Saturday, November 18, 2017

Hariri sought asylum in Jordan, according to the Times

“Mr. Hariri reached out to Jordan with a request to go to Amman as a safe haven, a Western official said. The request was denied, the official said, because the Saudis had pressured Jordan not to accept him.”

PS Why would the Times bury this major story at the end of the article and not even place in the headline?

Hariri in Paris

He met with a Lebanese media delegation.  My media source (represented) about the meeting: they left with the impression that he was not free--neither in Saudi nor in Paris.  He pleaded that they don't ask him about his stay in Riyadh.  Interestingly, unlike the propaganda interview in Riyadh, he didn't state that he was free or that he was in Saudi Arabia "reflecting" or "consulting".  My source (a well-known media executive in Beirut) confirmed from Hariri guards that as soon as he arrived in Riyadh he was stripped of his cellphones.  Curiously, one of the people in Hariri entourage who is now suspected by Hariri family of being more loyal to Saudi regime than to Hariri attended the session with the media delegation.  

Saudi Arabia: from family rule to the rule of one man

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "From the rule of the family to the one-man rule: The Saudi Dictator".

Did Bill Gates actually thank the Saudi regime for its philanthropic work in Yemen?

All Saudi regime media claimed yesterday that Bill Gates in his visit to Saudi Arabia actually thanked the Saudi government for its humanitarian work in Yemen. Kid you not. But something happened: Saudi Gazette had to change its headline (which said that "Gates praised Saudi humanitarian work in Yemen") and the content of its story clearly after receiving a complaint from Gates.  If you google Bill Gates and Yemen you can still see the false original headline of the story.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Not in defense of Mugabe but...

I would like to remember the Robert Mugabe I knew (from afar) as I was growing up.  Robert Mugabe has an appeal not that different from that of Nelson Mandela for my leftist generation in the Middle East.  Mugabe was a brilliant student who persevered in a grotesque racist system of white minority rule in Rhodesia.  People have forgotten by now the nastiness of the regime of Ian Smith and how it was sponsored by Western government.  After completing his education in many fields and adding to it through correspondence education, Mugabe led the movement of ZANU. This is the Mugabe that I remember: the principled and defiant leader of liberation struggle who supported Arab struggle for independence and who supported Palestinian resistance (and received aid from it too).  Mugabe is a man who led the struggle for independence against two evil twin system of colonization: local and external.  This was all before Mugabe became a leader of a country--not a virtuous or able leader but a leader nevertheless.  Yet, the Western media coverage of the man was more like a caricature of him: and don't sell me the fake notions of Western outrage agent his tyranny: Western leaders go one-by-one and prostrate, literally, before every Gulf despot and you think that you rhetoric of outrage against Mugabe will stick?  You think that corruption of the Mugabe is worse than the corruption of US puppet deposit in the Middle East region?  Mugabe also championed the poor and was adamant about health care for all in Zimbabwe when 40 million remain without health care in the US.  But the nasty (and disproportionate) Western media coverage of Mugabe is partly directed against his measures against white settlers who sole lands that didnot belong to him. He was not "magnanimous" like Mandela who was more than happy to apply pure unjust Western capitalism in South Africa.  

Hariri is free but...

Did you see world news agencies? They are reporting that Muhammad bin Salman has told the French president that Saad Hariri has agreed to leave for France. The question is: why does Bin Salman have to speak on behalf of Hariri? Is he a minor now?

The humiliation of Masoud Barazani

The humiliation of Masoud Barazani in the winter of his political career is a good deserved lesson to any despot, za`im, demagogue, potentate, or tribal leader in the Middle East who relies on Israel and US Zionists for the fulfillment of his political ambitions.  Lesson well-learned.

