Thursday, June 30, 2016

"After Brexit: Reckoning With Britain's Racism and Xenophobia"

"This xenophobia takes different shapes according to the historical moment, but neoliberal policies have only ever intensified these sentiments. Migrants are today blamed for taking up places in housing and schools, burdening the country's publicly-funded universal health system and weakening the working class. Scant attention is paid to how, beginning with Margaret Thatcher's scorched-earth neoliberalism, policies of privatization and austerity -- during both feast and famine -- have led to a degradation of national life, a diminishing of social mobility and a growth in inequality in the UK.
In the 1990s, under the reign of Tony Blair's New Labour, Thatcher's policies continued in new guises: the fiercely beloved National Health Service (NHS) was funded, but often via public-private partnerships that have in fact burdened the NHS with serious debt and crumbling infrastructures, while enriching private investors and developers. Instead of preserving unused schools, local councils were encouraged to sell off their school buildings in the 1990s, again benefiting property developers who turned these attractive Victorian structures into high-end housing without anticipating the acute future need for school buildings and school places. The sale of social housing, which had been a pillar of Thatcherite policy of privatization, has been exacerbated by wholly inadequate construction of new affordable housing and no effort to replace the stock of social housing lost under Thatcher."

Look at him: he is admiring his picture like he has never seen it before

Three unconscious Arab rulers

There are today at least three Arab rulers who are ruling while unconscious: in UAE, Oman, and Algeria.  

It speaks volumes about the follies of Western policies in the Middle East that this clown is actually taken seriously

Voting of leftists in Western countries

One thing struck me about leftists in US and Europe: they really really take voting in often lousy electoral systems--especially in the US--way too seriously.  Worse: American leftists can easily make arguments to vote for the Democratic Party.  Voting is a cult in the US (Hannah Arendt called it "work", not politics).

Foucault against the left

"It is not difficult to discern Foucault’s animosity toward the post-war Left project. Obviously he was very hostile to Marxism. In an interview for a Japanese journal titled “How to Get Rid of Marxism,” he openly described Marxism as nothing more than “a modality of power in an elementary sense.” He elaborates: “the fact that Marxism has contributed to and still contributes to the impoverishment of the political imaginary, this is our starting point.” In another interview with the “new philosopher” Bernard Henri-Levy, he discusses the question of revolution. For Foucault in 1977, “the return of the revolution, that’s our problem (…) You know it very well: it’s the desire itself of the revolution that is a problem.” This assertion is very interesting, as Foucault not only dismisses the idea of revolution but also makes a subtle reference to its return in the context of the union of the Left and its expected victory in the legislative elections of 1978."

tactical retreat: the code word

a spokesperson of the New Syria Army (the militia created by the US) said that the humiliating defeat at Bou Kamal was a mere "tactical retreat".  Is this not the term used by Free Syrian Army for their successive defeats since the outbreak of the Syrian war?

US weapons--YET AGAIN--land in the hands of ISIS terrorists: How Obama administration policies in Syria are strengthening ISIS

"Video posted by the news agency showed jubilant Islamic State fighters parading in trucks sporting the New Syrian Army’s insignia and fawning over heavy weapons and ammunition belts apparently captured in the fighting. One militant is shown mutilating the corpse of a rebel fighter and cutting off the head.  The New Syrian Army withdrew from the area, marking the latest setback for U.S. plans to train and equip Syrian rebels capable of battling Islamic State militants...“They did nothing,” he said. “They went to the border and came back. This was more a media show than anything else.”"

reckless US embassy in the Ivory Coast causes the beating of gay men: if only US embassies spare people around the world their support

"Several gay men in Ivory Coast say they have been assaulted and forced to flee their homes after the US embassy published a photo of them signing a condolence book for victims of this month’s killings at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The photo, published on the embassy’s website, shows the faces of six men with the caption “LGBTI community signing the condolence book”. It was taken at the embassy on 16 June, the same day prime minister Daniel Kablan Duncan and other officials signed the book in honor of the 49 people killed in the Orlando attack.The photo has been widely shared on social media and two of the men said that in the days after it was published an angry mob punched and kicked them while shouting anti-gay slurs. The men spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity for their safety."

The huge fiasco of the US-created Syrian rebel militia, New Syria Army: what US media won't report

I woke up today to see what US newspapers are saying about the huge fiasco in Bou Kamal in Syria.  The entire force of 200 fighters, aided by Jordanian special forces, were eliminated: 40 killed and 15 taken prisoners, and tens are missing out of a force of 200 US-trained militia men.  The force was expecting the clans of Bou Kamal to come to their rescue but they didn't.  All Arabic newspaper, including Qatari regime and Saudi regime newspaper have front page headlines about the fiasco but the New York Times had none, and the Washington Post carried a story by Free Syrian Army propagandist, Liz Sly, in which she typically minimizes the losses and quotes Free Syrian Army (why Free Syrian Army, don't ask me, but that is her regular sources on anything from Morocco to Yemen) to the effect that they will eventually be victorious, or something like that.  This is one of the biggest setbacks of US strategy in Syria but it won't stop Hillary and other like her (like the 51 US diplomats acting at the behest of AIPAC) who want more US military intervention in Syria.  This is a good account of what happened and it is not in US press.

