Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Reuters correspondents in Beirut: cheers for March 14

"the March 8 alliance dominated by the Iranian-backed Shi'ite group Hezbollah, and the Hariri-led March 14 alliance."  Notice that they don't mention that March 14 is backed by Saudi regime and Nustrah Front. (thanks Basim)

Meet the new liberal Canadian foreign policy

"In the first test of its support for Israel in international forums, the new Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has voted against a raft of Arab-sponsored United Nations resolutions targeting the Jewish state.
The anti-Israel resolutions are non-binding and are introduced around this time every year.
Most have been or will be adopted first by committees of the UN, then voted on at a plenary of the General Assembly.
Canada abstained or voted against all the measures in committee, standing with Israel, the United States and the tiny Pacific island nations of the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Palau."

Human Rights Watch celebrates the Saudi regime

I could not believe this tweet.  As if the legal NGOs will be anything except vehicles of Saudi regime propaganda, just as the Saudi regime established a human rights committee which never wavers in its praise for Saudi human rights violations.
Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Catching up with rest of the world, Saudi Arabia approves law allowing establishment of NGOs

Zionist definitions of anti-Semitism and democracy

"As Prof. As’ad AbuKhalil, a BDS proponent from California State University, Stanislaus, explained: “The real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel….That should be stated as an unambiguous goal. There should not be any equivocation on the subject. Justice and freedom for the Palestinians are incompatible with the existence of the state of Israel.”  Parents, do you want to send your child to a university where faculty advocate these anti-Semitic and undemocratic views?"

The crude and vulgar Saudi propaganda in the hands of Western journalists: here is Brian Murphy

He believes that building a tall tower is an indication of peace: "The project also is something of a statement piece for the Saudi King Salman, who will mark his first year in charge in January."  So if only the North Korean dictator can build a tall tower to prove his peace credentials.

If this were a Muslim soldier, articles in Western media would have these headlines: What is the problem of Islam and transgendered people?

"U.S. Marine convicted of killing transgender Filipino"

If this were in a Muslim country, articles on front pages of Western newspapers would be asking: What to do about Islam and its women problem?

"The Constant Parade of Sexual Harassment Scandals in Israel: Will It Ever End?"

Months of US-Saudi bombings destroy Yemen capital Sanaa

"Yemen's capital city has been largely reduced to rubble by Saudi Arabia's continuing air strikes," "The scale of the destruction across the country is devastating. An estimated 1.5 million people have been displaced, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Approximately 82 per cent of Yemenis need some form of humanitarian assistance, with more than half of the population lacking access to clean drinking water. The escalation of the conflict in March 2015, when the Saudi-led coalition started air strikes under Operation Decisive Storm, has seen at least 5,700 people killed – half of them civilians."

British Empire

A Sikkimese woman carrying a British man on her back, West Bengal, India, circa 1900.

Israel using Dutch dogs to terrorize Palestinians

"The Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq and Dutch lawmakers are calling on the Netherlands to immediately halt the annual export of dozens of police and military dogs to Israel. Such dogs “are intentionally used by Israeli occupying forces to terrorize and bite Palestinian civilians," (thanks Amir)

Where do Zionist media find those Muslims?

This guy misses the respect showed by George W. Bush to Muslims, he says.

"Forgotten Lives and Unmournable Deaths"

