Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Who speaks for Arab public opinion? An Israeli of course, according to NBC News

This is what this Israeli dude said about Arab opinion of Peres: ""From the Arab point of view, they will look at him with mixed feelings — part positive and some negative," Mekelberg added."  This is like saying that a patient looked at cancer with mixed feelings.  Mixed feelings? Arabs--get it in your head or look around Arab social media for the last 24 hours--despise and detest Peres.  There are no mixed feelings whatsoever.   The same lousy article cited someone else describing Peres as a "fox".  Western Zionist media are really trying hard to reduce the level of Arab contempt for Peres.  And then NBC wrote: "Peres' legacy was also tarnished in the Arab world by the 1996 shelling of a U.N. compound in the village of Qana, Lebanon".  So this massacre tarnished his image among Arabs? So prior to this massacre he was a popular figure? People forget that Arabs are fully aware of his role in the construction of Israeli nuclear arsenal, and the Tripartite invasion of Egypt in 1956, and his successive role in the Israeli government and ordering various bombing raids on refugee camps and villages in Lebanon.  

Hillary versus Trump

The dangers of Trump are too obvious. The dangers of Hillary are more dangerous because they are a bit disguised.

There are really two Shimon Peres

If you go to Arab social media, you would see the anger expressed by Arabs at, Israeli war criminal, Shimon Peres, and the Western sympathy he is receiving.  And then you go to Western media, and you feel that they were talking about some pacifist philanthropist.  Two strikingly different worlds.

Arab media and war criminal, Peres: Haaretz mistranslations

Haaretz wrote: ""“The Zionist Shimon Peres dies. Born in Poland, he carried out countless crimes against the Palestinian people over the past 70 years. His death will not be mourned,” tweeted Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political science professor from the United Arab Emirates to his 101,000 followers." 
Actually, what Abdulkhaleq wrote was this: "The death of the Zionist, Shimon Peres, who was born in Poland, and who--like other Zionists--committed countess crimes against the people of Palestine in the last 70 years.  His death is not sorrowful."



a man whose career began with ethnic cleansing

"Peres was born in modern day Belarus in 1923, and his family moved to Palestine in the 1930s. As a young man, Peres joined the Haganah, the militia primarily responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian villages in 1947-49, during the Nakba." (thanks Basim)

Shimon Peres: the invention of the Western media and governments

You will not read in the next few days about the real Shimon Peres, a seasoned war criminal who never met a warcrime or a massacre or an occupation which he did not like or engineer.  People forget that people of my generation or older know the real record of the Labor Party and its leaders in the history of Israeli war crimes and occupation.  People of my generation are far less likely to see any difference between a Netanyahu and a Peres.  The racism of Netanyahu and his love of war crimes and massacres have all been preceded by same tendencies in the Labor Party leaders. You won't read in the next few days about the man who helped in the construction of the Israeli nuclear arsenal, and yet had the chutzpah to rail against an incomplete Iranian nuclear program.  This is a man who spoke about peace in the west, while ordering massacres of civilians in Qana and in all the refugee camps of Lebanon during my youth.  This is a man who spoke about the two-state (non)solution in the West, while he engineered the occupation and settlement of the West Bank and Gaza and the repression of Palestinians in 1948 occupation of Palestine.  This is a man who engineered the evil but logical alliance between Apartheid South Africa and Apartheid Israel.  But then again, the West never talked about the real Israel. Their Israel is an imagined Israel which Western liberals loved to fantasize about and treat as a reality.  Their Israel never existed: it was an invention of their racism and callousness.  It is not that Western governments and media who will ignore the war crimes of Shimon Peres did not know about the war crimes by Peres: they know of course but their racism will prevent them from remembering the victims, for example, of Qana massacres in a UN shelter.  Those victims never matter for those Westerners mourning a major war criminal in our region.

