Monday, October 31, 2016

It is OK: Syrian rebel war crimes don't upset or disturb Western journalists in Beirut and DC, so it is OK

"The United Nations envoy for Syria has said he is “appalled and shocked” by indiscriminate rocket warfare targeting civilians in Aleppo after three days of a fresh rebel offensive in which dozens have died." "Syrian insurgents on Sunday kept up their shelling of government-controlled areas of the city, killing at least seven people, including three children, state TV reported, and used car bombs and tanks to push into new territory in western areas. The Syrian government claimed the opposition fighters used toxic gas."

Who will reform Buddhism? Where are the Buddhist Fatwas? Burmese soldiers have been killing, raping and burning homes Rohingya Muslims

"Just five months after her party took power, Burma's Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is facing international pressure over recent reports that soldiers have been killing, raping and burning homes of the country's long-persecuted Rohingya Muslims."

Saudi Arabia & U.S. should be brought up before UNSC for war crimes

"We discussed the 19-month Saudi-led bombing campaign, which, with billions of dollars worth of weapons and crucial military assistance from the US and UK, has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians." (thanks Amir)

Lebanese Army soldiers defending Lebanon from Israeli aggression

Lebanese elections: on the one hand and on the other hand

So it was settled today, that Michel Awn got to be president of Lebanon.  But Awn really coveted the job when it had meaningful powers. Ironically, his stance and "war of liberation" of the late 1980s, practically pushed the Saudi-Syrian-US order to push for constitutional reforms which emptied the Lebanese presidency of its powers.  Lebanese MPs never elect the president: they receive orders or money to vote for whomever is decided upon.  Back in April 1976, the US government and Syria wanted to make Ilyas Sarkis president.  So there was a meeting in the White House with Jerald Ford and his National Security Adviser, Brent Scowcroft and Dean Brown (then presidential envoy to Lebanon).  Ford expressed concern whether Lebanese MPs would indeed select Sarkis.  According to declassified US documents, Brown assured Ford and Scowcroft that "votes would be bought and sold in the election".  Awn had a very checkered past: he started in the Lebanese Army as an enthusiastic supporter of the right-wing militias during the war. He was first close to the Ahrar militias but then became one of the closest military advisers of Bashir Gemayyel.  For me he committed the one unforgivable crime of all: he participated in the war on the Palestinian refugee camps, and helped put the plan for the siege and bombardment of the Tall Az-Za`tar camp in East Beirut.  He utilized his training in artillery to supervise the indiscriminate bombardment of the camp.  He never utilized his training in artillery to ever fire a shot against the Israeli occupiers of Lebanon.  He later became commander-in-chief under Amin Gemayel, and quickly harbored dreams of becoming the Napoleonic emperor of little Lebanon.  He launched wars against West Beirut and East Beirut simultaneously, and didn't win either of them.  He wound up a refugee in France (and the French government nurtured and encouraged his presidential ambitions) where he coordinated closely with American Zionists to work against Syrian domination in Lebanon.  He would appear on Pat Robertson TV program and was a dinner guest at his house.  The rest of the story is too well known to be retold here.  He struck an alliance with Hizbullah.  I don't for a second trust the "resistance" credentials of Awn: but I believe that he--unlike other Lebanese politicians--can be firm in his stances.  But his alliance with Hizbullah is less a political alliance based on shared principled of resistance and more on a tribal-sectarian-personal alliance with two political leaders, Awn and Nasrallah.  That is how Awn sees it, in my opinion.  It was quite astonishing that Awn remained a firm ally of Hizbullah even during the Western-Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006.  He helped to change the political culture in East Beirut regarding resistance to Israeli occupation and aggression.  But he betrayed all his other declared principles: support for reform and commitment to secularism.  He became a typical Lebanese sectarian Christian politician who was smart to align himself with the most powerful political grouping in Lebanon.  He will have no power in his post, and may play games with the Saudi regime, just as his corrupt predecessor, Michel Sulayman did.  But Lebanese politics does not matter anymore: it now reminds me of Jordanian politics.  