Saudi Arabia: Israel's Dream State

"Israel has no better ally than Saudi Arabia." (thanks Amir)

How did ISIS fighters leave Raqqa? The hypocrisy of Western correspondents in Beirut

Western correspondents in Beirut are really part of the media team of Saudi camp in the region. Remember when Hizbullah expelled ISIS fighters from East Lebanon and allowed the fighters and their families to relocate to Dayr Az-Zur?  Remember how all the Saudi camp chorus in Lebanon along of course--as always--with Western correspondents in Beirut protested that those fighters should not be allowed to be expelled only and that they should have been exterminated with their families by all means necessary, and that Hizbullah must have reached an under-the-table deal? Well, back in May the US forces in Syria said that they only allowed the Syrian fighters of ISIS to leave peacefully, and they criticized the Hizbullah deal and claimed moral superiority because they would not allow the foreign fighters to leave peacefully.  Well, yesterday the spokesperson of the US forces in Syria admitted that foreign fighters did indeed leave Raqqa.  Where is your fake outrage?

Maronite Patriarch is not the first Christian priest to visit the Saudi Kingdom--contrary to what Western and Arab press said

Greek Orthodox Patriarch Elias IV visited the Kingdom in 1974.  There was a Christian community in Jiddah until the 19th century (the Wahhabis massacred them in the first half of that century).

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Is the US helping in ISIS in Raqqa and BouKamal?

I think that Russian accusations to the effect that US has been aiding ISIS in Raqqa and BouKamal may have been valid after all.

The chief correspondent of the Economist in the Middle East

I have been complaining about the lousy coverage of the Economist of the Middle East in the last few years. Yesterday, I discovered that the chief correspondent of the magazine in the region has a degree in journalism, and has no specialization in Middle East studies, and knows no Arabic.  Mabrouk.

Western media hypocrisy on Saad Hariri

It is scandalous how Western media--not only Western governments which we know how incestuous they are with the Saudi royal family--in cover up the Saudi regime arrest of the prime minister of Lebanon. Imagine if it was the Syrian regime which did that.  Also, they continue to partake in the Saudi propaganda scam by feigning uncertainty: as if the scenario of placing Hariri under House arrest is totally alien to Muhammad bin Salman. Did he not resort to the same scenario in the case of his own cousin, Muhammad bin Nayif? Where is the mystery in this way too obvious case?

The pro-Saudi propaganda of Ben Hubbard reaches a new low

"The recent episode started when Mr. Hariri fled to Riyadh". Fled? The threat to Hariri was in Lebanon or in Riyadh where he is in detention?  All Lebanese security services--even those loyal to Hariri--refuted Saudi regime claim about threats to his life in Lebanon.  Only Hubbard believes the Saudi claim.  As is well-known, even in pro-Hariri media in Lebanon, Hariri didnot flee to Riyadh, he was SUMMONED.

Bahaa Hariri

What is stunning about the detention of Sa`d Hariri, is that his brother (the benefactor of the Hariri Center at the Atlantic Council) didnot utter a word about the plight of his own brother.  Blinded by political ambition.

Arresting a leader of another Arab country

Saudi regime, by arresting the Prime Minister of Lebanon, established a precedent. The only other case I can think of was in 1977: when Anwar Sadat visited Syria before departing to Israel, ostensibly to explain his mission to Hafidh Al-Asad.  At the time, `Abdul-Halim Khaddam (the foreign minister), urged Hafidh Al-Asad to arrest Sadat to prevent him from visiting the Zionist entity.  Al-Asad refused alas.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Marxist basics: Billionaires are natural allies of despots

On Israeli medical research

So regarding this story: "New compound kills cancer cells’ energy-generating system: An enzyme found only in metastatic cancer cells and normal sperm cells forms basis for promising treatment approach developed by Israeli researchers."

I asked a comrade at Harvard Medical School to comment, and he wrote: "Choking off the energy supply of a tumor as a mode of therapy is a very active area of investigation in cancer research. In fact, targeting the energy pathways of cancer has been the wave for a few years now. This is not detracting from the findings of the Israeli team, only to say it is not unique at all as a “concept" in targeting cancers for therapy.  I still maintain the role of Israeli science is legitimation, in a very orientalist way (Israel brings science to a barren land populated by backward people, which adds to its legitimacy). "

Jamal Khashoggi is increasingly reminding me of King Husayn: one language for the West and another for the Arabs

استمعت اليوم لتفاصيل "مفرحة" عن الحملة على الفساد وجديتها واتساعها، ربما حان الوقت ان ننحي كل شيء جانبا وندعم سمو ولي العهد في حملته التي ستغير لو نجحت مستقبل البلاد.