This picture will not appear in any US media

Chadia Bitar protests a 2003 visit by Shimon Peres in Dearborn, Michigan, to receive the John P. Wallach Peacemaker Award. Bitar’s two young sons were among 100 civilians killed by Israeli bombs in Qana, Lebanon, in April 1996. Peres was Israel’s prime minister at the time of the bombing.
Rebecca CookReuters/Newscom

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Two War Criminals in one picture


Richard Engel as a judge of the debate

There was nothing more comical than bringing Richard Engel of NBC last night to fact-check the debate on foreign policy.  This is like having George W. Bush assess the accuracy of the latest edition of the collected works of Karl Marx.

"The New $3B USS Zumwalt Is a Stealthy Oddity That May Already Be a Relic"

"The Zumwalt-class destroyer program started in the early 1990s and has been a problem child ever since. At first, the Navy planned to purchase 32 of the stealth vessels. Then it said it would buy seven. Then three. Now, it may buy just two. After decades and billions of dollars spent, the DoD may instead choose an updated version of the Arleigh-Burke DDG-51 destroyer, a model that entered service in 1991."

On Veiling and Unveiling in the US: one experience

"While attending college full time, I worked in an Italian restaurant part time as a waitress. I was working the evening shift and upon leaving for my car, I was attacked. A man yanked my scarf off and shoved me down to the ground. “Go back to your country, towel head,” he snarled through clenched teeth. I laid on the ground both angry and helpless. After three months of fighting against other people’s opinions, I was faced with the hardest one of them all, my father’s. “You will take off your higab tomorrow,” he demanded of me.  “Dad, I am supposed to wear it! God says so,” I shouted back.   “There is no mention of the word higab in the Quran!”  That comment sent chills throughout my body. He was right. And I hated that. But it was that moment that I began to study what modesty really means. Despite my father’s personal view on higab, that does not mean I am taking a position to deconstruct the role higab plays in Islamic modesty. In addition, to my father’s defense, he was acting out of his own fear for my personal safety. Rightfully so, he feared for my security.  I thought the higab represented faith, protection and security. Thus, not wearing it meant I would be weak in my faith. To my classmates and the Muslim community I found that I wasn’t considered “Muslim enough”. To them, being a good Muslim was in outward appearance. Although I fought with my father to wear the higab, I finally gave in and gave up wearing it. At first, I felt a sense of relief combined with an insurmountable amount of shame and guilt. But then I noticed something odd. I was no longer judged as a Muslim, but as a person.  De-veiling was liberating.  Not once throughout my experiences did I feel safe behind the scarf. Even if I had had the support from my loved ones, I still would have felt isolated. The environment I was living in was hostile. The community I lived in, post 9/11, created an enormous amount of fear around Muslims and the Islamic identity. I realized, after I de-veiled, I did not take into account the tremendous amount of strength, courage and family support it takes to wear higab."

UNESCO (after is subjugation to US) honors a Saudi regime propagandist for his promotion of "freedom of the press"

"Turki Al-Dakhil (Saudi Arabia), Director General of Al-Arabiya TV, for his outspoken advocacy of tolerance, freedom of the press, the rights of minorities and women in the Gulf region."

Between Netanyahu and the Palestinians (even the PA), the Saudi regime will certainly side with Netanayahu

"The Palestinians should not be too quick to dismiss the invitation extended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to address Israel’s parliament in return to “gladly come to speak peace with the Palestinian parliament in Ramallah.” Netanyahu’s gesture was quickly rejected by the Palestinians as a “new gimmick” but the invitation is reminiscent of the one issued by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat to visit Israel — and the rest is history."

Canadian firm sells Bahrain software to censor Internet

"Researchers have identified a Canadian company at the centre of a small Arab nation’s online censorship system — a finding that sits awkwardly with Ottawa officials’ public support for digital freedoms." (thanks Amir)

David Frum tells Americans that Pierre Manent's anti-Islamic views are not illiberal because he supports Israel

"Manent stresses that he does not write as a Catholic, or even as a believer. A former student of the French sociologist Raymond Aron, he upholds France’s embattled liberal tradition. He writes generously and movingly of France’s Jewish minority, of Christian Europe’s guilt in the Holocaust, and of the meaning and importance of the state of Israel. " (thanks Nabeel)

Typecast as a terrorist

“What kinda film you making? Did you become an actor to further the Muslim struggle?” an officer screamed, twisting my arm to the point of snapping."