Sunday, October 30, 2016

We shall not forgive. We shall not forget. Kafar Qasim

The Israel-Gulf war lobby is at it again: "Washington’s bipartisan foreign-policy elite are pushing for renewed influence in the next administration"

"The “Blob”—the epithet Obama speechwriter Ben Rhodes used to scorn Washington’s inbred, vainglorious, bipartisan foreign-policy elite—is striking back. In a series of foreign policy reports designed to influence the incoming administration, Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post reveals, the Blob will publicly criticize Obama’s “reluctance” to exercise America’s military prowess and call for a more “muscular,” “interventionist,” assertive policy, from the South China Sea to the Russian border, but particularly in the Middle East. They are pumping for more war.
The names are familiar—former secretary of state Madeline Albright and former Bush national security adviser Stephen Hadley lead the Atlantic Council task force. Former Bill Clinton NSC adviser Brian Katulis and former Bush deputy secretary of defense Rudy deLeon are senior fellows at the Center for American Progress. The inescapable Martin Indyk heads a Brookings group of former top officials from Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations. These are the apostles of American exceptionalism, from the neoconservatives who promoted the invasion of Iraq to the “indispensable nation” liberal interventionists who championed regime change in Libya. Virtually without exception, all supported Bush’s invasion of Iraq, the most catastrophic foreign policy debacle since Vietnam. Virtually without exception, none were held accountable for that folly.
The reports—and the Blob—share two conclusions. They censure Obama for excessive timidity. “There’s a widespread perception that not being active enough or recognizing the limits of American power has costs,” the Post quotes Philip Gordon, a senior foreign-policy adviser to Obama until 2015. “So the normal swing is to be more interventionist.” And all favor ramping up US military activity—on the Russian borders, in the South China Sea, and particularly in the Middle East, promoting no-fly and safe zones in Syria, more special forces, more aggressive use of air power, more military aid, and a more integrated security partnership. The objective is not only to defeat ISIS and Al Qaeda and its offshoots militarily, but to create order in war torn Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia, as well as to counter Iran and Russia in the region.
The Obama years demonstrate the dangers of “restraint”? Say what? The Obama administration is currently fighting wars in five countries and bombing seven. It toppled Gadhafi in Libya and left the country in chaos. Its regime change campaign in Syria ended in a brutal civil war. It backs the Saudi ravaging of Yemen. It helped spark a street coup in Ukraine, and moved military forces to the Russian border, reviving a new Cold War. It has bolstered US naval forces in the South China Sea as part of containing China. US Special Forces were active in more than 100 countries last year. Obama has signed off on more weapons sales and transfers than Bush. None of this has worked out very well, but neither did George W. Bush’s “damn the torpedoes” policy. If Obama represents excessive restraint, may the gods save us from what comes next."

"Protests Erupt in Morocco Over Fish Vendor’s Death in Garbage Compactor"

"Protests erupted across Morocco over the weekend following the death of a fish vendor who, according to witnesses, was crushed by a compactor after he jumped into a garbage truck to retrieve his merchandise.  Grainy images of the man, identified in news accounts as Mouhcine Fikri, 31, circulated after his death on Friday night, in the northern port city of Hoceima. The city immediately erupted in protests, which spread on Sunday to cities like Marrakesh and Rabat, the capital."

What does Anne Barnard want? it seems clear from this article that she supports the use of civilians in East Aleppo as human shields for the rebels

"Rebels said no one should be evacuated unless humanitarian aid was also allowed in — and told residents that it was not safe to take the buses without international supervision."  Is this not a confirmation how the Syrian rebels manipulate the civilian populaiton?  So Barnard is opposed to the evacuation of civilians from East Aleppo although the regime and Russia continue to bomb East Aleppo? Or is this just the talking point of Syrian rebels no matter what?

King of Morocco (the one in shorts) is shopping in Zanzibar

Wael Ghonim and his horrific ideas of rating the credibility of the media

"Algorithms could start embedding credibility features within their ranking to give more distribution to content that is vetted as truthful or constructive. One of the living proofs of this possibility is the Google page rank algorithm, which does take credibility of a web page into account as one of the many signals for whether a specific page should be featured as the first answer when people search for a particular keyword."  Credibility features? I can imagine how that would be applied to stories about the Arab-Israeli conflict.  Now that you have liberated Egypt, I wish you would not produce such Orwellian suggestion.  

