Friday, March 06, 2015

Syrian defector, Caesar

As you know, this defector (a photographer with Syrian police) has been the most senior defector since a clerk at the Ministry of Transportation defected to Qatar.  Anyway, this has been the most celebrated defector of the century.  So while we agree on the criminal nature of the Syrian regime, this is the story that we are told to believe: that the defector gave the pictures to the Qatari regime, and the Qatari regime gave the pictures to the FBI. Now anyone who doubts that the Qatari regime and the FBI are not unbiased and neutral on matters Syrian needs to have his/her head examined.  Case closed. casear

Anne Barnard is covering Iraq: corrections from her first two days on the job

On her first day on the job, this correction: "Correction: March 6, 2015 

An article on Wednesday about the eruption of tensions between Iraq and the United States over how to battle the Islamic State misspelled the surname of an aide to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and mistranslated comments he made about American forces’ readiness to move against the militants in Mosul. The aide is Ali al-Alaaq, not Alaa, and he said, “If the Americans continue procrastinating about the time it will take to liberate the country, Iraq will liberate Mosul and Anbar without them.” He did not say that the Americans, in fact, continue to procrastinate."

On her second day on the job, this correction: "Correction: March 4, 2015 
 An earlier version of this article misidentified the Iraqi official whom the United States ambassador, Stuart E. Jones, met with in Najaf. He is Adnan al-Zurufi, the governor of Najaf, not Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the Shiite cleric. "  Now how could anyone who knows the most basic on Iraq think that Sistani would receive the US ambassador?

A US rapist who tried to frame an Arab

"Chicago woman identified by prosecutors as an escort testified Thursday that she was raped by a former boyfriend after he used a fake identity to evade her online screening process and then showed up at her home in a disguise that included a beard, dark makeup, sunglasses and a turban...Testifying at a preliminary hearing at the Leighton Criminal Court Building, the woman, 26, said she didn't realize the attacker was ex-boyfriend Nathan Nissenbaum until his sunglasses fell off while he restrained her with handcuffs and duct tape before the sexual assault.'

Saudi-Israeli honeymoon

"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's fiery speech this week before the U.S. Congress, in which he argued against an emerging nuclear deal with Iran, has received tacit support from an unlikely quarter -- Saudi Arabia."

An average of 545 people killed by local and state law enforcement officers in the US

"An average of 545 people killed by local and state law enforcement officers in the US went uncounted in the country’s most authoritative crime statistics every year for almost a decade, according to a report released on Tuesday. The first-ever attempt by US record-keepers to estimate the number of uncounted “law enforcement homicides” exposed previous official tallies as capturing less than half of the real picture. The new estimate – an average of 928 people killed by police annually over eight recent years, compared to 383 in published FBI data – amounted to a more glaring admission than ever before of the government’s failure to track how many people police kill." (thanks Amir)

FBI

"On 25 February, a press release appearing on the FBI’s website announced that three Brooklyn residents had been charged with “attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a foreign terrorist organisation”. Never mind that the same charge - albeit at a much higher level - can be applied to the United States and a number of its allies, without whom ISIL would not currently be flourishing."

Saudi foreign policies

"The Saudis do not like the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. They do not like Shiite Iran. They do not like the Shiite Hezbollah, or the Shiite Houthis ascendant in South Yemen. The rise of Shiite power in Iraq is a cause of concern to them.

What is their answer to these prevailing currents? The thick-fisted exercise of chequebook diplomacy: handsome handouts to Field Marshal El-Sisi in Egypt, money to the Syrian opposition, and handouts even to Saudi Arabia’s own population. But a chequebook is just that…it is not an ideology. It has appeal for the oligarchies, such as El-Sisi’s oligarchy in Egypt, but what attraction does it have for the support base of the banned Muslim Brotherhood?" Oh, the writer is wrong. They have their Wahhabi idoelogy which they share with Da`ish. (thanks Nabeel)

a student at UCLA: anti-Semitism on US college campuses

Some idiot at UCLA asked a Jewish student there a question that shouldn't have been asked. What does the New York Times conclude? That there is--because of that one question--a rampant problem of anti-Semitism on all American college campuses and they provide the evidence: "often a byproduct of animosity toward the policies of Israel. This is one of many campuses where the student council passed, on a second try and after fierce debate, a resolution supporting the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at pressuring Israel."  Let me tell the New York Times this: I have a student from Yemen and she is veiled: do you know how many stupid discriminatory questions she received per day?