"There are no candlelit vigils, no global movements of solidarity, or even the most simple signs of compassion. Silence, too, is a sign. In moments where acknowledgment and empathy are necessary in healing, their absence and elision signals indifference. An indifference that was deeply felt by the victims of the terrorist attacks that took place in Baghdad and Beirut.
An indifference that was made even more pronounced by the opposite reaction that took place a day later as Paris experienced a similar strike. Only moments after blood was spilled, those healing signals of solidarity came, but not for them. In this moment of vulnerability Paris was not alone. Those buried in Baghdad and Beirut, however, remained forgotten lives and unmournable deaths.
Like a broken record, a tragedy strikes a city like Paris and the world rushes in, while citizens of a country on the peripheries of power remind the international community — and sadly find themselves trying to convince it — that they too matter.
They have attempted to decry what the Atlantic’s David Graham has pointed out to be a consistent “empathy gap” in global reactions — but particularly from those in the West — to similar tragedies taking place in their homes. Those homes are not some faraway wastelands inhabited by violent barbarian tribes who ‘if pricked do not bleed.’
Sadly, while the killings in Paris were depicted- rightly so — as acts of terror, the victims of the Beirut bombings were framed in many outlets as the inhabitants of a “Hezbullah stronghold” and the losses in Baghdad as just another outbreak of violence in a country where such news is unfortunate but expected.
Despite all being victims of the same perpetrator, ISIS, there were no statements that Baghdad represented all humanity and no monuments were lit up for Beirut. There was, in fact, little acknowledgement of these tragedies and those caught in it before Paris."

"Inside Saudi Arabia’s Campaign to Charm American Policymakers and Journalists"

"Soon after launching a brutal air and ground assault in Yemen, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia began devoting significant resources to a sophisticated public relations blitz in Washington, D.C.
The PR campaign is designed to maintain close ties with the U.S. even as the Saudi-led military incursion into the poorest Arab nation in the Middle East has killed nearly 6,000 people, almost half of them civilians.
Elements of the charm offensive include the launch of a pro-Saudi Arabia media portal operated by high-profile Republican campaign consultants; a special English-language website devoted to putting a positive spin on the latest developments in the Yemen war; glitzy dinners with American political and business elites; and a non-stop push to sway reporters and policymakers.  That has been accompanied by a spending spree on American lobbyists with ties to the Washington establishment. The Saudi Arabian Embassy, as we’ve reported, now retains the brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, the leader of one of the largest Republican Super PACs in the country, and a law firm with deep ties to the Obama administration. One of Jeb Bush’s top fundraisers, Ignacio Sanchez, is also lobbying for the Saudi Kingdom."

When Israeli experts pontificate

It is rather amusing (but not really) how US media and even universities clamor to hear the opinions of Israeli experts on matters Middle Eastern and terrorism (assuming rather comically that Israel has handled the matters rather well).  But notice that when Israelis vomit basic conventional wisdom which everyone else in DC is saying, even in the same words, it is treated as original pearl of wisdom: "Third, can ISIS be defeated without the successful waging of a “war of ideas”? ISIS has had remarkable success in inspiring young men and women from the Middle East and North Africa, Russia, Europe and the U.S. to join its ranks, whether as fighters or as functionaries in their Caliphate. This success cannot be reversed without engaging ISIS’s extremist ideology, debunking the efficacy of its Armageddon-type ethos, and demonstrating that it violates the letter and spirit of Islam."  Wow. I never read that on the opinion pages of NYT and WP.

"U.N. voted to partition Palestine 68 years ago, in an unfair plan made even worse by Israel’s ethnic cleansing"

"In this war, Zionist militias systematically ethnically cleansed large portions of historic Palestine, sacking hundreds of Palestinian villages and expelling more than 750,000 people — around two-thirds of the indigenous Arab population. Prominent Israeli historian Ilan Pappé notes that, in Israel’s Plan Dalet (also known simply as Plan D), “veteran Zionist leaders” created “a plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.” They dispatched military orders in March 1948, Pappé explains:
“The orders came with a detailed description of the methods to be employed to forcibly evict the people: large-scale intimidation; laying siege to and bombarding villages and population centres; setting fire to homes, properties and goods; expulsion; demolition; and, finally, planting mines among the rubble to prevent any of the expelled inhabitants from returning.”
Plan D “spelled it out clearly and unambiguously: the Palestinians had to go,” writes Pappé. “The aim of the plan was in fact the destruction of both the rural and urban areas of Palestine,” he adds, and it “contain[ed] a repertoire of cleansing methods that one by one fit the means the U.N. describes in its definition of ethnic cleansing.”  Israeli founding father David Ben-Gurion — the first prime minister of Israel and, until current leader Benjamin Netanyahu finishes his fourth term, its longest serving head of state — saw no problem in using violence to force indigenous Palestinians off of their land. “I am for compulsory transfer; I do not see anything immoral in it,” he said as far back as 1938."