This just in from Saudi Arabia

Saudi regime was able to intercept Huthi missiles which were targeting holy sites on the moon.  

I don't know who this dude is but this got my attention: and we can assume he was never a philosophy major

1) he says: "becoming the very Nietzschean or McCarthyite beast we seek to defeat. "  Which only proves that he has no idea who Nietzsche was and he has not read a word by him.  But he has heard some nasty things from Nietzsche's sister about him.
2) he says that he can't be bad for the following reasons: "Anderson Cooper has said that mine is a “voice I urge you to hear.” 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl considers my story “absorbing” and my work “important”."  Now by your honor and dignity: would Anderson Cooper ever praise someone who is not kosher? 

Syrian rebel groupies in the US and Democracy Now

Syrian rebel groupies in the US expressed disappointment with Democracy Now because it hosted Bassam Haddad.  Syrian rebel groupies basically said that they have been used to Democracy Now being their propaganda outlet and were upset that Bassam Haddad was invited. Of course, Bassam is very critical of the Syrian regime and holds the regime responsible for much of the bloodshed but that is not enough for Syrian rebel groupies. For Syrian rebel groupies, one is Shabbih and a regime stooge if one is not 100% with the rebels and if one offers any criticisms of the rebels.  This is like Zionist tactics: if one does not support Israeli occupation and war crimes, one is an anti-Semite.  All similarities of tactics and intimidation are purely accidental--of course.  

Arab pysche and Arab mind and Arab street and Arab mentality

I have a strict policy: whenever I encounter references to "the Arab mind" or to "the Arab pysche" I stop reading: "The Islamic State has embedded itself in the individual and collective Arab psyche."

Hugh Naylor of the Washington Post on the Syrian rebel "major counteroffensive" : how murder of civilians in West Aleppo is justified

Look how Hugh Naylor describes the Syrian rebel counterattack: "On Friday came the counterpunch: The rebels launched an apparent last-ditch effort to end the government’s siege."  In reality, the "counterpunch" was basically a combination of car bombs, Suicidal AND Inghimasi attackers, plus Grad missile indiscriminate attacks on West Aleppo plus attacks on Syrian regime and Russian forces targets.   But Naylor is not done: here, he provides justification for the murder of Syrian civilians in West Aleppo: "The rebels fired artillery indiscriminately at government-held neighborhoods in Aleppo, bringing a surge in violence to relatively calm areas. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the conflict, said the shelling killed 15 people and wounded more than 100 in western Aleppo."  Government-held neighborhoods? Why not say: government held babies and government held hospitals and government held schools.  Can you imagine the uproar if a Western reporter where to refer to the Syrian regime bombing of East Aleppo as "shelling of Syrian rebel-held neighborhoods".  

Does that mean Western countries will stop giving useless weapons and arms to the Lebanese Army?

"If the army starts to look like an Aoun fiefdom it becomes harder for Western donors to maintain support for the Lebanese Armed Forces," the diplomat said." (thanks Amir)

Vote on nuclear weapons at the UN: compare North Korea with the US and Israel vote

" On 27 October at the UN General Assembly’s First Committee, which deals with disarmament and international security matters, 123 nations voted in favour of the resolution, with 38 against and 16 abstaining. Among those voting against were four of the five the Permanent Five (P5) members of the UN Security Council – France, Russia, USA and the UK – with China abstaining; all of the P5 possess nuclear weapons. ...

Voting result on the UN resolution L.41 - October 27, 2016 

The 38 against - Albania, Andorra, Australia, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, FRANCE, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, ISRAEL, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea (South), Romania, RUSSIA, 
Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, UNITED KINGDOM, UNITED STATES.

The 16 abstains - Armenia, Belarus, CHINA, Finland, Guyana, INDIA, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Morocco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, PAKISTAN, Sudan, Switzerland, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu.

DPRK (North Korea) voted YES.