Hillary Clinton and Muslims: from last night debate

She basically said that we need to be nice to Muslims because the US government needs them so that they can spy on one another.

From Jadaliyya: Hattar assassination and Jordanian elections

"Yesterday, someone murdered Nahed Hattar because a cartoon Hattar shared on Facebook offended that person. Yes, there are those in society who would kill others for expressing different views. But there are those who do not allow different views to be aired in the first place. They give weight to the idea that speech should be regulated, criminalized, and silenced. How many people has the regime harassed, arrested, or imprisoned over the past decades for making statements it did not agree with or were critical of Jordanian official policy? How many student organizations did it disband, publications did it block, and individuals did it refer to the State Security Court for merely engaging in critical debate?
But why dwell on these issues? Let us instead join the media chorus of celebrating the elections for a parliament with no power, the endless reform initiatives without structural change, and the wonderful PR machine of stable Jordan. Let us champion the path that has been announced, without looking at the road that was paved by the very same people."

Monday, September 26, 2016

When the Guardian shows off its knowledge of the Arabic language

""the gunman, bearded and in his 50s, was wearing a traditional Arab dishashada worn by ultra-conservative Sunni Salafis who adhere to a puritanical version of Islam and shun western lifestyles."  I think that the Guardian expert on Arabic confused Dishdashah (the garb) and Shahadah (the first pillar of Islam). (thanks Maddy)

Can you get me some?

"There are certain things that pair really well with cookies — like milk, for example — but Islamaphobia is not one of them. On Monday, police were called to a gas station near East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, when a customer panicked at the sight of a box with Arabic lettering on it, WNEP-TV reported. The supposedly suspicious box turned out to just be a box of Halwani Bros Maamoul Date Filled Cookies — something easily purchased on Amazon. " (thanks Marc)

assassination in Jordan

So Jordanian regime agitation and takfir of a Jordanian citizen (who was subsequently killed) is merely a "blunder":
"The way the government handled his posting of a caricature on Facebook they deemed to be offensive has been a blunder from start to tragic finish."  How do we reverse that famous saying if Talleyrand? 
"Yes, this isn’t the Jordan we know, and this does contradict our history. But we’re not living in the 1950’s anymore."
Oh, yes, the good old 1950s, when British military ran the Jordanian army, and when the King canceled the political system to rule by decree, and when the regime sponsored Islamist kooks to thwart off secular leftists and Arab nationalists. The good old 1950s.

This is what BBC calls "reform" in Jordan

"Under Jordanian law, 15 seats are automatically reserved for female MPs. A reduction in the number of MPs as part of reforms announced last year means women will have a higher overall proportion of seats than before."

Rana Sweis in the New York Times: about Jordan

"As Jordan strives to stay neutral in Syria".  Yes, Jordanian regime strove to remain neutral while arming and training Syrian rebels, and allowing Jordan to be used as a base for Syrian rebels and Western and Gulf regimes aiding the rebels.

Jordanian regime sponsorship of Jihadi terrorist ideology

This is what is left unmentioned about Jordan: I know that US media (from Jon Stewart on the left to Fox News) are enamored with the Jordanian king but: since the days of the Cold War, and to thwart off the threat of secular leftism and Arab nationalism, the regime has cuddled and armed and sponsored a variety of Jihadi terrorist ideologies.  To this very day, the regime plays the game of manipulation of Jihadis.  The theoretician of Jihadi terrorism in the world, Abu Muhammad Maqdisi, has been a guest of the mukhabarat for many years and when they sometimes announce his imprisonment, it does not last and he basically is allowed to have an office in jail.