Today in Lebanon: Al-Qa`idah has been incorporated as the 19th sect

Today, it has been proven in Lebanon:
1) that Qatar is the official sponsor of the Al-Qa`idah (Nusrah Front to be exact).
2) that Aljazeera Arabic is the official voice of Nusrah Front.
3) that Lebanon is yet again proven as the capital of self-humiliation and self-contempt.
4) that Lebanese media often play cheerleaders for the Lebanese security services.
5) that Lebanon, in return for the hostages, pledged to basically equip and feed Nusrah front in its terrorist wars.
6) Nusrah Front has been welcomed as an additional sect in Lebanon: image from Aljazeera from Irsal inside Lebanon.  Ben Laden would have been proud of the Lebanese state.

Monday, November 30, 2015

How Coca-Cola has tricked everyone into drinking so much of it

"Over the past 60-plus years, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have invested unfathomable amounts of money to ensure that people crave their core products. And that investment has often come in forms far more devious than most would imagine, Nestle argues. Sure, the soda industry has paid for its fair share of television commercials, bulletin board ads, and marketing campaigns. But it has also worked (i.e. paid) to block unfavorable legislation, influence policy, maintain its popularity among poor people, young people, and minorities, undermining public health."

Those who steal Palestinian lands can easily steal its grapes

"“As usual in Israel, they declare that falafel, tehina, tabouleh, hummus and now jandali grapes are an Israeli product,” Amer Kardosh, Cremisan’s export director, sniped in an email. “I would like to inform you that these types of grapes are totally Palestinian grapes grown on Palestinian vineyards.”"

When civilians are killed by U.S. drones, western media reports "no civilian casualties"

"In January 2014, both men were hit by an American missile and lost two young daughters. One nomad lost his leg and their livestock was mostly annihilated." "The nomads and their children and cattle were in the area when the missiles struck. No civilian casualties were reported by Western media or the US government."

What NATO has done to Libya

From Amir: ""In Libya, where a NATO bombing campaign helped overthrow Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi four years ago, there is no functional government." "The fighters and guards in Surt all bowed to a Saudi administrator, or “wali,” who had been sent by the Islamic State to preside over the city. (A former Surt City Council member now in exile in Misurata said the Islamic State periodically rotates in new administrators, who typically are from the Persian Gulf.)"

 NYT in 2011U.S. Tactics in Libya May Be a Model for Other Efforts

UK Foreign Secretary accepted a $3000 watch from Saudi sheikh

"The Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond accepted a watch worth almost £2,000 from a Saudi sheikh despite a ban on ministers taking gifts worth more than £140." "The watch was given to Mr Hammond by Sheikh Marei Mubarak Mahfouz bin Mahfouz after an event in the minister’s constituency of Runnymede and Weybridge this summer." "Last week the former Liberal Democrat leader Lord Ashdown said British foreign policy was being influenced by “the closeness between the Conservative Party and rich Arab Gulf individuals”."

UN "reconstruction" mechanism entrenches & institutionalizes the blockade of Gaza

"In the whole period since Israel’s lethal and devastating summer 2014 attack on Gaza, the UN has provided assistance to just one family to rebuild its totally destroyed home." "As The Electronic Intifada revealed in October 2014, the Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism involves a complicated system of surveillance and Israeli pre-approval that gives the occupation authorities even more intrusive control over the devastated lives of Palestinians in Gaza."

A Mossad Iranian terrorist group started this rumor and then it was picked up by Qatari and Saudi media, into Western media

From Basim: "The report by the Persian-language opposition AsrIran website, referenced by Al-Arabiya, reported that Suleimani was seriously injured along with two other personnel in an anti-tank rocket attack 12 days ago, during battles in the northern Syrian city. The AsrIran website is considered close to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, an umbrella organization of five Iranian opposition groups based in Paris."