UN: Landmark vote on nuclear weapons is a win for common sense and 
humanity - 28 October 2016 

Following the UN General Assembly’s vote to adopt a landmark resolution to launch negotiations in 2017 on a treaty outlawing nuclear weapons, Patrick Wilcken, Researcher on Arms Control, Security, Trade and Human Rights at Amnesty International, said: “This historic decision is a vote for common sense and humanity. It brings us a step closer to a world free from the horrors of nuclear weapons, the most destructive and indiscriminate weapons ever created. This vote shows that a majority of states consider a global prohibition on nuclear weapons to be the best option for protecting the world from their catastrophic effects."

... “We are opposed to the use, possession, production and transfer of nuclear weapons by any country, including permanent members of the UN Security Council, and so it was deeply disappointing to see that these, and other nuclear-armed states, voted against the resolution or abstained. We are calling on them to take a stand for human rights by participating fully in the coming negotiations.” ." (thanks Eyal)

EXCLUSIVE: Saudi regime media found ties between Huthis and ISIS: they will soon found ties with North Korea

Al Turki: We are not ruling out connections between and in .

More killing of Syrian civilians in West Aleppo: this correspondent of AFP in Beirut was one of the few who reported it

: At least 38 civilians inc 14 kids killed in 2 days of rocket fire by rebels & allied jihadists on w. Aleppo, monitor says - via

Notice that US media does not report the kooky statements by Israeli officials but focus instead on the apologies which come later

"Israel apologised on Saturday after a deputy minister said an earthquake in Italy was punishment for a UNESCO resolution on east Jerusalem that has angered the Jewish state. Ayub Kara, deputy minister of regional cooperation, said during a visit to the Vatican on Wednesday he was sure the quake that hit central Italy the same day happened because of the resolution, which Israel has said denies the Jewish connection to the city. "We repudiate the remarks of Deputy Minister Kara," a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement."

Stalin's victims

I wrote an article about this in Arabic and I have mentioned this before here but it still bothers me: how US propaganda against the communism has really permeated world cultures.  When people talk about Mao's China or Stalin's Russia, they really are not talking about reality here but are reproducing the propaganda of the US government in the Cold War.  Counting Stalin's victims, for example, has gone beyond anything reasonable or rational.  The French propaganda book, The Black Book of Communism or Robert Conquest's books are works of propaganda and not of scholarship.   I told you before the propaganda tally of Mao's victims or Stalin's victims count people who died from famine or from natural disasters.  Take the collectivization "victims" in the Soviet Union.  It is a fact that conservative peasants who rejected collectivization slaughtered millions and millions of cattle in order to thwart the collectivization efforts which were intended to benefit the whole.  The starvation and deaths which followed are never blamed on those conservative peasants for example.  Some tallies of Stalin's victims even include people who died in WWII.  But there is no question that the propaganda against communism after WWII reflected a bias in Western countries in favor of Nazism in comparison to communism.  When the US Congress (Democrats and Republicans--not only Sen. Mccarthy) was searching for communists under every corner in the US, there were scores of Nazi working for the US military-intelligence apparatus.  

FBI Director Comey

The Democrats deserve their predicament. When the Democrats are in office, they go out of their way to appoint "centrists" to high positions in government in order to appease Republicans, who always appoint the most fanatical right-winger to positions of power when they are in power.  So Hillary's problems are really derived from the Democratic Leadership Council, which had been founded by her husband years ago to steer the Democratic Party in a "centrist" direction.  

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Please remember: Gulf regimes funding of US think tanks always comes with "no string attached". Always.

Executed prince held to the same standards as others, argues Mohammed Alyahya, as quoted in

I won't sign the "Hands-off-Syria Coalition" petition

I won't sign this petition for more than one reason.  For example, the statement says: " This includes the right of the Syrian government to request and accept military assistance from other countries, as even the U.S. government has admitted."  I believe that we as progressive should reject the claims of legitimacy of the Syrian regime, as we should reject the legitimacy of the Jordanian and Israeli and Saudi and Qatari and Bahraini and Yemeni and Iranian regimes.  Also, the statement says: "It is not our business to support or oppose President Assad or the Syrian government."  I strongly disagree: it is our obligation as progressives to oppose the repressive and torturing regime of Bashshar Al-Asad and the mafiosi cronies of the ruling family.  