Censorship in Jordan

""Nahed Hattar's killing is a direct result of lack of commitment to freedom of expression by Jordanian authorities," said Sherif Mansour, CPJ's program coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa. "We call on the government to bring the killer to justice and to change its approach to freedom of the press to foster openness and protection for critical voices."
While the gunman has not been identified, some social media accounts of conservatives in Jordan and elsewhere celebrated Hattar's death and said he deserved it for blasphemy, Al-Jazeera reported.
On a mission to Jordan in August, CPJ found overt censorship by Jordanian authorities as well as self-censorship by journalists fearing reprisal for their work. Officials defended the role of the government as an arbitrator of public debate at a time when the country is facing challenges, including the fight against terrorism and a flood of refugees arriving from neighboring countries."

Why you go to jail in Saudi Arabia

A young man was arrested in Saudi kingdom for not appearing well (or appearing "inappropriately") in a video chat.  

Zionist classifications

""Jewish descendants in Kaifeng do not automatically qualify as Jews under Israeli law because their ancestry has been so diluted. But Michael Freund, the chairman and founder of Shavei Israel, said the Israeli government should raise their treatment with Chinese officials." (thanks Nikiloi) 

Jordanian regime bans publishing any news about the assassination of Jordanian writer, Nahid Hatter

Royal censorship decree has been issued.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The hypocrisy of the Jordanian regime

The Jordanian despot and his wife: they are for the right to mock Islam in France, but are strictly opposed to the right to mock ISIS in a cartoon on Facebook.  

Jordanian regime responsibility and the assassination of Nahid Hattarin Amman--under the watchful eyes of the Jordanian mukhabarat

I will merely translate what I have written in Arabic on social media about the assassination of Nahid Hattar in Jordan under the title Jordanian Regime Responsibility and the Assassination of Nahid Hattar
There is nothing with which I don't disagree with Nahid Hattar over, and between he and me there was a political and ideological dispute which has only deepened with time.  But this assassination is not about one person.  The impudent Jordanian regime bears responsibility for this crime.  The regime protects with all that it got all the staff of the Israeli embassy in Amman and it protects--resident and visiting--Mossad agents in Jordan, but it never bothered to protect Nahid Hattar, especially that the regime and its official media led the campaign of Takfir and criminalization against Nahid Hattar.  As usual, there will emerge voices which will talk about ISISism in Arab society.  No, this repression and criminalization and tabooing is the problem of Arab regimes and the Iranian regime and the colonial West which--over many decades--have fought with the sword of the Islamic religion and "sacred" beliefs only when their interests and quackeries are threatened or criticized.  This is a moment for unity and solidarity between all the ranks of protesters against repression, killing, and terrorization in the name of religion and sacredness.  We live under regimes like the Saudi regime, the Qatari regime, the Emirati regime, and the Jordanian regime which sentence writers of poetry and tweets, which deviate from their extremist, reactionary, and strict interpretation of religion, to imprisonment and lashes.  There is a law in Jordan against "extending one's tongue" to the royal family--the historical supporter of Zionism.  And the Iranian regime spilled the blood and hanged communists and Baha'is in the name of a religious doctrine.  Communists have been killed in our lands at the hands of Sunni AND Shi`ite merchants of sectarianism--followers of Arab regimes and the Iranian regime.  And Western colonialism collected over the decades of the Cold War the ranks of kooks of religion in our countries to fight the Soviet Union--and thus they got rid of the secular and feminist (communist) regime in Afghanistan--the likes of which Afghanistan has not seen before.  Leftists and communists have been silent for too long about the murder of their comrades at the hands of Sunni AND Shi`ite merchants of religion and sectarianism, and it is high time that we raise the voice of our sacred beliefs which don't belong to "divine books".  We have our sacred beliefs just as you have your sacred beliefs.  And you--and the regimes of strict religion which sponsor you--insult the sacred beliefs of leftism, communism, feminism, and anarchism day and night, and there is no one to hold you accountable because you are protected by the repressive regimes which kill in the name of religion.  The burning of the Aqsa and the occupation of Palestine and the conquest by Western countries of our region did not offend your ultra-sensitive religious sensibilities and did not move you.  But a cartoon on Facebook offended your beliefs.  And what are those (religious) beliefs which are shaken by seeing a cartoon drawing on Facebook?  Western governments are redesigning your religion and are ordering you to delete Qur'anic verses and religious sermons which offend them and offend the Israeli enemy and you are silent and obedient.  But a drawing on Facebook ignited your religious rancor.  This is a moment to revolt against the intimidating hegemony of Sunni AND Shi`ite merchants of religion and sectarianism in our lands.  Those two sides (Sunnis and Shi`ites) disagree over everything but agree on tabooing, takfir, and criminalization in the name of religion.  What killed Nahid Hattar is his faith in the Jordanian Zionist regime, and its obedient judiciary.  And if the cartoon (below)--and which shows that the cartoonist clearly distinguished between the religion of ISIS and the religion of Islam--bothered you and raised your ire, maybe its reposting will remind you of the occupation of Palestine, and may move you, o folks of hypocrisy in our countries.