The dumbest analysis by far: Western media on Saudi Arabia

"Nobody expects big changes to Saudi Arabia's position on the Muslim Brotherhood. The movement represents an ideological threat to Riyadh's dynastic system of rule, and its use of oaths of allegiance and secret meetings are anathema to the Saudis. "  Yes, because in Saudi Arabia, democracy open society are routine.  (thanks Basim)

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Ibn Taymiyyah

I was reading volume Six of Minhaj As-Sunnah An-Nabwayyiah by Ibn Taymiyyah: that man is so grotesquely hateful and poisonous.  But you have to agree: he is probably one of the most effective polemicists that I have read. He is far better than Lenin. 

Jordanian regime creates its own version of the Muslim Brothers

The Jordanian dictatorial regime is under pressure from its Gulf patrons to ban the Muslim Brothers. So what does the King do? He basically creates a mukhabarat version of the Muslim Brotherhood and then transfers the money of the Muslim Brothers to the new organization and grants it a political license. Now I know why the Jordanian potentate is referred to always as "moderate" in the Western media.

When the US does not like the results of public opinion polls

From Peter: "I came across this hit piece that tries to dismiss  Putin's popularity:

""An opinion poll can only be conducted in a Democracy with a free press," he explained. "In a country with no free press, where people are arrested for expressing their opinions, where the truth is hidden from them, where the media even online is almost all controlled by the government -- when a pollster phones people up and asks, 'Hello, do you approve of Vladimir Putin,' the answer is overwhelmingly yes."

Yet no one questions those laughable PEW polls that take place in the dictatorships in the Gulf. I guess Western back dictatorships are all free of bias."

This passes as poetry in the US--yes, let Americans tell you what poetry is

"His speech, printed in about 48-point font on an inch-thick stack of paper, was poetic (“millions of Israelis were protected from thousands of Hamas rockets because this Capitol Dome helped build our Iron Dome”)".

This will never appear in the New York Times and Washington Post

"As advances by militant Islamic groups displace Christian communities from northern Iraq to western Syria, in Lebanon, Christians like Nasrallah are taking up arms, saying they refuse to succumb to a similar fate.

“We will never stand to not hear our church bells ring,” Nasrallah says, his arms crossed. “That will never happen here.” Ras Baalbek is just one of a handful of Christian villages in the northern Bekaa Valley not far from the Syrian border. While there have been a number of reports of Christians arming themselves in this region of Lebanon, Nasrallah’s men are one of the only Christian groups directly allied with Hezbollah."

Saudi Arabia is believed to have executed 38 people so far this year--but all were moderately beheaded

"Saudi Arabia is beheading criminals at an unprecedented rate - almost half of them for non-violent drugs crimes, the human rights charity Amnesty International has warned.

The Arab state is believed to have executed 38 people so far this year, treble the number in the same period in 2014 and a sign its new King Salman is showing no mercy to offenders."

Nicholas Kristof saves the World

"In the second episode, “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty,” Kristof returns to his roots: foreign poverty porn. Journeying from West Virginia to Haiti to Colombia, viewers see mothers and children in tears, facing terrible choices. Assisted at each location by celebrity guides like Jennifer Garner — an attempt to reach audiences otherwise uninterested in such gloomy subjects — Kristof tries to explain how global poverty works and what Americans can do to get these kids out." "The US-backed coup of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, which prompted a United Nations peacekeeping mission that will enter its eleventh year in June, goes unremarked. The conditions that caused the 2008 food riots and unseated the prime minister are not discussed. And the cholera outbreak after the 2010 earthquake that the UN is blamed for starting is nowhere mentioned."