In Arabic he wrote yesterday: "I today listened to "joyful" details about the campaign against corruption and its seriousness and scope.  Maybe it is time that we set everything aside and support his royal highness the Crown Prince, whose campaign--if it succeeds--will change the future of the country".  So he wants democracy in Saudi Arabia in English in the Washington Post, but requests loyalty to the ruler in Arabic.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Flash: a secret Saudi document about the Saudi-Israeli agreement

Al-Akhbar has obtained a top secret Saudi document (prepared by Adil Al-Jubeir to Muhammad bin Salman) about cementing the Saudi-Israeli agreement.  

The shoddy journalism of the Economist

Does the correspondent of the Economist knows Lebanon or is reporting from Saudi regime sources? Look at this: "Its secret policemen round up dissenters". What? Most media in Lebanon are vocally anti-hizbollah, and there are vocal pro-Saudi critics of Hizbullah who live in the southern suburbs and publish there and there were never ever cases of dissidents who were arrested.  There are large sections of the population in Lebanon who are opposed to Hizbullah. How can you trust the Economist anymore?

100 Israeli raids on Syria in the last few years

Israeli occupation military conceded that it bombed Syria 100 times in the last few years. Yet, I still read in the American press that Israel has stayed out of the Syrian conflict.  

Al-Akhbar has a special supplement on Lenin: and you think that a Hizbullah paper would honor Lenin and Bolsheviks?

Ignorant Western correspondents who can’t read Arabic refer to Lebanese daily, Al-Akhbar, as “Hizbullah’s paper”. Here is a supplement on Lenin published by the paper. You think Hizbullah likes Lenin?

The shoddy journalism of the Economist magazine: how I miss the old Economist and former correspondents

Look at this trash:
1) "In 2008 its militiamen briefly took over the capital".   Briefly? They are talking about one day. ONE DAY.
2) "Now Hizbullah’s green-and-yellow flags flutter above checkpoints on roads between Sunni villages." This is simply made up.
3) "Rafik Hariri, Saad’s father and a popular former prime minister, was assassinated in 2005 when he tried to disarm the group."  This is hilarious.  Rafiq Hariri tried to disarm Hizbullah? When was that? And how?  So they just make things up as they go along now?

I can confirm to you that Saad Hariri is indeed held against his will: although Western governments are covering it up

Citing a Western diplomat who met Hariri in Riyadh last week (not at liberty to reveal the name): Hariri "is mostly silent (during meeting) and (the impression was) that his house is bugged.  Even his wife is being searched every time she enters the door".

Saturday, November 11, 2017

What is King Salman's true opinion of Bahaa Hariri

In 2005, a few months after the assassination of Rafiq Hariri, I met with one of the closest advisers of Hariri wanting to know more about the political orientations of the family.  He told me that after Rafiq`s assassination, the Saudi King appointed then Prince Salman in charge of the political management of the Hariri family.  Bahaa at the time wanted to succeed his father as prime minister of Lebanon and leader of the family.  But Salman overruled him and chose his brother, Sa`d: he argued that Bahaa is less kind and less amicable than his brother and that he left a negative impression among Saudi royals. He recounted that Bahaa would leave the court of a prince if the prince is too late for a meeting with him.

Bahaa Hariri, as Saudi regime choice for Lebanon

I wrote this article several months ago about how Bahaa Hariri is entering Lebanese politics through the Zionist gates of DC.

The Plight of Saad Hariri and the plight of Muhammad bin Salman

The influence of Saudi/UAE money over the DC think tank, government, and media scene is such that you find people denying the obvious.  There are people who are still saying: but Hariri was seen greeting the King, which means he is free. But did they forget that Muhammad bin Nayif was made to bless the appointment of MbS as Crown Prince while the former was under house arrest?

The Fiasco of Saudi policies toward Lebanon: has MbS ever succeeded in a war or a policy?

Hoping to recruit some kids to demonstrate in support of Saudi regime policies towards Lebanon, this has become a national joke.  This is going viral: those kids were brought in by Saudi regime tool, Gen. Ashraf Rifi, to Beirut to support Saudi Arabia and protest against Hizbullah, were met with Lebanese correspondents who asked them why they were there and they could not answer. 

