Wednesday, July 26, 2017

What does it take for someone to write in Newsweek Magazine? The ability to be stupid? Is that it?

"He even directly challenged  Hezbollah on its home turf a day after its recent provocative tour on Israel’s border, by carrying out the first official visit by a Lebanese prime minister to south Lebanon in decades." (thanks Basim) Every prime minister has visited the South since I don't know when.

As a message to Turkish government, Saudi regime sends one of its propagandists to meet with Fethullah Gülen

See here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The prime minister of Lebanon today transferred what is left of his fortune to Donald Trump.


American obsession with Israel and its crimes: do you know that there is a street in NYC named after Israel Bonds?


You will only hear this in Washington, DC: a pundit claims that Saudi regime allows "hands-off" approach to social media

I never knew that there is freedom on Saudi social media until I heard this.

Muhammad bin Nayif under house arrest


Netanyahu warmly welcomes the terrorist who shot a 16-year old Jordanian

When will they stop teaching and practicing hate? Who will change their curricula?

This is journalism: the New York Times explains to Fox News how real journalism is made


Notice that violent protest is considered laudable by Western govts/media if against anti-US governments

Look at the pictures here and notice how violent protest is treated very differently in Western media depending on the policies of the target government.  

So a Syrian rebel commander tells the Washington Post: what CIA provided was "very little" but that they need it desperately

"“The weapons and resources the CIA provided were very little when compared with what Russia and Iran have sent to the regime,” Salameh said."

Who killed whom in Syria?

I am now confused.  All along we are told that Bashshar killed 300,000 of "his own people".  And now David Ignatius is bragging that: "One knowledgeable official estimates that the CIA-backed fighters may have killed or wounded 100,000 Syrian soldiers and their allies over the past four years."  That would be a 1/3rd of all people killed.  But to kill 100,000 Syrian soldiers and "their allies", how many civilians were killed among them? Would that add like another 100,000? or Less?  Not sure.

I don't understand: why can't the Chinese government leave alone US spy planes in East China Sea, close to US shores?

"A United States Navy spy plane had to take evasive action to avoid crashing into a Chinese fighter jet that suddenly pulled up in front of the American plane in contested skies above the East China Sea on Sunday, the Pentagon said."

US embassy in Sudan promotes "Wonder Woman" movie on Facebook...in Arabic

See how the Sudanese people responded.

This what happens when a war criminal regime joins your camp

"US Praises Sudan’s Efforts in Combating Terrorism". Where are the Darfur groupies when you need them?

The human rights poseur

Hezbollah presses to return Syrian refugees to "safe" zones where no one guarantees the safety.

He is a political hack really.  The story he cites is by a politically biased source. In reality, this plan about the relocation of the Syrian refugees has been pushed for a few years by the Awni movement and the Maronite patriarchate. (thanks Basim)

US ambassador in Lebanon refers to Charles Malik in 1960

"it is certain that we will be called upon once more to go through the not very rewarding process of convincing the Lebanese that Charles Malik’s promise of “unlimited, unconditional American aid” is a figment of Lebanese political imagination."

Richard Dawkins, again

Richard Dawkins talks about the punishment of apostasy as one of the main evils of Islam today.  Who is doing this punishment for apostasy really? Can you give us examples? This is like faulting Christians today for the crusades.

Richard Dawkins on Islam

So among his many insults on Islam and Muslims is this: "I think Islam is the greatest force for evil in the world today".  Aside for the insult, I don't understand how an avowed atheist "preacher" like him would use the world "evil".  

Richard Dawkins and KPFA

I was not surprised or furious that KPFA-Berkeley would be hosting Richard Dawkins.  I have had a very long association with KPFA and was a very frequent guest in their studios especially in the years when I lived in Berkeley.  But KPFA has changed over the years and management did not treat the staff well and there were deep organizational and political divisions, and the station drifted less progressive.  For that, I was not really surprised that they would invite Dawkins for a fund-raisiner. Can you imagine if they were to invite an anti-Semite (and Dawkins is the equivalent of an anti-Semite) for a fund raiser?