The Guardian justifies the bombing of two Shi`ite villages under siege in Syria

This is a crude propaganda piece. I only need to cite this to make my case: "According to Amir Toumaj, a researcher with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies", or this caption in justification of bombing of a village by the rebels: "An attack on a tunnel used by forces loyal to President Assad in the village of Foua, Idlib. Photograph: Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images" (caption of the picture of bombing in the article). (thanks Stephen)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Israel's cruel & inhuman treatment of Palestinians

"A human rights NGO has accused Israel of forcing Palestinians to withstand “cruel and inhuman” conditions at its borders." “Making people wait in line for hours, in unbearable conditions, highlights the cruel and inhuman aspects of military control over a civilian population. “The occupation has now entered its 50th year. This glaring injustice has gone on for nearly a half century, aided by ignorance and indifference.” "

a xenophobia virus that infects many Western democracies today

"This vote turned on anti-immigrant sentiment and refugee resentment — the culmination of a xenophobia virus that infects many Western democracies today. It matters not whether you blame modern globalism or ancient tribalism. What counts is that you take account of the intolerance."

American Red Cross apologized for its racism

"The American Red Cross has apologized for a water safety poster that has been called racist for showing black people engaging in inappropriate behavior." (thanks Amir)

He has a smart identity card. Aren't you proud of him? With this card, he will defeat ISIS.

PS. He already is being mocked.

The journalism of David Ignatius

Basically, David Ignatius praises whoever is ascendant in a particular Gulf regime.  In this long article he basically says: Muhammad bin Salman could be great for Saudi Arabia and US, but on the other hand he could be a disaster.  Any other possibilities, Mr. Igantius? 

Michel Kilu and Nusrah Front

Are you aware that the secular Syrian opposition figure, Michel Kilu, had praised Nusrah Front and called it "a resistance force"?  All those who praised Al-Qai`dah in Syria or who were silent about its mayhem are responsible for the spread of the Jihadi menace in the world today.

It is now official: Saudi regime supplied the Israeli occupation army with intelligence on Hizbullah during July war

Former head of Israeli military intelligence admits that the Saudi regime supplied the Israeli occupation army with intelligence about Hizbullah during the July war.

I am holding this Zionist organization responsible for my safety: they have triggered death threats against me

These Zionist hoodlums at this organization have incited violence against me by tossing horrible labels against me.  I am legally and publicly holding them responsible for any harm that is inflicted on me.  

This Zionist group has been harassing me and leveling false accusations against me

This fanatical Zionist group, which enforces the repressive standards of American Zionists who basically want to have the right to decide who can and who can't have freedom of speech in the US, has been harassing me as of late on Twitter, and they have been leveling various accusations against me.  Notice how they substantiate their claims of anti-Semitism.

France and Turkey

There is no question that the terror in Turkey produced far less sympathy in the West and Arab world than the terror in Paris.  The quality of blood differs between the two places.  As for the responsibility of the Turkish government by providing arms and aid to Syrian rebels: the Turkish government is as responsible as the US and French government by allowing arms and aid to reach a variety of Salafi Jihadi rebel networks.  Those governments are all accomplices along with the GCC regimes.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"Unbelievable: give a Zionist an opportunity and they will inevitably resort to bigotry"

From Basim: "The hostages were given food but the meals never varied - meat, rice, potatoes and lots of bananas. Sara jokingly called it the "Ugandan diet"."

ABC News refers to Israeli indiscriminate bombing and shelling as "divisive tactic"

From James: "You may be amused at ABC's headline on Israel's decision to stop "The Hannibal Directive":
Next up:
“Jack the Ripper Drops Divisive Tactic for Saving Prostitutes from a Life of Sex Work”"

Israeli war crimes against fishermen

"The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights recorded 139 incidents in which Gaza’s fishermen were shot at by Israeli naval forces during 2015. Twenty-four fishermen were wounded. There were also six incidents in which boats were shelled and chased. More than 70 fishermen were arrested last year and 22 vessels were confiscated. These incidents are part of the economic warfare Israel wages against Gaza’s fishermen." (thanks Amir)

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Lebanese call for random killing of Syrian refugees

The head of the municipality of Al-Qa` (which was hit by terrorist bombings today) called on the residents of Al-Qa` to immediately shoot at any "stranger".

George W. Bush and anti-Islam bigotry

Liberal US media love to remind readers that George W. Bush had loving attitude toward Muslims (his bombs over the heads of Muslims, notwithstanding) because he visited a mosque after Sep. 11. They never remind readers that he invited to his inauguration Rev. Franklin Graham. For some reason this association never hurt Bush the way Obama's association with Rev. Wright hurt him.

Franklin Graham and anti-Semites

I don't see the reason or the purpose of engaging with a notorious hater and bigot, like Franklin Graham.  This is like engaging in a dialogue with anti-Semites.  Professional bigots should be ignored and not engaged with.

Jordanian intelligence apparatus

The story in the Times is not surprising.  It only surprised those in Western media who for decades--and largely at the behest of US intelligence agencies AND at the behest of Mossad--have presented and promoted the Jordanian intelligence agency as a professional and effective organization while it is indistinguishable from Ba`thist Syrian and Iraqi intelligence services and pioneered some of the torture techniques (like the Rotisserie torture) which were later adopted by other intelligence agencies.  Journalists like David Ignatius and Bob Baer all contributed to the false image of an organization that has historically been always run and staffed by thugs, crooks, torturers, executioners, embezzlers, and arms merchants.  But its services to Israeli occupation and repression has made it a sacred cow in the West.

Saudi-US relations

""Yet Murphy's argument missed a critical detail: the fact that Saudi Arabia has not controlled the global Salafi-Wahhabi movement since 1980s".  So has controlled it?  Albanian government?