How Saudi regime tried to organize mass protests in Lebanon against Iran and in support of Saudi kidnapping of Hariri

So for days, the Saudi regime has been trying to organize mass protests in support of Saudi regime policies in Lebanon.  Hariri movement refused to participate.  Today, they launched the protests: 20 people showed up, largely Ahrar Party (one of the most insignificant right-wing parties) and followers of Hariri tool, Gen. Ashraf Rifi (a founding board member of Prince Nayif University for Security and Torture).  LBC TV interviewed the protestors tonight live on the air: they asked them: why are you here. They said: we don't know. Please ask our official. They told us there is a trip, so we came.

In 1967, the Lebanese immigrant community in Saudi Arabia was threatened with explosion if they didnot sign this petition

In 1967, all Lebanese residing in Saudi Arabia were forced to sign this petition, basically criticizing the Lebanese government because a Lebanese newspaper published criticisms against the Saudi regime.  Hizbullah was not even born, and Iran was ruled by your beloved Shah.

Friday, November 10, 2017

It seems that Western media are only confirming what Al-Akhbar had published two days ago

""Désormais, Riyad chercherait à remplacer Saad Hariri par un de ses frères. «Une proposition a été faite à la famille Hariri de désigner Baha, un frère de Saad, pour reprendre le flambeau politique», confie une source française à Beyrouth.""

Realism and Democracy: the case of Elliott Abrams

This is the 3rd (and last) installment of my critical review of Elliott Arbams's new book on "Realism and Democracy".

Huthi Strike on Riyadh

"Yet lost amid the regional dynamics is the Yemeni political context. The Huthi/Saleh alliance didn’t fire the missile as part of the Iranian-Saudi conflict; rather, they did so for domestic reasons. They view their missile program, rightly or wrongly, as the best way to retaliate against Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, which have devastated parts of north Yemen over the past two and a half years, and also as the best bargaining chip in future negotiations. Tellingly, the missile attack came on the heels of two Saudi airstrikes in the Huthis’ home governorate of Saada, which reportedly killed 38 people, eight of them children."

The man on the right and the man on the left are Muhammad bin Salman's choices to produce "moderate Islam". Good luck.

The Saudi regime is declaring war on the Muslim Brotherhood but don't mind using them in some cases like in Yemen

hypocrisy of French policy

In one day, the French government said that Saad Hariri is not detained but a few hours later it called for his freedom of movement.

Back in 1967, there was no Iranian regime (there was their beloved the Shah), Saudi regime threatened Lebanon with expulsion of all Lebanese from kingdom

Comrade Joseph Massad on Balfour

"Zionism’s enmity toward communist Jews would become a longstanding tradition. When official American anti-Semitism targeted Jewish communists as Soviet spies, and tried and executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953 on flimsy evidence, Israel did not utter a word in protest. (Israeli rabbis, excluding the Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel, sent a plea to President Truman appealing for clemency for the Rosenbergs, though some of them later expressed public regret that they had signed it.)
When Hungarian fascists and Hitlerites were smuggled into Budapest from the Austrian border by the CIA during the regime of Imre Nagy and began slaughtering Hungarian communist Jews and Hungarian Jews as “communists” in 1956, Israel and other Zionist Jews remained silent and remain so today. Even when leftist Jews were targeted by the anti-Semitic Argentinian generals in the late 1970s, Zionist Argentinian Jews and Israel disavowed them, and Israel maintained its close alliance with the military regime.
Churchill’s explanation clarifies the connections between Protestant and Jewish Zionism, between racialist nationalism and anti-racialist communism, and between Zionist settler-colonialism and communist anti-imperialism. The imperial racism shared by the British and the Zionist movement toward the Palestinians and other Asians and Africans rendered their presence on their lands, let alone their opposition and resistance to settler-colonialism, of no import."

How the DC foreign establishment: Natives are wanted

The American foreign policy establishment in DC loves to find Arabs who are willing to write in English what they themselves write to validate their own conventional wisdom but in the guise of native opinion.

17 years ago the Palestinian hero, Faris Awdah, was martyred while facing Israeli occupation tanks

New York Times

New York Times today for the first time admitted that Saad Hariri is not free but buried this most important element of an otherwise long dispatch from Lebanon in the story. The headline does not mention it.