Some elements of Qatari regime media are indeed sympathetic to Al-Qa`idah

Al-Quds Al-`Arabi, one of the most sectarian Arabic newspapers publishing today is clearly and unabashedly pro-Al-Qa`idah, especially toward the Syrian branch of the terrorist organization.

The AlAzhar (the religious university which is always for sale) opens kiosks for Fatwas

I am not kidding. Al-Azhar opened kiosks to dispense fatawas on the run.  Johny-on-the-spots
would have been more useful.

From the funeral of Muhammad Jawawdeh, 16, who was shot by an Israeli embassy terrorist in Amman

It says "death to Israel".

Monday, July 24, 2017

There is a clear division in the Saudi royal family

Yesterday there was a very popular hashtag in Saudi Arabia in defense of Muhammad bin Nayif and against the leaks by Muhammad bin Salman about his drug addiction.

New York Times has a new bureau chief in Jerusalem

He has no background in Middle East studies (he has a degree in English) and has covered Hollywood and NYC prior.  That--by the standards of NYT--makes him supremely qualified for the stint.  It is not clear if he has a son--as the New York Times tradition--serving in the Israeli occupation army.

Jacobin Magazin on Khan Shaykhun

Regarding this piece in Jacobin.  Aside from the subject matter (and I personally think that Seymour Hersh's piece was not convincing and its documentation was rather unreliable or too thin), and while I  disbelieve all sides on Syria, especially the US government and its compliant Western media, it is striking that Jacobin proves that it relies on the New York Times for its analysis of Arab politics: ""Indeed, as Anne Barnard reported, the sarin attack fits into Assad’s broader strategy. " This sentence is quite classic for me. Next in Jacobin, I expect to read: as Thomas Friedman has taught us about the region, ....

Only when it comes to the Middle East, reporting rumors is acceptable news in Western media

"Yesterday in Baghdad, Iraqi actor Karar Nushi was murdered due to rumours of his homosexuality."  We still don't know why he was killed and there is no evidence that he was killed because of his looks or whatever orientation.  The article is based on wild exaggerations and unsubstantiated claims--but exactly what the West loves about writing on gender and sexuality in the region.

Mashru` Layla

I watched the latest video of Mashru` Layla, titled Roman.  It appears to me the product of a classical Orientalist fantasy, or an attempt to produce music which an Arab imagines Westerners would like (in fact, Rabi` AbuKhalil (no relation) made a career of producing music that a Westerner would like Arabic music to sound like).   And why does the Arabic in the song sounds like as if it was spoken by a Lebanese immigrant in San Paulo who has never been back in many decades?

When Lebanese nationalists invite ridicule for their bragging of Lebanese achievements

"During the campaign, Mr Trump reportedly bragged to influential guests about how many successful Lebanese friends he had. Lebanese-American businessman Thomas Barrack, who spoke at the Republican convention, is one."

This is how much the Economist knows about the Arab world

"Ever since the leading pan-Arab newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat, launched in Britain in 1978, London has served as an Arab media hub. Fleeing the censors at home, journalists found freedom in exile."  Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat is the leading Saudi regime propaganda outlet.  It is the epitome of censorship and sends the signal to other Saudi regime propaganda outlets on the new ever-changing rules of censorship.  In fact, it was launched in 1978 for a simple reason: the Saudi royalty was spending so much time in Europe and they wanted a daily Arabic newspaper because they could not read the daily foreign press.   Worse: the Economist then adds this: "Al-Hayat, was once lauded as the most professional of Arab newspapers, but now tends to toe the line." If you read Arabic you will wonder in amazement at this: when did Al-Hayat (the mouthpiece of Khalid bin Sultan since 19991) NOT toe the line?

I thought Western media trust blindly the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights?