"Turkey-Israel deal leaves Gaza siege intact"

"Palestinians in the Gaza Strip expressed anger and dismay on Monday about the deal normalizing relations between Israel and Turkey that leaves them under a suffocating siege. An Israeli human rights group that monitors the decade-old Israeli blockade of Gaza has also confirmed that the deal does not end Israel’s tight control over the territory that has greatly exacerbated the devastation to Gaza’s economy and society from three major Israeli military assaults since 2008.  Turkey put its once close military and political relations with Israel in the deep freeze six years ago, after Israel attacked the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara as it sailed in international waters as part of a flotilla to Gaza in May 2010, killing nine people and fatally injuring a tenth. Turkey imposed unprecedented military sanctions on Israel in 2011 over the incident. Efforts at reconciliation had been stalemated by the conditions demanded by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: an Israeli apology and compensation over the Mavi Marmara attack and an end to the siege of Gaza. The breakthrough apparently came when Turkey dropped the third and biggest of these demands and accepted that Israel would maintain its blockade. In a face-saving measure, Israel will allow Turkey to increase its “humanitarian” role and infrastructure projects in the besieged territory."

Persecution of Syrian refugees in Lebanon

The plight of Syrian refugees in Lebanon does not get much attention in Western media, for so many reasons.  For one, all Western correspondents in Beirut are busy propping up the so-called Syrian rebels.  Their interest is elsewhere. Furthermore, Western governments want to keep the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, and for that they don't give a damn about what befalls the refugees.  And Western human rights organizations are all tied to the Hariri political establishment in Lebanon and rarely publish reports that are harmful to their political and propaganda interests.  There are not only curfews being imposed on refugees (throughout Lebanon, among Muslim and Christians, and in March 8 and March 14 areas of Lebanon).  And the Phalanges Minister of Labor has worked hard to impose the fascist xenophobic standards of his party, by trying his best to exclude and discriminate against Palestinians and Syrians in Lebanon.  One town (Tirtuj in Jubayl has this week order a clean-up campaign and they ORDERED (see picture above) all Syrian refugees in the village to participate.  And the racist Lebanese Awni Foreign minister has issued a degree this week saying that all municipalities under the political control of his party will restrict work of Syrian refugees.

When the DailyBeast reports about the Middle East

Basically, DailyBeast journalism on the Middle East is: 1) half chit-chat with March 14 journalists in Beirut cafes; 2) things that are made up along the way as those correspondents write their articles; 3) Israeli Mossad planted stories.  Look at this: "Almost immediately after the explosion that killed Badreddine in Damascus, Hezbollah pinned the blame on Israel. That was no surprise. Accusing Israeli intelligence for all manner of attacks is practically a reflex for Hezbollah."  Just simply untrue.  Hizbullah did not blame Israel and was criticized by some for not blaming Israel.  But then the article adds that Iran has blamed the US "at the highest levels of the Iranian regime." The source?  "an Iranian official with knowledge of information sent to top leaders told The Daily Beast."  And whenever you read in Western media stories citing "some Lebanese journalists with sources in Hezbollah", you know that they are referring to Lebanese journalists on the payrolls of Hariri/Saudi regime.

Even Israeli terrorist vigilantes get respect in the US press

"As in Israel, New York's police volunteers wear uniforms. But in New York, their badges identify them as "auxiliary," while Israeli badges do not differentiate. NYPD volunteers can't carry guns or arrest people. Israeli volunteers can do both". (thanks Basim)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Students in California might face criminal investigation for protesting a film promoting Israeli terrorist army

"LAST MONTH, A GROUP of students at the University of California, Irvine gathered to protest a screening of the film Beneath the Helmet, a documentary about the lives of recruits in the Israeli Defense Forces. Upset about the screening of a film they viewed as propaganda for a foreign military, the students were also protesting the presence of several IDF representatives who were holding a panel discussion at the screening.  That student protest has since become the subject of intense controversy. The school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine is now facing the possibility of being banned from the campus. In addition, a legal representative for some of the students involved in the protest, Tarek Shawky, told The Intercept that the students were informed by the university that their cases have been referred to the district attorney for criminal investigation."

Another view of Venezuela crisis

"None of the Chavista activists I spoke to, most of whom I’ve known for years, expressed any support for the opposition. All, however, expressed significant criticisms of Maduro and the government. Jesus Rojas, who has supported the government since Chávez’s 1998 election, said, “Many people don’t believe in Maduro anymore. While we still have hope in the process, we don’t see a short-, medium-, or long-term solution. There’s uncertainty.” Switching to English he added, “There’s no light at the end of the tunnel. We’re fucked.” Despite this, Rojas says he continues to the support Chavismo and the PSUV and will never vote for the opposition. “If I voted for Chávez and against the fourth republic governments [preceding Chávez] that brought us neoliberalism and bad times, it doesn’t make sense to go back to the bad government of the fourth republic.”....When I asked Gimenez why she continues to support the government, she replied, “Because it’s not a lie that 3 million senior-age Venezuelans are receiving a pension that’s worth minimum wage. When Chávez got to power, not even 300,000 seniors received a pension, and the pension wasn’t even a fifth of the minimum wage. It’s not a lie that schools opened to all children with a meal every day.… It’s not a lie that they opened more opportunities for studying at the university level. And it’s not a lie that education at all levels is free, totally free. Oh, but this education has errors, we don’t doubt it. It’s part of a [process in] construction.… It’s not a lie that healthcare, with all the problems we have right now with the dollar, and the import of medicines…that they’ve provided a space for healthcare in all of our communities. It’s not a lie that our citizens with disabilities, who were rendered totally invisible before, they didn’t have machines to treat their disabilities, now we have physical therapy centers, and today [people with disabilities] are prioritized in terms of jobs, and for many things. It’s not a lie, and I’ve lived it, that people in our rural zones lived in straw houses with mud roofs…and now there are real houses in our rural zones, and not just in our rural zones, but in the urban zones, the million and some houses that have been constructed are a reality.… There’s still much to do, but this is a reality…. And it’s not a lie that in any street corner you go to, people will talk to you about politics, about what’s happening, about the international situation, if they participated or not, if the communal council stole the money or didn’t steal the money. There’s a political participation that can’t be hidden....In addition to grassroots efforts to build a new, communal system of production and distribution of food and basic goods, there are also grassroots efforts to “rescue Chávez’s legacy” and forge an alternative way of doing politics that stands in contrast to the corruption and bureaucracy of the government. This movement, referred to by some as “critical Chavismo,” has taken on several expressions. According to Jimenez, there are two networks of critical Chavismo, made up of leftist parties and social-movement organizations that support the government in a critical way, and are careful to maintain their autonomy. One network, known as the Frente Patriótico Hugo Chávez (Hugo Chávez Patriotic Front), brings together “the PPT [Fatherland for All, a left party], the Corriente Revolucionaria Bolívar y Zamora, a radical current within the PSUV, and a number of smaller movements.” The Red de Comuneros is part of a second network, “which doesn’t have a name yet, and includes the PCV [Communist Party], workers movements, some unions, including Polar, a fraction of the CANTV union, and the Alexis Vive collective [a grassroots movement based in 23 de Enero parish in Caracas and active in other states, including Lara].” Jimenez says, “Our slogan is: Neither Bureaucracy, nor a Pact with the Bourgeoisie.” This movement is trying to push the government “to really go with the people, and not just say that they are.”” (thanks Ben)

