Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Unfair to Ibn Taymiyyah?

Historian Mahmoud Haddad argues that people are being unfair to Ibn Taymiyyah. Really Mahmoud?

Jon Stewart and conventional wisdom

Alternative media in the US, assuming that the Daily Show is one, are not alternative when it comes to the Middle East.  Why on earth would Jon Steward host the insignificant Hadi Bahrah when he is being lambasted by his own organization and his days are truly numbered.

Al-Akhbar: the only Arabic newspaper that combats anti-Semitism in the Arab world

There is a special supplement in Al-Akhbar about Arab Jews. It is quite courageous as no other Arabic newspaper dares to write with such vehemence against anti-Semitism.  I have a few comments here and there: they should have mentioned the covert Israeli operations that Israel undertook in the Arab world (through bombs and flyers) to scare Jews away from the Arab world toward Israel.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Hadi Bahrah

This week, to bestow legitimacy on the US war on Syria, the US media suddenly discovered the coalition "leader", Hadi Al-Bahrah, and highlighted his calls for US bombing of his country.  But none of the US media mentioned the revolt against him and the call by his own Military Council to oust him.

Israel's James Bond

This pathetic tribute to an Israeli murderer in the New York Times is not out of the ordinary given the record of the paper but this is rather ironic:
"Mr. Harari’s precise relationship to General Noriega was the subject of much speculation...But in a calamitous error in July 1973, members of Mr. Harari’s team who had traveled to Norway in pursuit of the terrorists mistook an innocent Moroccan there for a Black September leader, Ali Hassan Salameh, and gunned him down as he walked with his wife on a street in the city of Lillehammer.   Mr. Harari escaped from Norway, but six Israelis were arrested there and charged with complicity in the killing... Mr. Harari participated in the planning and execution of Operation Entebbe...Three hostages died during the operation, along with 20 Ugandan soldiers and the commander of the Israeli troops."  James Bond my...potato.

Block the Boat

"The Port of Oakland has a rich history of supporting social justice. For example, refusing to off load goods from South Africa, during the apartheid era. Now refusing to offload goods carried by the Israeli shipping company ZIM." (thanks Amir)

Islamic front fighter proves he is moderate

How can he not be moderate when he loves Angelina Jolie? (minute 5:04) (thanks Laure)

"The US and Israel are to blame for Arab misery: let me count the ways"

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English: "The US and Israel are to blame for Arab misery: let me count the ways".

It is over for Bashshar: but this time it is for real

We may all now go home.  Bashshar will be out of office finally. The man who regaled us with this theories about offshoots in Islam, and the man who predicted back in 2005 and 2006 that the Lebanese Shi`ites are moving in droves away from Hizbullah, and the man who predicted (accurately) back in 2011 that Bashshar's days are numbered, is at it again, with yet another accurate prediction.

Should the Syrian people be allowed to make purchases at Lebanese stores? The Lebanese racist festival continues

The TV station founded by the ill-cited Bashir Gemayyel posts this poll on its website: Should the Syrian people be allowed to make purchases at Lebanese stores?

Deputy Editorial Page Editor of the Washington Post calls for the threat of "destruction" of Alawites

ْFrom Mike:  "Hi As'ad,
Jackson Diehl is deputy editorial page editor of The Post. He wants to destroy the Allawite community if Assad fails to 'compromise' . Sounds like genocide.

"In the end, the Syrian political settlement Obama says he seeks will require pursuing Kerry’s original idea of tipping the military balance so that Assad’s generals and his Alawite community face a choice between compromise and destruction."  Can you imagine the outcry (and rightly so) at the international level and the street protests if this was said about Jews? 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thomas Friedman explains Reagan's military intervention in Lebanon

"Reagan hoped it would unleash a naturally democratic order, with just a little midwifing help from American Marines." And toward that end, the Reagan administration armed and financed the democratic order of...AMIN GEMAYYEL.  Is this guy for real?

ABC of Zionism

"For most of Israel’s existence, the majority of Israelis have allowed the state, in the name of Jewish sovereignty and security, to violate Palestinians’ basic human rights — including access to water and the freedom of movement and assembly. The state has killed unarmed protesters and then failed to carry out investigations; it has allowed settlers and soldiers to act with impunity; and it has systematically discriminated against non-Jewish citizens. After so many years of repressing those who stand in the way, the transition to targeting “one of your own” isn’t so difficult. Now it is the few Jewish Israelis who speak the language of human rights who are branded as enemies.

Zeev Sternhell, a political scientist and an expert on fascism, believes that “radical nationalism” and the “erosion of Enlightenment values” have reached new heights in Israel. “To grieve for the loss of life on both sides is already a subversive act, treason,” he told Haaretz. Mr. Sternhell has experienced Jewish extremist violence firsthand; in 2008, a settler planted a bomb in his home that wounded him."