Philanthrocapitalism

"Soros is notorious for making vast profits by precipitating the financial destruction of entire economies. In 1992, he forced the United Kingdom out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism and into recession by shorting sterling, making an estimated $1 billion in a single day. He has also been blamed for triggering the East Asian financial crisis in 1997 by short-selling the Thai baht and the Malay ringgit, and was accused of playing a role in speculative attacks on the yen in 2013. But liberal elites around the world laud Soros for channelling large quantities of his dubiously earned wealth into philanthropic projects — primarily through his Open Society Foundation, which promotes democracy, free markets, and economic development around the world."

Ferguson preys viciously on black residents

"As the report noted, from 2012 to 2014 African Americans accounted for “85 percent of vehicle stops, 90 percent of citations, and 93 percent of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67 percent of Ferguson’s population.” Tickets mean money for the city–in 2013, municipal court fines were Ferguson’s second highest source, the bulk of which were leveled against African Americans." (thanks Amir)

How some in France see ISIS: Islamophobia unplugged


Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Talented Sudanese cartoonist, Khalid AlBaih

Kevin Sullivan's propaganda piece about Saudi prisons

I have to tell Kevin that Saudi propaganda outlets and newspapers of Saudi princes were so pleased with your piece that they translated it into Arabic and are circulating it.  Good work.  His piece was basically this: Saudi regime escorted me to prisons and told me that they are very nice and I believed them on the spot.

So when American fly to Syria and Iraq and join Christian militias it is a good thing?

"“Jesus tells us what you do unto the least of them, you do unto me,” said the 28-year-old from Detroit who served an extended tour in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. He asked for his surname not to be published, to protect his family at home. “I couldn’t sit back and watch what was happening, women being raped and sold wholesale.”

So in December he traveled to northern Iraq, where he joined a growing band of foreigners leaving behind their lives in the West to fight with new Christian militias against the Islamic State extremist group. The leaders of those militias say they have been swamped with hundreds of requests from veterans and volunteers from around the world who want to join them."

According to this guy, Israel didn't mistreat Palestinians in 1948

"When Netanyahu hearkens back to 1948, he hearkens back not only to a different America, but also to a different Israel. It was not yet an occupation power, and it did not mistreat Palestinians."  Maybe he meant it killed them and displaced them but didn't mistreat them.

When the terrorists become moderate terrorists

"Intelligence officials from Gulf states including Qatar have met the leader of Nusra, Abu Mohamad al-Golani, several times in the past few months to encourage him to abandon al Qaeda and to discuss what support they could provide, the sources said. A source close to the foreign ministry confirmed that Qatar wanted Nusra to become a purely Syrian force not linked to al Qaeda." (thanks Basim)

ISIS and the Arab malady: the kind of articles that Saudi official propaganda loves

Those kind of articles are in vogue. The writers are the main correspondent for Economist (a cheerleader of the Free Syrian Army) and a researcher of Human Rights Watch.  Read the whole piece and you would think that Western governments have basically left the Arab people to determine their own fate, and that the US has not been bombing the shit out of the region, and that Israel is a mere peaceful factor in the Arab world, and that the only problem of Western governments is that they have not launched more wars and have not bombed more Arab countries. That is called "deep thinking" about the Middle East in Western media.