PS And Hattar, mind you, criticized me viciously on Facebook and I frequently, without naming him, criticized the Jordanian "royal left".

Saturday, September 24, 2016

U.S. is using white phosphorus that kills by burning to the bone

"Photos posted on a Pentagon-managed public affairs website show a U.S. Army artillery unit in Iraq using white phosphorous munitions, specifically M825A1 155mm rounds." "The United States has used white phosphorus in Iraq before, notably in the 2004 battle for Fallujah, when Marine artillery batteries were scrutinized for firing the munitions on entrenched insurgents. In Afghanistan, white phosphorus was used by U.S. troops, primarily in the country’s restive east. In 2009, NATO forces there were accused of burning an 8-year-old girl with the munitions."

On the Middle East

New York Times, Washington Post, Economist, the Nation Magazine, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat and Al-Riyadh have all become indistinguishable.

NYT's support for wars

"However, it’s worth noting, The New York Times‘s editorial board has supported every single US war—Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya—for the past 30 years."

German-Israeli covert operations

"According to the documents — which were submitted for the trial of a former German spy — Western surveillance agencies, Israel likely among them, operated a tax-haven company to fund various security-related operations." "Mauss claims that the fund in question was opened in the mid-1980s in Panama by Western security services for various activities, and has served since then for covert security operations around the world."

Israel & Paraguay

"And while Paraguay stands little chance of ousting Colombia as Israel’s regional BFF — the current Colombian president has, after all, boasted of being “the Israelites of Latin America” — Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes has put a lot into the relationship, particularly during his recent visit to Israel." "Cartes himself, meanwhile, was described in a leaked cable from the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires in 2010 as the head of an “organization believed to launder large quantities of United States currency generated through illegal means, including through the sale of narcotics, from the TBA (Tri-Border Area) to the United States.” All the more reason, presumably, to shift the blame for illicit Tri-Border Area activity to other parties. Looks like Paraguay and Israel will make one hell of a team." (thanks Amir)

Facebook disables accounts of Palestinian editors

" “There has been no given reason for closing the accounts,” Quds’ al-Akhras said. “We believe this is the result of the agreement between Israel and Facebook. It is very strange that Facebook would take part in such an agreement, given that it is supposed to be a platform for free expression and journalism.” Al-Akhras said that it was particularly dismaying that Facebook would take this action as Quds got its start in 2011 as a Facebook-only platform." 

This is how the US ignited the Lebanese civil war

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "This is how the US Ignited the Lebanese Civil War: Secret Negotiations with Israel in the Administration of Franjiyyah."