The New York Times writes a tribute to Cynthia Ozick without telling readers that she is an unabashed bigot who denied the existence of the Palestinian people

Just two samples of the racism and ignorance of Cynthia Ozick, who received recently a long tribute in the Times:
"When, some years ago, Golda Meir contentiously remarked, "There are no Palestinians," she was historically correct..."
"By replacing history with fantasy, the Palestinians have invented a society unlike any other, where hatred trumps bread. They have reared children unlike any other children, removed from ordinary norms and behaviors."  If this woman wrote those words about blacks or about Jews, there would be pickets outside of the office of the New York Times.  But bigotry and denial of the Palestinian people is considered a respected point of view in US society.  

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Dispelling myths in tenure-track hiring of women of color (in political science)

"Overall, women of color were not placed as well as the general female population, with 28.8% hired into tenure track faculty positions. Compared to the general population of female candidates, women of color were less likely earn academic faculty appointments (43.8% compared to 56.5%) and more likely to be placed in non-academic positions (18.1% compared to 11.6%) or not placed at all (23.7%15.4%)."

"There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person,” Brooke Goldstein declared to enthusiastic applause at a meeting of key Israel lobby"

" “Why are we using the word Palestinian? There’s no such thing as a Palestinian person,” Brooke Goldstein declared to enthusiastic applause at a meeting of key Israel lobby operatives in New York earlier this month." "The clip of Goldstein denying outright the existence of Palestinians can be seen above." "In her presentation, Goldstein acknowledged that efforts to promote Israel as a democracy with “great beaches” had failed to stem the support for Palestinian rights, so “we have to focus on the offense, on Islamists and how they violate the basic civil rights that liberals hold very, very dear.” Efforts to exploit and promote Islamophobia as a way to build support for Israel are not new, but the New York meeting heralded a renewed push in that direction."

"the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA) had a role in at least 22 of the U.S. entertainment industry’s projects"

"Between 2006 and 2011, VICE reported, the CIA’s Office of Public Affairs (OPA) had a role in at least 22 of the U.S. entertainment industry’s projects. Some of the productions listed by VICE included the films Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, television shows like Top Chef and Covert Affairs, and documentaries such as the History channel’s Air America and the BBC’s The Secret War on Terror. The book, The Devil’s Light, also had the help of the CIA." "Uglier Hollywood portraits have also been produced without the CIA consent, such as Syriana, which was developed with the help of former agents." (thanks Amir)

BBC, like all US media, now provides justification for the Israeli murder of Palestinians

"Since then, another 31 Israelis have been killed in knife, gun and car-ramming attacks in Israel and the West Bank.  More than 200 Palestinians - mostly attackers, Israel says - have also been killed in the same period."  Imagine if they provide the same qualifications for Israeli occupation terrorists who are killed by Palestinians (in far smaller numbers)(thanks Basim)

Hizbullah versus the US

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Dilemmas of Hizbullah in the face of the Total US War".

Friday, June 24, 2016

Trump can go farther than Brexit

He may initiate a move to pull the US out of planet earth.

A Saudi professor at King Saudi University, who ran a "cultural communication program", reacts to Brexit

كاميرون يعلن استقالته بعد إعلان نتائج استفتاء خروج بريطانيا من اللهم شتت شملهم ومزقهم شر ممزق كما فعلوا ويفعلوا بالمسلمين
He reacts to the resignation of Cameron by writing: "O, God, may you fragment them and tear them apart just as they did and still do to Muslims". Word for word

When these Muslim-Americans spoke to the FBI about why they were on the list, agents pressured them to become informants to spy on their own communities

"Ramzi Kassem, an associate professor at CUNY School of Law and the founder and director of the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility Project, told me earlier in the year that the watchlists “are notoriously arbitrary and inaccurate. People are placed on these lists without ever being told why or given an opportunity to contest their listing. And the lists appear to focus disproportionately on individuals with Muslim-sounding names.” Being included on the watchlist can also have consequences beyond not being able to fly. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of people on the no-fly list. When these Muslim-Americans spoke to the FBI about why they were on the list, agents pressured them to become informants to spy on their own communities. That was the price to pay to get off the no-fly database."