The head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor of the war, also said the general was hurt. He was "lightly injured three days ago in the Al-Eis area in the south of Aleppo province," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP. For several days, reports have been circulating on social media claiming the powerful commander was wounded or even killed in Syria, where Iran backs President Bashar al-Assad against an uprising that began in March 2011. In response, a spokesman for the Revolutionary Guards, Rameza Sharif, said Tuesday that Soleimani was "in perfect health and full of energy."

The true views of Fatima Mernissi

If you really want to know the real views of Mernissi on Islam and feminism you need to read the one book she wrote under a pseudonym Women in the Muslim Unconscious, by Fatna A. Sabbah. 1984.

PS Her identify was revealed in a book review--not by me.

ISIS and Nusrah Front

I had a dream: that I was frustratingly trying to explain to students why Western governments are all galvanized and united against the dangers of ISIS but not against the dangers of Nusrah Front (the damn official branch of Al-Qa`idah).

ISIS tea

Fatima Mernissi and the Veil

I once asked Fatima Mernissi: why do you have the word "veil" in titles of your books. She told me: don't blame me.  French publishers like to insert the word "harem" in the titles of my books and US publishers like to insert the word "veil" in the title.  Sure enough, her book in French "Le Harem Politique" was published in the US as "The Veil and the Male Elite".

Fatima Mernissi died

News of the death of Fatima Mernissi.

Feminism in the US

CNN aired a documentary on the Seventies.  As part of the series, feminism in the US was covered and footage from US TV news from that era was aired.  It is rather stunning--but not really--how sarcastic and condescending and insulting US media coverage was of the women's movement at the time.  And the men in suit saw no irony of their gendered coverage of women in the US.  It was quite disgusting.  And the series never made an attempt to deconstruct the nature of the coverage of the time.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

American and other mercenaries in the service of Gulf regimes

"The Emirates had a brigade of 1,800 soldiers from Latin America which provided 450 troops now arriving in Yemen. It seems there are also going to be hundreds of other foreign mercenaries — Sudanese and Eritrean soldiers — brought into Yemen. These can be viewed as a second generation of foreign mercenaries hired by the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. In the first generation, still powerful, in 1975 Saudi Arabia brought in Vinnell Corporation, an American defense contractor, to train the “Saudi Arabian National Guard.” "The little-known Vinnell is now owned by Northrop Grumman."

UK could be prosecuted for war crimes in Yemen

"Britain is at risk of being prosecuted for war crimes because of growing evidence that missiles sold to Saudi Arabia have been used against civilian targets in Yemen’s brutal civil war, Foreign Office lawyers and diplomats have warned." "Most of Saudi’s weapons are supplied by the United States. With help from the UK, the US is also offering logistical support, airborne refuelling, with a specialist Pentagon-approved team providing intelligence on targeting."

Boko Haram and Saudi regime

From a reader: ""A Boko Haram suicide bomber has killed at least 21 people after blowing himself up among crowds at a Shia Muslim procession outside the city of Kano, Nigeria." "Boko Haram, whose name translates to "Western education is forbidden" recently overtook Isis as the world's deadliest terror organisation. The terror group has pledged allegiance to Isis."

"Boko Haram appears to have a “diplomatic” presence in Saudi Arabia, in addition to other militant connections." "Boko Haram also has a deeper history of involvement in Saudi Arabia: Muhammad Yusuf found refuge in Saudi Arabia to escape a Nigerian security forces crackdown in 2004; Boko Haram has reportedly received funding with the help of AQIM from organizations in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia; and Boko Haram’s spokesman claimed that Boko Haram leaders met with al-Qa`ida in Saudi Arabia during the lesser hajj (umra) in August 2011.[27] More recently, the leader of a Boko Haram cell that was responsible for the November 25, 2012, attack on a church inside a military barracks in Jaji, Kaduna, was in Saudi Arabia during the months prior to the attack."