Ian Black citing Faysal Qasim of Aljazeera

Faysal Qasim of Aljazeera has become known for posting the most sectarian, vulgar, sexist, and exterminationist posts about Syria (he used to be pro-Syrian regime by the way).  Ian Black is citing him below.  But in this week, I have noticed that most if not all Western correspondents on the Middle East have lost all sense of pretense of professionalism and are posting crude propaganda.
Ian Black (@ian_black)
‎Putin and friends who "kneel only before God״ ⁦‪twitter.com/kasimf/status/…‬⁩

Friday, September 23, 2016

John Kerry explains why the alliance between his "moderate" Syrian rebels and Jihadi terrorists is perfectly logical

"But, he said, “it’s very hard to separate people when they are being bombed indiscriminately and when [Syrian President Bashar al-]Assad has the right to determine who he’s going to bomb, because he can, quote, ‘Go after Nusra,’ but go after the opposition all at the same time because he wants to. You create a confusion that is impossible to separate out.”"

Saudi rehabilitation of terrorists

In this interview with the mouthpiece of King Salman, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, an American official praises the Saudi program for the rehabilitation of terrorists, which recently produced the successor to Abu Muhammad Al-`Adnani.

This dude makes it sound as if 20 books per year is a lot of books

"Since we’re well aware of how much the president reads — something like 20 books a year, I’m told — it would be presumptuous of me to suggest anything to him."

When Nation magazine covers the Syrian war: Syrian writers against US and Russian military intervention in Syria

Is this a joke? I know that you can't trust anything on the Middle East from the Zionist Nation magazine but this is like a farce.  The signatories to this statement, like Sadiq Al-Azm, have been advocates of NATO intervention from the very beginning and most of the writers here work in Gulf regimes media, which have been calling for MORE--not less--US intervention in Syria.  Burhan Ghalyun is even one of the signatories.  Their protest is not against US military intervention in Syria but against US agreement with Russia over the cease-fire.  But those nuances are too inconvenient fro the Zionist policies of the Nation magazine.

When the Syrian rebels impose sectarian sieges: rarely in the US press: not in the WP or the NYT

"A punishing siege imposed by Islamist rebels has cut off these two sister towns in northwest Syria for the last 18 months, leaving them at the mercy of truck bombs, mortar barrages, and the terrifying staccato of sniper fire.
The two towns lie in Idlib province, a predominantly Sunni Muslim region southwest of Aleppo. In March 2015, the entire province was overrun by a powerful jihadist coalition known as the Army of Conquest.  The exception was Fuah and Kefraya, two Shiite villages whose roughly 17,000 residents have remained, even under a devastating blockade, loyal to the government. For most, there has seemed to be little choice: Shiite Muslims are seen as apostates by Islamist hard-liners, and the Army of Conquest has threatened to wipe them out.  “A massacre is inevitable — maybe not for everyone, but certainly for the young men. They are always sending them threats on walkie-talkies,” said Mohammad Hassan Taqi, head of the towns’ crisis committee. “But all the possibilities are there: killing, rape, imprisonment of some, to be used as bargaining chips with the government,” he said. The plight of these two Shiite towns says much about how Syria’s sectarian mosaic has been fractured since the onset of the war. In a country where Shiite and Sunni villages were once spread across the landscape in relative harmony, more and more Syrians are being uprooted into sectarian blocs, their borders becoming new fault lines in the greater Sunni-Shiite conflict. A key to the fate of Fuah and Kefraya — and one of the only things keeping the towns intact — is the Four Towns Agreement, a complex truce forged in September 2015 linking the fate of the two Shiite communities in Idlib province to that of Zabadani and Madaya, a pair of Sunni towns controlled by Syrian rebels near the capital, Damascus. Those towns have also been subjected to a relentless siege, in this case by pro-government forces, that has left residents on the verge of starvation."

U.S. forces will be in the Middle East long after ISIS, Carter says

"The Pentagon's two top leaders said Wednesday that the U.S. military will keep forces deployed to the Middle East long after the defeat of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria."

more U.S. soldiers sent to Iraq

"If President Obama signs off on the military’s plan for more troops, the number would rise above 5,000. There are other U.S. troops inside Iraq that the Pentagon claims are on “temporary” assignments, though some of these deployments last up to one year in country. Counting these troops, the new forces going to Iraq will push the unofficial number of American forces on the ground in Iraq to over 6,000 troops." (thanks Amir)