"U.S. officials use threats & intimidation to censor BDS activists"

"A report issued last year by Palestine Legal and the Center for Constitutional Rights documented 152 incidents of free-speech suppression on U.S. campuses in 2014." "Threats, punishment and intimidation are all being routinely used to stifle dissenting viewpoints on Israel-Palestine, says Omar Shakir a fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights and a co-author of the report." "Threats to speech, have come not only from university administrations but from law enforcement as well." (thanks Amir)

Aljazeera's senior reporter/presenter comments on Brexit

Ahmad Mansour of Aljazeera says: "The British vote to exist from the European Union could be the beginning of the disintegration of the Christian club, known as the European Union, which was formed by the Pope in the beginning of the 1950s of the last century".  The comment under his post says: "May God not save them, and not save the despicable Shi`ites".

British exist in Arab media

What is ironic is that those who spilled lots of ink (on behalf of Saudi regime) in mocking Arab unity are today unconsolable regarding the fragmentation of European union.  They must feel European deep down.

Campus Watch has a list of "Professors to Avoid"

Just some observations:
1) There are some 3000 US colleges and universities, and the list is comprised of only 31 names.  What a small list if you think about it.
2) Aren't Zionists supposed to be opposed to the very principle of boycott? Or do they only object to boycotts if directed against the Zionist entity?
3) They don't know anything about how the professors conduct their classes but they believe that they are bad professors if they hold views opposed or critical of Israel.
4) A few names on the list, like Reza Aslan, are not known to be critical of Israel at all.
5) Some colleagues and friends are upset that they didn't make the list.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Journalism of Western media: how they cover pro-US potentates

"“Prince of youth,” accompanied by excitable emojis showing a purple heart, clapping hands and raised thumbs, was a typical Tweet on Thursday in response to Prince Mohammed’s trip. Another Tweeted “All hopes are with the Prince of Youth.”". Was it not necessary to add that tweets that are opposed to the rulers result in the arrest and imprisonment and flogging of their writers?

A man with a vision

Disgrace unto the nations: the Israeli state kidnapping and persecution of Yemeni Jews--not in the US press

"Between 1948 and 1954, somewhere between 1,500 and 5,000 Sephardic children, mainly Yemenite toddlers, were reported missing, with many parents being told their children had died, sparking claims they were kidnapped and given to Ashkenazi couples. Three separate committees that investigated the affair ruled that most of the children had died of sickness and that a small minority had been put up for adoption." Read Tom Segev's 1949 about how the Israeli state treated Yemeni Jewish immigrants as leopards upon arriving into the occupying state.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Potential terrorists

"What is a “potential terrorist”? Isn’t everyone that?" (thanks Amir)

The US Congress and US administration agree on this

The Zionists on both sides agree that: 1) UAE royals are the best to refute ISIS ideology and propaganda on social media. 2) that the Jordanian royal is best to defeat ISIS militarily and to inspire the Arab people.  OK.  

Western correspondent in the Middle East responds to Ambassador Ford in New Yorker

According to a Western analyst based in Beirut:

"Ford never resigned on principle. Ford was an unconfirmed "recess appointment." He bungled relations with the Syrian "opposition" and there was no job opening for which his rank was suitable, and he was offered a good salary by the Saudis to work at the Middle East Institute. 
As for the silly claims in the article:
"After the uprising erupted, in 2011, Ford dared to visit opposition areas, meet with demonstrators, and pay a condolence call on the family of a slain activist."

he dared? like there was a risk? he was not a demonstrator he was a representative of the united states with body guards and armored cars 

"no one understood how far the Syrian government was willing to go to maintain its control in Damascus"

then they were stupid, what government would just say fuck it you can take my capital city

"The speech showed he understood that he was losing on the ground–and only when he had the mentality that losing would he be willing to make compromises."

and yet he did not make any compromises after that speech last year, he just rationalized the losses to his audience

"When Russian intervention began, five weeks after that speech, his position changed a hundred and eighty degrees."

so the Russians surprised Assad by intervening five weeks later? he was going to make compromises and then suddenly the Russians intervened so he changed his mind? 
no he knew long in advance that the Russians were going to intervene on his behalf. only the stupid Americans did not".

Rep. John Lewis

Is it me or is that sanctimonious US congressperson most annoying?  He is supposed to represent moral courage and yet I can't recall in my years in the US any stance of moral courage that he has taken.  

Western governments AND corporations prostrate before Gulf royals

Please help: Ambassador Ford is searching for a Muhammad Dahlan for Syria

"The danger is that, just as the Palestinian center collapsed, so will the moderate Syrian center collapse."

You want fresh ideas about Syria? Listen to Ambassador Ford

"The real question is: Can they be unified enough to present a relevant and cogent program and alternative? There are many indications that they can. But it also requires that foreign patrons of different groups agree themselves on how a unified command should operate. It doesn’t help for us to increase aid to some groups, with other countries aiding different groups, so they don’t coördinate." So if only the patrons unite.  Patrons of Syrian rebels, unite, please. 

This is quite hilarious: Bassem Mroue of the AP on the heroism of the Lebanese Army

Is this comedy material or what? From Basim: 
"Aided directly by the United States and Britain — and indirectly by the Syrian army and its Lebanese militant Hezbollah allies working on the other side of the border — the under-equipped Lebanese military has registered steady successes against the militants."

PS: Look how bold they are:

"During the AP tour, a first lieutenant peered through binoculars toward areas controlled by the Islamic State group on the edge of Arsal when he spotted a vehicle moving several miles way. “It’s the tanker truck,” the officer told some of the troops in the front-line position, referring to an identified vehicle owned by a Lebanese man who has a permit to cross into IS-controlled areas, where he owns plots of lands. “Had it been a truck with a machine gun on top of it we would have dealt with it immediately,” said another officer, pointing to two 130 mm guns that are always ready to fire."