Top 40 countries by the number of scientific papers published

Read the list:
Switzerland 7,997,000 631,183 21,372 2.673 29.533
Denmark 5,590,000 314,889 11,787 2.109 26.715
Sweden 9,517,000 523,804 18,645 1.959 28.094
Norway 5,019,000 499,667 9,207 1.834 54.270
Netherlands 16,770,000 770,067 29,296 1.747 26.286
Australia 22,680,000 1,564,419 38,607 1.702 40.522
Finland 5,414,000 247,389 9,207 1.701 26.870
Singapore 5,312,000 276,520 8,768 1.651 31.537
New Zealand 4,433,000 171,256 6,805 1.535 25.166
Belgium 11,140,000 483,402 16,111 1.446 30.004
Canada 34,880,000 1,821,445 49,947 1.432 36.468
United Kingdom 63,230,000 2,417,600 90,018 1.424 26.857
Ireland 4,589,000 210,638 6,429 1.401 32.764
Israel 7,908,000 241,069 10,492 1.327 22.976
Austria 8,462,000 394,458 11,011 1.301 35.824
Taiwan 23,340,000 474,149 24,255 1.039 19.549
Germany 81,890,000 3,425,956 82,550 1.008 41.502
United States 313,900,000 16,244,600 310,206 0.988 52.367
Spain 47,270,000 1,322,126 43,300 0.916 30.534
France 65,700,000 2,611,221 57,751 0.879 45.215
Portugal 10,530,000 212,139 9,034 0.858 23.482
Greece 11,280,000 248,941 9,451 0.838 26.340
South Korea 50,000,000 1,129,598 39,285 0.786 28.754
Italy 60,920,000 2,013,392 47,403 0.778 42.474
Czech Republic 10,510,000 196,446 8,163 0.777 24.065
Japan 127,600,000 5,960,180 68,308 0.535 87.254
Poland 38,540,000 489,852 17,186 0.446 28.503
Turkey 74,000,000 788,299 19,753 0.267 39.908
Romania 21,330,000 169,396 5,240 0.246 32.327
Iran 76,420,000 551,588 17,598 0.230 31.344
Malaysia 29,240,000 304,726 6,565 0.225 46.417
Argentina 41,090,000 477,028 6,766 0.165 70.504 "

Netanyahu in 1993: Iran will have bomb by 1999

"The prime minister has been warning for over 20 years that Tehran is close to achieving its pursuit of nuclear weapons. "

Superpower

"The challenge is that, in literacy, U.S. millennials scored higher than only three countries. In math, Americans ranked last. In technical problem-saving, they were second from the bottom." "The ETS study noted that a decade ago the skill level of American adults was judged mediocre. “Now it is below even that.” "

Al-Qaeda shows off huge cache of U.S. weapons

"Islamist militants linked to al-Qaeda showed off advanced US weaponry they seized from a moderate Syrian rebel group that recently disbanded. The Nusra Front posted online images showing its fighters handling anti-tank BGM-71 TOW missiles Washington had supplied to one of its allied militias, Harakat Hazm."

Leaked footage shows Israeli soldiers setting dogs on Palestinian teen

"The video was taken in December in the West Bank settlement of Carmei Tzur, but gained attention after being posted on Facebook by ultra-nationalist politician Michael Ben Ari, who said of the footage: “The soldiers taught the little terrorist a lesson!” It was quickly removed from his page, according to 972. The video, which some people may find distressing, shows 16-year-old Hamzeh Abu Hashem cowering and screaming in distress as dogs bite at his clothes. Israeli soldiers hold him throughout the attack and a man can be heard saying “yofi”, which means “good”." (thanks Amir)

Netanayhu and google

If an Iranian leader in an address at the UN cited "google" as his source, he would have been lampooned from now until eternity (what is the scientific view of eternity? Remind me).

The Israeli nuclear weapons in the room

I read US media coverage of the speech by Netanyahu, and thus far only one braver writer in the Washington Post, the old timer, Walter Pincus, was the only one who mentioned the obvious: "He did not mention that Israel has about 200 of its own nuclear weapons, some on submarines, and he certainly will not say that before Congress."

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

UK media regulator only threatens foreign media over "bias"

"Ofcom has rarely punished establishment British media outlets for “bias” even though the British media is notoriously and slavishly loyal to the state and other British political and financial elites." (thanks Amir)

Is Netanyahu taller today?