It is a secret: don't tell anyone

"As usual, anonymity was granted to U.S. officials to make these claims. As usual, there was almost no evidence for any of this. Nonetheless, American media outlets – eager, as always, to justify American wars - spewed all of this with very little skepticism. Worse, they did it by pretending that the U.S. Government was trying not to talk about all of this – too secret! – but they, as intrepid, digging journalists, managed to unearth it from their courageous “sources.” Once the damage was done, the evidence quickly emerged about what a sham this all was. But, as always with these government/media propaganda campaigns, the truth emerged only when it’s impotent."

A propaganda coalition: tell them what to say in Arabic in their official media

"Mr. Stengel met with Arab officials to create what he called in an interview “a communications coalition, a messaging coalition, to complement what’s going on the ground.”"

How America through its propaganda is winning hearts and minds in the Middle East

"But one 2006 study of 394 students across the Middle East who listened to United States-sponsored Radio Sawa or watched al-Hurrah television found that their views of American policy actually worsened slightly the longer they listened."

Gulf potentates

“Once there is a determined America and a determined President Obama, he will find a receptive ally in the region to work with him,” said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political analyst in the United Arab Emirates."  Well, Abdulkhaleq: I think that with or without a "determined America"--whatever that means, although in the Gulf context it usually means a more aggressive and more war-mongering America--the US will find a receptive ally among the potentates of the Gulf. It is unconditional obedience.

The Khorasan Group

From Emily: "Buried in a The National story, taken from a detail in a CNN story (from five days ago):

There is reason to be wary of similar motivations in Syria. CNN has revealed that the claims of a plot against the US, which President Obama believes he has thwarted with his attack on JAN (which the US identifies as the Khorasan Group), might have come from a fighter held in a Syrian regime prison (under torture, no doubt).
And the CNN mention:
The source says al Fadhli's new focus on "external operations" was revealed by one of his bodyguards, named as Abu Rama, who was recently arrested by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
I have not seen this reported elsewhere, have you? I.e. the intel for striking "Khorasan Group" comes from a prisoner held in a Syrian regime prison...The CNN source for the claim is "a security source in the Middle East". "

sororities and fraternities

"numerous studies have found that men who join fraternities are three times more likely to rape, that women in sororities are 74% more likely to experience rape than other college women, and that one in five women will be sexually assaulted in four years away at school." (thanks Amir)

Wadi Foukeen

"Over a quarter of the confiscated land belongs to the village of Wadi Foukeen, which has already lost much of its land and natural resources to the constantly growing illegal Israeli settlements of Beitar Illit, Hadar Beitar, and Tsur Hadassah that surround it on three sides."

Comrade Amer in English

"What is it about Iran that scares the US?: On Tehran’s military capabilities"

Saturday, September 27, 2014

CAIR and the clowns of Muslim American organziations

You know the story: all Muslim and Arab American organizations in DC have fallen under the direct influence of Gulf regimes, as have most Arabs journalists in the capital. This happened right after 1990 when the Saudi regime sent various princes to close the deal to control all Arab media and organizations in the West (as many were under the influence of Saddam or Qadhdhafi).  Saudi Arabia did not want dissent from Arabs in the West lest they disturb their lobbying and propaganda efforts in the West. I read that CAIR and other Muslim American organizations held a press conference to issue statements against ISIS: as if any Muslims in the US or elsewhere listen to them and adhere to their standards. And why is it their business to issue exclusive denunciations? Were Jewish organizations expected during the savage war on Gaza to issue statements of denunciations against Israeli terrorism? And don't they with their theatrics not reinforce the association between Islam and the terrorism and kooky ideology of ISIS (shared by the same patrons of Arab and Muslim organizations in DC)?  They should if they want condemn terrorism in all its form and not focus on "Islamic terrorism" and they should even categorically reject the notion that there is a religious label to terrorism.  But then again: it is a job and they have to do it and those are willing to abandon two of the five pillars of Islam in return for a photo op at the White House.  Instead, they should say that ISIS should be blamed on the foreign policies of the US and its allies who have in the last several decades produced the monsters of Al-Qa`idah and ISIS, among other terrorists roaming the Middle East region.

The Defense Industry

"—amidst a demand furnished by a rising tide of unrest around the world." (thanks Abduallah)

Richad Dawkins sexism

"Richard Dawkins has lost it: ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name".

The American official translation of "The Management of Savageness"

I have not read the American official translation of "The Management of Savageness" by Brookings' William Mccants (and the task is not easy: it is quite difficult to translate) but this passage in the account by David Ignatius Al-Saud struck me:  "In another passage, he notes that “we need to massacre” others as Muslims did after the death of Muhammad." In the original passage the author uses the word "Ithkhan" which does not mean massacre but means "heavy combat" or "intense killing", in fact. As for the book, its influence over ISIS is quite exaggerated in my estimation as the author (I personally think he is an Egyptian) is more concerned with PR and public opinion than ISIS is. 

Secret conversion to Islam: Fethullah Gülen

Fethullah Gülen is not less kooky than other Islamists, it seems. He talks about secret conversion "by many" to Islam among Europeans.

Half of America sees homosexuality as sinful

"A new Pew poll on religion in public life found that exactly half of respondents said they consider "homosexual behavior" sinful, a five-percentage-point increase since May 2013." "Half of the country sees homosexuality as sinful, opposes gay marriage, and believes businesses should be able to refuse to serve gay couples' wedding ceremonies".