Members of the US Congress think that this guy is the best hope to defeat ISIS. It is hilarious if you think about it.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What are the logical conclusions about trends in displaced people worldwide?

The New York Times does not notice the obvious: "They include those fleeing marauders in South Sudan, drug gangs in Central America, and the Islamic State in the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Falluja. While most are displaced within their own countries, an unprecedented number are seeking political asylum in the world’s rich countries. Nearly 100,000 are children who have attempted the journey alone."  That in every single case where the US intervened, or bombed, or invaded, or occupied, a large number of displaced people followed.  

New York Times blatantly justifies the funding of Israeli occupation settlements

"The financing measure was approved after months of deadly Palestinian attacks".

The Theodor Wanner Award

Human Rights Watch was awarded the The Theodor Wanner award.  Previous winners include Yoko Ono, Jacques Delors, and Daniel Barenboim.  I thought this is hilarious. It reminded me of the German Prince Claus award.

You would not know this about Iran from US media

Do you know that there was a magazine in Iran which criticized the treatment of US sailors by the Iranian government and compared the treatment to that of ISIS? (the magazine was later prosecuted for accusing Revolutionary Guards of corruption).

American liberals are outraged at Donald Trump's call for racial profiling...until he reminds them that Israel does it

""Well, I think profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country," he said when Dickerson asked Trump whether he still supports the idea, which he has floated before. "And other countries do it; you look at Israel".  They are outraged about his call for a wall...until he reminds them that Israel has pioneered it.  

Zionists, including the New York Times, have a new ploy: to refer to survival tunnels in Gaza as "attack tunnels"

The question I have is this: were the survival and defense tunnels in Warsaw ghetto "attack tunnels"?
"The presence of more than 30 Hamas-built attack tunnels around the Gaza periphery".

U.S. supplied jihadis with 3,000 tons of weapons during the cease-fire

"A sense of the West being deceitful is exacerbated by reports of American, German, French and possibly Belgian special forces establishing themselves in northern Syria." "All this infringement of Syrian sovereignty does not really seem temporary but rather the opposite: there are shades of Afghanistan, with all the "temporary" NATO bases." "Lang goes on to note that during the "truce," "the Turks, presumably with the agreement of the U.S., brought 6,000 men north out of [Syria via the] Turkish border ... They trucked them around, and brought them through Hatay Province in Turkey to be sent back into Aleppo Province and to the city of Aleppo itself." Reports in Russian media indicate that Nusra jihadists, who have continued to shell Syrian government forces during the "truce," are being commanded directly by Turkish military advisers. And meanwhile, the U.S. supplied the opposition with about 3,000 tons of weapons during the cease-fire, according to I.H.S. Jane's, a security research firm."  Of course, I exclude the Voltaire battalion and the Rousseau battalion from the Jihadi categorization.  

Pro-Israel gangs smearing BDS movement

"That lobby constantly conflates robust criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism. The conflation is a deliberate policy that has been pursued at least since the 1970s when Abba Eban, then Israel’s foreign minister, argued that sympathizers with the Palestinian struggle should be accused of hating Jews."

"Israel setting up 'dirty tricks' unit 
to find, spread dirt on BDS groups"

"The lucky winner of this tender, the creatively thinking candidate, will be charged with responsibility for “leading a campaign against groups seeking to delegitimize Israel, with regard to all media and consciousness aspects, in order to create a counterdelegitimization.” In addition, this person will be “responsible for analysis of these groups and for studying their characteristics and their modes of activity, as well as defining a strategy for combating them. In addition this person will need to define important items that need to be brought to the attention of Military Intelligence.” In order to achieve this, the chief tarnisher in the ministry of propaganda and disinformation will “develop and implement new tools and media channels, including indirect ones, through extra-government agencies.” In other words he will establish, hire or tempt nonprofit organizations or groups not associated with Israel, in order to disseminate the sullying material. This activity is defined in the tender as “recruitment and promoting coordination between different groups in Israel and abroad.” " (thanks Amir)

New York Times manages to justify the Israeli murder of an innocent boy--in its headline

Headline: "Palestinian, 15, Killed as Israeli Forces Sought to Halt Stone Throwing".
Story: The teenagers appeared to be innocent bystanders who were hit while the military tried to halt Palestinians who were throwing stones and firebombs."  Hurra tv (a propaganda outlet of the US government which is watched by 0.0000000044 of the Arab public) described the murder as a "mistake". What about the more than 220 Palestinians killed by Israeli terrorists since October? Were those mistakes as well?

Jordanian regime refuses to release a university professor because he criticized US alliance

Jordanian regime, which gets away with murders, as far as Western media are concerned, refuses to release a university professor because he criticized the US-led alliance against ISIS. It said his crime is "spoiling the relationship" between Jordan and US.  Kid you not.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Look at the Saudi ambassador in Geneva losing his temper when a Kuwaiti speaker attacked the crimes of Saudi regime

Facebook and Israeli propaganda

"Jordana Cutler, who is currently the Chief of Staff at the Israeli embassy in Washington DC, and a longtime adviser to Netanyahu, has been named as head of policy and communications at Facebook’s Israel office.  The appointment comes amidst growing Israeli government frenzy concerning incitement allegations and BDS, the global non-violent movement against the Israeli occupation of Palestine, whose often viral presence online exposes Israeli human rights violations. Also, since October 2015 violence has surged between Palestinians and Israelis, chiefly by knife attacks. Often, these attacks, or Israel’s disproportionate response, would be captured on video, and widely shared on Facebook."