Do you remember when Western media ruled that Lesin was killed by Putin? See link below.

"The death last year in Washington of Mikhail Lesin, a Russian media executive and former adviser to President Vladimir Putin, wasaccidental and caused partly by alcohol poisoning after days of heavy drinking, U.S. authorities said on Friday."  Those were some of the stories about him before yesterday.  See here and here.

Harvard scholars: can you imagine the international uproar if a US university were to host a notorious anti-Semite?

It is amazing how the US culture and media have mainstreamed hatred of Muslims, just as Nazi Germany mainstreamed the hatred of Jewish people.  

Netflix and Israeli propaganda

Have people noticed that Netflix carries free Israeli propaganda? If you search under suggested categories like "inspiring movies" or such you will find crude Israeli propaganda about Israeli war criminal air force or a movie about major Israeli war criminals.  And then they mock conspiracy theories?

US was an accomplice in the Saudi-Bahraini slaughter

"During the early morning of March 16, 2011, according to individuals with direct access to the security forces of Saudi Arabia, the government of Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa privately told military advisors to Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz that the 1000 man Saudi security force which entered Bahrain on March 13 should shoot to kill, if needed, to aid overwhelmed Bahraini security forces in dispersing anti-government demonstrators. These individuals state that, in coordination with the Bahraini forces, the Saudi troops opened fire on demonstrators in Pearl Square, killing at least 12 protestors and wounding another 30-50 people. A twelve hour curfew is now in place in Manama.  According to these Saudi officers, King Khalifa, and Prime Minister Khalifa Bin Salman al Khalifa are increasingly concerned as the demonstrators rally around a call for the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in Bahrain, with the current rulers stepping down. The King is determined to use as much force as necessary to end this uprising, and regain control over the majority Shiite population in his country."

Iyad Allawi: for the history books

Do you remember the case of Iyad Allawi? Back in 2001 and 2002 and 2003, leading up to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Western and Gulf media (they have been working in unison for many years now) brought out Iyad Allawi (a former functionary of the Saddam regime) and they concocted a fabricated and unsubstantiated story about a monster entering Allawi's house in London and trying to kill him using the least messy weapon in existence--AN AXE, and then Allawi fighting using his fingers and slippers was able to survive the attack.  They then used the story to say: see, even this victim of Saddam wants US to attack and he does not have an axe--sorry for the pun--to grind.  

The UK Labour rebels who didn't back the Yemen vote have blood on their hands

"If there is Yemeni blood on the hands of the Saudi-led coalition, then that blood is also on the hands of the coalition’s western backers, enablers and apologists. The Saudis and their allies can only wage this war because the Anglo-American suppliers of their air forces are providing active, material support."

Western-backed Saudi Arabia re-elected to U.N. Human Rights Council

"Saudi Arabia, a theocratic absolute monarchy that carries out mass executions of dissidents, beheads drug dealers, systematically subjugates women and has supported extremist groups like al-Qaida and ISIS, was re-elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Friday." "Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two close Western allies, have supported the genocidal fascist militia ISIS, according to U.S. intelligence sources cited in email from Hillary Clinton that was recently released by the whistle-blowing journalism organization WikiLeaks. Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar also systematically exploit de facto slave labor." (thanks Amir)

Worse then Trump? Is that possible? Yes, Hillary Clinton, the candidate

"2006 Audio Emerges of Hillary Clinton Proposing Rigging Palestine Election: Unearthed tape: 'We should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win'" (thanks Sal)

Murder of civilians by US-Saudi coalition in Yemen is mentioned in passing

"Also on Saturday, a family of 11 people was killed in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in the war-torn western city of Taiz.  Security officials told The Associated Press that the airstrike targeted the house of a citizen named Abdullah Abdo in a southern district called al-Salw."

This is how the US Ignited the Lebanese Civil War (9)

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "This is how the US Ignited the Lebanese Civil War: Kissinger states:  "“[t]he end result would be exactly what we have worked all these years to avoid: it would create Arab unity."