Dark alliance: the story behind the crack explosion

"Carrying the full title "Dark Alliance: The Story Behind the Crack Explosion," Webb's series reported that in addition to waging a proxy war for the U.S. government against Nicaragua's revolutionary Sandinista government in the 1980s, elements of the CIA-backed Contra rebels were also involved in trafficking cocaine to the U.S. in order to fund their counter-revolutionary campaign. The secret flow of drugs and money, Webb reported, had a direct link to the subsequent explosion of crack cocaine abuse that had devastated California's most vulnerable African American neighborhoods." (thanks Amir)

House of Saudi continues to impress the world

"KSA sets world record with tallest flagpole" (thanks Basim)

My talk at the University of Texas

My talk at U Texas, Austin.

You know who is a big fan of Nicholas Blanford?

All Hariri propagandists in Lebanon, even in the most sleazy and vulgar websites and platforms, are hug fans (only fans) of the work of Nicholas Blanford, ever since he published the court biography of Rafiq Hariri.  As is known, in his book, Blanford accused the Syrian regime and not Hizbullah of responsibility for the assassination. I am told that the Hariri family now wants Blanford to put out a new edition to contain the new and improved accusation of Hizbullah.

So what does Syrian rebels have to do to receive advanced US weapons? Post a video of their use on Youtube

"If this goes well then more sophisticated weapons will be handed over. This approach has already been tested in the covert arming of rebels, some of whom have been loaned powerful weapons on the condition that they video their use, allowing American agents to verify that they have indeed been used for the purposes for which they were intended."

This just in from Saudi Arabia

The religious police in Saudi Arabia arrests a "naked female quack" while flying. Kid you not.

Yet another ICC investigation

Of course, the culprits are black.

Lebanese foreign minister is a class act

Lebanese foreign minister calls on his aides to show the body of a female staffer to the UAE foreign minister. 

Syrian regime brags: America is bombing us

The headline of the Syrian regime daily is: "Washington and its allies are in the same trench with the Syrian army to combat terrorism".

The US did not create ISIS but...

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The US did not create ISIS but..."

Friday, September 26, 2014

campaign against House of Saud on twitter

The US media are telling readers that Arabs are all supportive of US war on Syria and Iraq because the Gulf potentates and the Jordanian potentate are on board. They don't know that there is a hashtaq on twitter to reveal the names of the Saudi pilots involved.

If you advocate for Palestine, it can only mean one thing--according to the New York Times: that you have a problem with Jews

"And since the start of the conflict in Gaza this summer, many describe social media, especially Facebook, as a swamp of hatred.

“I have friends who are never political and they are posting things about Gaza every day,” said Ms. Frommer, the employee of the nonprofit organization. “It seems like an obsession. Is your obsession because you want to save children, or because you have a problem with Jews?”" What is the answer to this last question?

PS Wait. I was posting things about Gaza every day: does that mean that I too is anti-Semitic without knowing it?

An article about anti-Semitism in Europe is full of blatant anti-Islamic bigotry

"“The Socialist Party is afraid, because of the votes here in Belgium,” said Dr. Maurice Sosnowski, an anesthesiologist and prominent Jewish leader in Brussels. “In Belgium, they are not willing to speak loudly, because there are a lot of Muslims.”"  Can you imagine the uproar if an Arab were to say that this political party or that political party is afraid to speak loudly "because there are a lot of Jews"?? That is bigotry and prejudice whether it is said about Muslims or about Jews.

ISIS slogan in a school for girls in Saudi Arabia

The graffiti says: "ISIS in our hearts".

New York Times finally notices the Wahhabi connection

After years of waiting, the New York Times finally notices the obvious; that the Saudi Wahhab ideology is shared by ISIS (but also with Al-Qa`idah as well). But notice the interviews: there is such a rush to find experts at the Zionist research centers in the US.  What is most astonishing is that they talk to "experts" at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies: this outfit is close to the views of Meir Kahane and was never considered worthy of consultation only a few years ago. Now they have become experts on Arab politics and culture.  The day when they consult with Arab organizations about Israeli society and culture, I may allow that to pass.

It is official: Israeli nuclear weapons don't exist

"The IAEA rejected a resolution Thursday, at an annual conference of the UN atomic agency, circulated by Arab countries criticizing Israel over its alleged nuclear arsenal, in a diplomatic victory for Western states who opposed the initiative."

It is hypocritical

"Whatever the original intentions of Britain and the US, their in Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011 has been to produce devastating conflicts that have not ended." "The US and British alliance with Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Jordan – all Sunni monarchies – creates other problems. It is hypocritical for Mr Cameron to pretend that US and UK intervention are in support of democratic, accountable and inclusive governments when he is in a coalition with the last theocratic absolute monarchies on earth."

American recruitment of foreign fighters

"On average, the military recruits about 5,000 noncitizens each year, nearly all of them permanent U.S. residents, or so-called "green card" holders. Starting in 2006, DoD began accepting some foreigners with nonpermanent visas, such as students or tourists, if they had special skills that are highly valued."