeen is, right? He is the right-wing kook whose academic career ended early on at Washington University for charges of plagiarism, and who has been calling for a Goebbels-style "total war".  Michael Ledeen was in charge of cataloguing the captured document from the Grenada government after its invasion and occupation by the Reagan administration.  And at a famous press conference, he declared that the document show beyond the shadow of a doubt that the Grenada government was conspiring with Cuba, the PLO, and the Soviet Union to bring the entire Western civilization under its feet--yes, the Grenada government.  Whenever the US develops or finds an enemy, he ermines as the expert on those enemies and who declares the need for a "total war" against those enemies and more out there. So the thesis of the book is really Ledeen, as Flynn is still trying to find out if Khomeini is alive or dead, having called on him a few weeks ago to denounce the murders in Nice.

Robert Fisk still writing, still fibbing, still bloviating

I have a rule now: if I am reading an article and it cites an article by Robert Fisk I stop reading.  It immediately signaled to me a low value of whatever I am reading.  And I wish that Robert Fisk would not use the name of Tarif Khalidi in his silly Orientalist references to Arabs, citing the authority of a French expert.  Tarif is everything that Robert Fisk is not.  

Monday, July 25, 2016

Hillary's circle of friends

Hillary's circle of friends: "In a 2009 interview with Al Arabiya television, Clinton defended the relationship with the Egyptian president and his wife when asked about human rights abuses by the Mubarak regime, saying, “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family. So I hope to see him often here in Egypt and in the United States.”

Hillary contrasting herself with Trump

Contrasting herself with Trump, Hillary today said: I have never praised dictators. She is right if you don't include those: King of Morocco, King of Saudi Arabia, King of Bahrain, UAE ruler, King of Jordan, Sultan of Oman, Husni Mubarak, Qadhdhafi (until he was about to be overthrown and then I discovered how bad he was), Yemeni dictator, and even called for a revision of policies toward Putin. The credibility of this candidate.

A US government Orientalist explains the Turkish Mind

"“Turks have a tendency to see themselves as either the most important force in the world or the weakest, and this can fluctuate,” he explained, regarding the Turkish mentality.  “Turkey is a land of conspiracies, even among the most highly educated people,” he added.  “Conspiracy is part of the mentality of fatalism common in Turkey and in the wider Middle East. Sunni fatalism is a belief that Allah determines everything, and that there is nothing man can do to change things.”  And which better platform to host such trash than an Israeli newspaper.  (thanks N.)

Fatwas and Islam

Terry Burke (known to you as Edmund Burke III) sent me this observation regarding this post (I cite with his permission):
"As an ex-Catholic I have tended to see some of the attacks on Islam as surrogates
for attacks on Catholicism in the Western (Protestant?) imagination.

The fatwa fantasy seems an example. Catholics played a key role in the obsessions
of our founding mothers and fathers because it was alleged their minds were controlled
by the Pope, making them a potentially seditious element in the early Republic.
The fact that they were also immigrants only made the fantasy seem more plausible to them.
Islamophobia works according to a similar logic.

Many of the French proto-ethnographers of Morocco in the early twentieth century were 
militant secularists who despised religion. Some indeed were anti-Semites. Their studies 
of popular Moroccan Islam provided a place for them to display their detestation of French 
popular Catholicism, its superstitions and saint cults, which otherwise could not be expressed
at the time. Or so I have argued in my recent The Ethnographic State (California, 2014)."

Sunday, July 24, 2016

When will Buddhist leaders issue a fatwa against the religious agitation and mobilization by hateful Buddhist monks?

"Controversial data on religion withheld by Myanmar’s government for two years has shown a decline in the country’s Muslim population, raising questions about the exclusion of a stateless community as well as anti-Muslim campaigns driven by a nationalist monk-led group.  The results of the Myanmar Population and Housing Census were released earlier this week, after having been on hold since 2014 due to fears that they may inflame tensions between the country's Buddhist and Muslim populations.  Figures released Thursday show that the country's Muslim population has fallen from 3.9 percent of the overall population in the 1983 census to just 2.3 percent -- a figure that does not include around 1.09 million mostly Rohingya Muslims in western Rakhine State -- who were not enumerated.  The data starkly contrasts with predictions by the Association for the Protection of Race and Religion -- a group better known as Ma Ba Tha which has accused Muslims of attempting to "Islamize" the country of around 51 million people -- that Muslims would account for at least 10 percent of the population.  Countrywide, 89.8 percent registered as Buddhist -- a minor decline -- while the Christian population increased from 3.9 percent in 1983 to 6.3 percent in 2014."

Director of Human Rights Watch on Twitter

Notice that he does not use such language about pro-US autocrats, like the King of Jordan or King of Saudi Arabia.
Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Only an unaccountable autocrat can translate Venezuela's oil wealth into severe deprivation.

Stop using children for propaganda in the Syrian war

It is nothing less than criminal for adults to give children political signs to carry in a war.  An no one in the Middle East has done this more than Syrian rebels and their supporters.  And it is not cute.  Leave the children out of the bloody conflict in Syria.  And these spectacles are designed by American PR firms on K street which are hired by the US government to  help Syrian rebels in their propaganda campaigns.  Is it not enough that children are being killed on both sides and at the hands of all sides to the conflict?