For the last few years, Western media have been copying religiously whatever claims made by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.  Yet, I noticed that none of the Western media copied the last release from the observatory in which it estimated that US-led coalition in Syria has managed to kill 9274 Syrian civilians since September 2014.  Is that not news for you? Can you imagine the uproar if that was by Russian bombing? Can you imagine the tears of the Western correspondents in Beirut?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

What is the US stance about the war between Hizbullah and elite Al-Qa`idah forces in Jurud `Irsal?

I am certain that although Al-Qa`idah was behind the biggest terrorist attack in the US ever, the US government and Congress are sympathetic to Al-Qa`idah against Hizbullah in the on going-war simply because Israel sympathizes with Al-Qa`idah (it is amazing how Israeli assistance and cooperation with Al-Qa`idah was not a big story in US media).  As one Arab journalist said on TV the other day, the Al-Qa`idah terrorists in `Irsal's jurud constitute the elite force of this organization. 

The Jordanian responds toughly and fiercely to Israeli violent repression of Palestinians


The New York Times explains how the "free press" operates in American democracy

"The Pentagon raised no objections with The Times before the story was published".

Guy Laron's new book on 1967: the third (and last) installment of my critical review of the book

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Was the 1967 Defeat a Destiny?  Zionist Historiography and Schadenfreude".

Was it painful for Western correspondents in Beirut?

Was it painful for Western correspondents in Beirut to see footage of the flag of Al-Qa`idah being taken down from Jurud `Irsal? Was it?

Don't accuse American media of not wanting to represent the Arab and Muslim views of events in the Middle East

Here, Newsweek, being keen on having the Arab and Islamic views represented, it asked this guy to write on the subject of Jerusalem.  Who is he?  It says: "Mohammed Kaabiya is a strategic advisor on the Arab world to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs."

Friday, July 21, 2017

The war in East Lebanon

Do you have doubt that in the war between Hizbullah-Lebanese Army against Al-Qa`idah-ISIS, that the Western correspondents in Beirut are cheering Al-Qa`idah?

US liberation of other countries continue unabated


U.S. invasion of Syria

"The list published by the Anadolu news agency points to a U.S. presence from one end to the other of the Kurdish self-administration region—a distance of more than 200 miles." (thanks Amir)

Western correspondents in Beirut can't stop weeping

"Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria"

A propaganda blitz for Israel in US media

So Israel summoned the Western media and told them that it is humanitarian and shipping aid to Syrians near the border with Golan.  Of course, in such cases, all US media oblige and report verbatim what they are fed by Israeli professional propagandists.  This reminds me of how US media reported Israeli role in the Lebanese civil war (and reporters back then were less misinformed and less pro-Israel): Israel would report that it is delving aid to the "Security Zone" near the border with Lebanon, while not reporting to the press about its shipment of bombs and arms to the right-wing death squads of Lebanon.  Look how NYT and WP reported the same Israeli propaganda talking points.

Crimes of Saudi regime--like crimes of Israel--are casually reported (and in passing)

"The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen prevented a U.N. flight carrying aid agency staff from traveling to the Houthi-controlled capital, Sanaa, on Tuesday because three international journalists also were aboard, aviation officials said." Can you imagine the uproar if this was an anti-US regime? HRW would have released four reports on this incident.

A man who lived in China and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese is appointed ambassador in...Russia

Jon Huntsman as ambassador to Russia

What happened on UAE and Saudi twitter and Facebook accounts has been unprecedented

Basically, while Western media continue to coverup abuses and tyranny in Gulf countries, UAE and Saudi Arabia managed to silence every single Twitter and Facebook account except the vulgar and cheerleaders of the despots.  When Sultan Al-Qassemi becomes silent on social media, you know the extent of repression.  

How China takes dissent on the internet? David Ignatius speaks

Of course, Igantious would not report on the same phenomenon by his friends, the ruling tyrants of the Gulf.