How ISIS sells Syria's oil to Turkey, then Israel

"IS sells Iraqi and Syrian oil for a very low price to Kurdish and Turkish smuggling networks and mafias, who label it and sell it on as barrels from the Kurdistan Regional Government. It is then most frequently transported from Turkey to Israel, via knowing or unknowing middlemen, according to al-Araby's investigation."

ISIS and its inspiration

Who are the Arab people? Ask the Guardian

Notice that all those who are interviewed to speak on behalf of Arab people are advocates of Gulf regimes.  

HRW on Palestine

a word from its director.  As if there is no Israeli discrimination in Areas A and B and in 1948 Palestine.

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
West Bank's huge "Area C" is where Israel's discrimination against Palestinians prevails. bit.ly/1XugP11 pic.twitter.com/cJyRxYDKhg

Pro-GCC regime propaganda in Newsweek

Unbelievable article.  This Lebanese pro-Gulf regimes writer talks about the sons of royals as if they are really fighting in Yemen and as if the mercenary armies are not the ones who are actually doing the fighting and the dying.

How does she want to liberate the women of Iraq?

"she raised her concerns about gender equality with American and British diplomats, she recalled being told to take it up with tribal leaders."  And who is a better guardian of Arab women than American and British diplomats.

Who is Hugh Naylor's expert on Iran?

"an Iran expert at the ­Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.". Go no further.  This is like going to the anti-Semitic Institute for Historical Review for expert opinion on Israel matters.

Moshe Dayan no rape

From James: "Moshe Dayan on Zionism as Rape (and blaming Bedouins for it)
“‘The situation between us is like the complex relationship between a Bedouin man and the young girl he has taken against her wishes,’ Dayan told the Palestinian poet Fadwa Tukan. ‘But when their children are born, they will see the man as their father and the woman as their mother. The initial act will mean nothing to them. You Palestinians, as a nation, do not want us today, but we will change your attitude by imposing our presence upon you” In Tom Segev, 1967: Israel, the War, and the Year That Transformed the Middle East (New York: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2005), quoting from Shlomo Gazit, Sudden Trapped: 30 Years of Israeli Policy in the Territories (in Hebrew) (Tel Aviv: Zmora-Bitan, 1999), p. 218."

Does the US Huffington Post know that the Arabic Huffington Post is a crude and vulgar outlet of Qatari regime propaganda?

Yesterday, the headline was: "A solidarity campaign with Turkey" in the face of Russian sanctions. 

The Saudi royal idiots don't know (or even care) that a US president can't keep the gifts

"Saudi king showered Obamas with $1.3 million in gifts in 2014"

US Economic Aid in Egypt

I highly recommend Dina Jadallah's US Economic Aid in Egypt: Democratization and Reform in the Middle East.  I think that it offers a radical alternative to the study of US foreign policy in the Middle East region.

Anti-ISIS coalition

Kim Ghattas on "radical Islam"

Ghattas, a March 14 Lebanese journalist who has written a hagiography of Hillary Clinton, found a solution to the ISIS problem: "Hassan believes that the best way to delegitimize the organization is to actually call it by its chosen name, “The Islamic State,” and describe its state as a caliphate."  Wow. Why didn't people come up with that idea before? I am sure that it would end its rule.  And Ghattas says that it should be no problem if we allow the Republican rightist bigots to dominate the terminology about Jihadi terrorist groups because--according to her--Arabs refer to ISIS and the likes as "Islam mutatarrif."  Of course, this is not true. But hey: she has consulted with other March 14 people, including a fellow at the Rafiq Hariri Center, and they agreed with her. Case closed.  I would like her make that argument about referring to Israeli criminals and terrorists with references to Judaism.  Would she dare?  Would she dare talk about "radical Judaism"?  Of course, I am opposed to blaming Judaism for crimes of individual Jews, or blaming Islam for crimes of individual Muslims.