The funny outfits of the Académie française

"They are not cheap: Dans son livre “Coupole et Dépendance”, sorti début 2014, le journaliste Daniel Garcia révèle qu’il peut coûter environ 35.000 euros quand il est fait “dans les règles de l’art”. Quoi qu’il en soit, la confection de l’habit des membres de l’Académie est à la charge du nouvel entrant...... L'épée jusqu'à 100.000. L’autre symbole de l’académicien, l’épée, n’est pas, elle non plus, à la portée de tout le monde. Certaines ont coûté une fortune."  But some membres of the academy choose not to wear the funny outfits.  But you know the Lebanese: elegance is essential.

Has the Obama administration quietly adopted features of Trump's Muslim Visa Ban?

In the last week, we learn this: that former editor-in-chief of Al-Quds Al-Arabi, `Abdul-Bari `Atwan (one of the most widely read Arab columnist) has been denied visa to visit the US.  That was less surprising than the decision delivered to Druze warlord, Walid Jumblat (a known tool of US foreign policy who switched sides after 2005 and went from being a tool of the Syrian-Iranian axis to being a tool of the Saudi-US axis) that his visa application has been denied.  

What are the features of ISISism, according to Al-Arabiyya (a news station owned by Muhammad bin Salman)

So according to this useful chart about social features of ISISism, features of ISISism include "detestation against [government] officials"; "preoccupation with social media"; "distance from parents"; "revulsion toward and criticisms of clerics"; "focus on mistakes of others"; and "meeting with friends secretly".   I am not making this up.

Robert Baer has an obligation to hit back: how a Middle East expert because an expert on Florida

"BAER: There are a lot of cells here in Florida, trust me

BAER: It doesn't matter. Just -- they reduce it to the West or crusaders in the Middle East. They're killing us. I have an obligation to fight back. And it's here. I'm going to do it.  And, you know, going from al Qaeda to the Islamic State and even sometimes the Hezbollah, which is a Shia group, happens all the time, and -- or even in smaller groups we don't even hear about.  (thanks Basim)

CORRECTION: Christian love in Angola

"Angola has reportedly declared Islam illegal and ordered for all of the country’s mosques to be closed down. Minister of culture Rosa Cruz e Silva said that mosques in the largely Christian country would be closed until further notice. She described Islam as a ‘sect’ that would be banned as counter to Angolan customs and culture."

PS This is an old story and it has been denied by Angola.  So I stand corrected.  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The high quality of reporting on Syria: Sam Dagher

In 2014 deal which I witnessed some officials almost aided regime recapture of city from rebels
Someone needs to explain to us: what is "almost aided regime"?  How does one almost aid someone?

Wait. Wait. There are 50 British MPs who also are feigning moral outrage

The suggestion that the 50 British MPs are in any way connected to the 51 US diplomats (who want more bombs dropped over the heads of Arabs and Muslims) is a conspiracy theory.  I am waiting for the announcement that 120 Israeli Knesset members are also urging their government to drop more bombs and rockets over Syria. (thanks Terry)

Religion and Female Genital Cutting: missing from Western media often

"Groups as disparate as the Masai in Kenya, Jews in Ethiopia and Coptic Christians in Egypt practise FGM in some form."

Life of the Palestinians

"There is Sa’adat Sabri, as the book describes, who lives in a house completely fenced in by Israeli security barriers, with a gate he could go in and out of only when the authorities let him. And there is Hebron, the only city in the West Bank where Israelis still live, and where the Palestinian Arabs run a daily gauntlet of checks, searches and barriers."

A. B. Yehoshua in By the Book in the New York Times

Of course, this section of the Book World is usually reserved to US authors but then again Israelis are always treated like they are super Americans.  But look at this: "Israeli literature is well known today in many places in the world. For a small Hebrew-speaking country it’s quite an accomplishment that our novels and short story collections are published in translation in many languages and Israeli authors win literary prizes abroad."  What he said is of course true.  Israeli books on all topics are instantly translated from a language spoken by the smallest number of people as world languages are concerned.  Hebrew is taught at more colleges and universities in the US than Urdu for example.  It is part of the obsessive worship of Israel in the US.  But more importantly: this is part of this unique American proclivity: to never apply critical standards in look at any aspects of Israel.  I have always said since I came to the US: you would never ever read a negative review of an Israeli book, or article, or a poem, or even a dish.  Israel never gets negative reviews in the US.  It is possible that reviewers are afraid of being called anti-Semitic if they were to express a negative opinion of a stolen Israeli dish, or of a poem or a dance group.  I can imagine of the US were to politically break with Israel at some point--as unlikely as that is--many writers here would come forward and yell: I have been wanting to say this for a long time but was not able to say it but...Amos Oz is  really not a great writer at all.  I have really exaggerated and falsified.  David Grossman is not a great writer at all, but I felt obligated to say it.  But is this favorable treatment of Israel not the second part of anti-Semitism according to Oz's definition?

The 51 US diplomats

The worst part about the affair is that they really think that they captured the moral high ground by subscribing to Israeli agenda.  A reputation for wisdom, in the Zionist foreign policy establishment, is enhanced by the frequency of calls for bombing of Arab/Muslim countries.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Amin Maalouf Affair

My weekly article for Al-Akhbar: "Responses to the responses to Amin Maalouf: The Culture of May 17th".

Friday, June 17, 2016

Steven Salaita at AUB

Despite a strong letter from MESA's committee on academic freedom regarding the clear political cancellation of the selection of Steven Salaita for a teaching position at AUB, there was a deafening silence from AUB faculty: no voices of protest, and no call for an investigation of the political pressure exercised by US senators on the president of AUB (by his own admission).  It is useful here to compare the reactions of the faculty at the University of Illinois with the reaction of faculty at AUB.  Salutations to the faculty of the University of Illinois.  