Netanyahu seems taller today. Is there a Saudi prince under his feet?

Another US president in Congress?

Netanyahu treated himself, and was treated, like a US president. He even was allowed to bring in the human props that the president uses in the State of the Union speech.

Nitin-Yahu

Are you aware that all Arab reporters and correspondents (with the exception of the Lebanese propagandists of Saudi princes who write in English in the US) only refer to Netanyahu as Nitin-yahu (Nitin means filthy in Arabic)?

US Congress

I swear, I was wondering. How many standing ovations would Netanyahu receive if he were to show up and not say a word?  I bet you he would get at least 30.

Netanyahu

Netyanyahu is getting a standing ovation for sipping his water.

Elie Wiesel

There is a grotesque ad by the grotesque poseur, Elie Wiesel, in the Washington Post.  How come no one commented on the anti-Iranian racism in the ad, which begins by talking about an ancient "wicked Persian".  Imagine if such an ad was written about the Jewish people.  So basically, Wiesel is arguing that all Iranians--not only the regime--are wicked and have to be destroyed.

No need to prove that someone is an anti-Semitic if he/she opposes Israel

"On the surface, there is not much that commends Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. An anti-Semite, he has frequently questioned the Holocaust and defamed Israel in despicable terms. As a conspiracy theorist, he endlessly weaves strange tales about the United States and its intentions. " (thanks Basim)

Benjamin Netanyahu's Long History of Crying Wolf About Iran's Nuclear Weapons

"The conclusion from this history is inescapable. Over the course of more than 20 years, Benjamin Netanyahu has made false claims about nuclear weapons programs in both Iran and Iraq, inventing imaginary timelines for their development, and making public statements that contradicted the analysis of his own intelligence advisers.
Despite this, he continues to be treated by lawmakers and media figures as a credible voice on this issue.
When Netanyahu gives his address to Congress, he can likely be counted on to say much the same things he’s been saying for the past two decades about an impending Iranian nuclear threat, and credulous pundits and politicians can be counted on to believe him." (thanks Regan)

Russian and Iranian deledgations in Geneva

I saw a picture of the two delegations. There was only one woman in the picture: in the Iranian delegation. And she was not an interpreter.    (She is the spokesperson of the Iranian foreign minister, Mardiyyah Afkham).  Yet, US media praise the Saudi regime if they allow a woman to serve as a shop owner.

Samirah Tawfiq: the love of `Abdullah bin Abdul-`Aziz

Lebanese-Maltese singer, Samirah Tawfiq, ends her decades-long absence and appears on New TV in Lebanon.  This is not accidental: it happened weeks after the death of Saudi King `Abdullah. She is now free.

Another blogger jailed in Saudi Arabia

Bandar Qadir, a physician with the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia, has just been arrested after expressing (grotesque, if you ask me) sentiments supporting the Syrian regime on Twitter.

Comrade Joseph: How to refrom French Muslims? Or how to reform French non-Muslims?

"Rather than call for reform of the French secular and Catholic educational system, John Bowen suggests that France might stop the radicalization of its Muslim prison population through chaplaincy. While this is an important goal, Bowen’s own analysis shows that more urgently needed is an educational, political, and juridical effort targeting the majority of French Catholics and secularists, inside and outside the prison system, who, with relative impunity, express anti-Muslim racism, inflict legal and illegal discrimination, and commit violence against French Muslims.

Indeed the most important task today is to limit the radicalization of these French citizens and state agents, a large number of whom seem to have become, with the encouragement of the state and official discourse, anti-immigrant, right-wing bigots. Recent polls in France show that the National Front’s Marine Le Pen, the most vocal and vulgar opponent of French Muslims, would be elected president if elections were held today. The ongoing discrimination against Muslims; the “apartheid” system, as described by Prime Minister Valls, under which they live; the hysterical, racist public and private discourse about them in the media and in official pronouncements; and the limited legal remedies available to combat this state of affairs—these are the problems that demand immediate redress."