The moral outrage of 50 US diplomats

How brave of them.  50 US diplomats defied the conventional wisdom and called for more US bombing of an Arab country. How much courage this has taken.  I mean, for a group of US diplomats to toe the line of AIPAC requires an unusual amount of courage.  In the past, the courage of US diplomat was (rarely) displayed when an individual--not group like this case--defied US policies in favor of Israeli aggression and occupation.  Almost to a diplomat, those cases of courage (George Ball and others around the Washington Report) were displayed only after those diplomats retired from service, when their usefulness was quite limited.  SO this time 50 US diplomats (who deal with diplomacy) felt that their government was not doing enough in terms of bombing in the Middle East against yet another Arab country.  Those 50 US diplomats--mind you--never bothered to utter a word against the Israeli war crimes in Gaza or Lebanon, and they never felt courage against GCC-US war crimes in Yemen.  But they were so compelled to call for US bombing of Syria.  Of course, those 50 US diplomats were never concerned about the inevitable civilians who die from US bombing of Arab countries.  And can those 50 US diplomats point to one case in which US bombing advanced the cause of peace and democracy, or to a case where US bombing or even occupation replaced a dictatorship with a better form of government? Leave to the US to be able to replace Qadhdhafi's dictatorship with a worse regime.  The US has singlehandedly succeeded in turning many Iraqis into nostalgia for the regime of Saddam Husayn.  But that does not matter: 50 US diplomats want US to bomb Syria, and they mean business.  Here, an objective neutral observer speaks on behalf of the 50 US diplomats in the New York Times: "“There is an enormous frustration in the bureaucracy about Syria policy,” said Andrew J. Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy."  Also, did any of the US diplomat speak against the US relations with the Syrian regime when the two sides were allies? Just as no US diplomats ever spoke against US alliance with Saddam Husayn during the honey moon years.  Those 50 US diplomats have as much courage and as much moral fortitude as Hillary Clinton when she calls for more aid to Israel.

Arab categorical rejection of the Israeli occupation state

An Egyptian TV station sent a correspondent who posed as a correspondent for an Israeli TV station, and she tried to interview a poor (beggar) boy.  He adamantly refused to speak "to an enemy station", and even when he was offered money he refused.

What is always missing from Western media coverage of atheism and belief in the Arab world

Look at this report by the able, Josephine Deeb, of OTV: the reporter covers an intense war going on AND PUBLICLY on the Facebook pages of Lebanese University between believers and atheists.  The schtick that some atheists in the West pull--to the effect that "I am in danger because atheists are killed in the Arab world, please protect o NATO--has become quite ridiculous.  Declarations of atheism has become quite common on Arab social media, and some Arab atheists are as rigid and fanatic as religious fanatics.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Western homophobes exploit LGBT issues to justify anti-Muslim policies

"In the late 1990s, Eric Rudolph — raised Catholic and affiliated for a time with a Christian Identity sect — bombed abortion clinics and a gay bar, insisting they were venues of immorality and evil. Last July, an Orthodox Jewish Israeli attacked the marchers in the Jerusalem LGBT pride parade, stabbing six of them, and one of them, a teenager, died of her wounds; justifying his attacks by appealing to Talmudic punishments for homosexuality, he had just been released from a 10-year prison term for doing the same in 2005. Yesterday, a Christian pastor from Arizona, Steven Anderson, praised the slaughter of 49 people in an Orlando LGBT club on the ground that “homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts” and are “pedophiles.” "A 2015 Pew poll found that U.S. Muslims were more accepting of homosexuality than evangelical Christians, Mormons, and Jehovah’s Witnesses:" (thanks Amir)

Southern Front denies it knows who its representative is in the Herzilya conference

It won't be the first time that Israel invents Arab participation.

Liberal media are aghast: that Trump calls for the surveillance of mosques

This liberal media shock is most disingenuous: are they implying that mosques are not ALREADY under surveillance by Democratic and Republican administrations?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Free Syrian Army official attending the Israel's Herzilya Conference

Now if that does not prove that the remnants of the Free Syrian Army are not moderate nothing will.

Jihad Khazin explains the true stances of Arab leaders toward Israel

He says that what they say in public is not true; he says that they all are anti-Israel in private. He thinks that he is helping their images for Arab leaders not knowing that they come across from the article as deceivers and double-faced.

Syrian regime Shabbihah file

This is a most comprehensive file on the phenomenon of Shabbihah in Syrian regime areas of Syria--published in Al-Akhbar which is still banned from Syria by the Syrian regime.

Fear and prejudice in US

"There are no triangles, circles or other geographic shapes that can demarcate a population or religion or phenotype or (gasp) civilization as “the homophobic one.”  The sad truth is that homophobia and misogyny are unavoidable global hegemonic forces that shape everyday life. The United States is no exception to this rule. In the past six months over one hundred anti-LGBTQ bills and laws have been tabled and discussed across the United States. These are governmental and structural manifestations of the devaluing of queer life. The most prominent of these laws are all out assaults on trans bodies and their uses of bathrooms. This law will ensure that trans people will experience even more violence and hatred than they already do, and in an already vulnerable space (bathrooms). Queers of color, queer women of color, and trans people of color (especially trans black women) are daily assaulted, killed, incarcerated, criminalized, brutalized, and raped across this country. The criminalization and wholesale removal of homeless populations from our cities also disproportionately targets queers, and those that are most vulnerable, young queers of color. Yet these daily and hourly attacks (often against the more and most vulnerable within the LGBTQ community) rarely inspire national outrage, as Sima Shasksari reminds us. They do not elicit twenty-four news hour cycles or “special programming” on mainstream news outlets."