Being a political prisoner of the Ba`th regimes of Syria and Iraq

Look this has become a propaganda ploy.  It started with the preparation of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.  Ahmad Chalabi and such characters would troll out former political prisoners of Saddam and tell us that they are desperate and eager for an invasion.  Being a political prisoner does not give one political infallibility.  There were former political prisoners of Soviet Bloc regimes who are right-wing reactionaries and whose views on any subject are not worth a dime.  Similarly, the fact that some former political prisoners of the Syrian regime are eager for a NATO intervention does not add credibility or legitimacy to the intervention itself.  Try other ploys, please.  And there are former political prisoners of the Syrian regime who oppose NATO intervention.  

Syrian rebels shelled West Aleppo with Grad missiles killing civilians: none of the humane Western journalists tweeted their outrage

Such brutalities are always mentioned in passing in Western media; it is never in the headlines.  "The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based war monitor, said more than 15 civilians had been killed and 100 wounded by rebel shelling of government-held western Aleppo. State media reported that seven civilians were killed."

Friday, October 28, 2016

I so disagree: New York Times is far worse than CNN and Fox News combined

"New York Times Editor Slams Fox News, CNN As ‘Bad For Democracy’"

This does not move Western correspondents in the Middle East

"Millions of people in Yemen are starving, including children who will be crippled for life, the UN has warned as new photographs from areas worst hit by the war show teenagers dying of hunger. Yemen now has one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said yesterday. More than 14 million people are going hungry, half of them starving. At least ten of the country’s 21 governorates are close to a famine.  The lack of food in the gulf’s poorest state is largely the result of a bombing campaign and blockade" by US and its allies in the Gulf.

Human Rights Watch found an idea to add credibility to ICC

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
To strengthen the ICC, seek to expand its reach (e.g., by pressing Security Council to refer Syria) rather than undermine it by

Field Guides to anti-Muslim fanatics in the US

Read the report.

A former U.S. Marine explains the complexities of Iraq to his readers

"But when you're on the ground in Iraq, what's really evident is that, you know, this is a Sunni-versus-Shia fight. And the Sunnis are represented by the Islamic State." Oh, thank you, former US Marine for this enlightened and informative lecture on Middle East politics.  I won't be surprised if you are now asked to teach a course at Brandeis.   (thanks Basim) 

At least 30 Western countries had committed war crimes with impunity

"The west African nation described the ICC as a racist organisation which is “involved in the persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans”." "Its information minister, Sheriff Baba Bojang, said in the statement late on Tuesday that the court was involved in "the persecution of Africans, and especially their leaders”. He said “at least 30” Western countries had committed war crimes with impunity since the creation of the ICC in 2002, singling out the actions of UK prime minister Tony Blair in the Iraq War as an example. Withdrawal was “warranted by the fact that the ICC, despite being called International Criminal Court, is in fact an International Caucasian Court for the persecution and humiliation of people of colour, especially Africans”, he said." (thanks Amir)

Obama administration officials say that they established a drone base in Tunisia to support democracy

"Obama administration officials say they have tried to shore up Tunisia’s fledgling democracy and position the country as a key counter­terrorism partner in the region."  If this is not true, it would be funny.  

Female parliamentarians Everywhere Face Sexism and Threats

"Sexism, harassment and violence against women parliamentarians "

How the New York Times distorts what the UNESCO has said

"The timing was surely good for Israel, whether or not it was coincidental.  As Unesco, the United Nations cultural organization, approved a resolution on Wednesday that ignored a Jewish connection to an ancient, hotly contested holy site in Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority produced a rare papyrus fragment from the seventh century B.C., written in ancient Hebrew, that mentions Jerusalem by name."  What does this have to do with that? The UNESCO never questioned Jewish ties to Jerusalem, as the New York Times and its sponsors at the Israeli government have implied. UNESCO spoke only about the Holy Sanctuary in Jerusalem.

The Sudanese dictator: he suddenly is not attacked in Western media

Suddenly, after the Sudanese dictator was bought by the Saudi regime, and after he switched form the Iranian alliance to the Saudi alliance, there are no more criticisms of him in Western media or by Western governments. Here, he warns in the Saudi mouthpiece of Saudi king, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, that there is an Israeli-Iranian-Crusder alliance in the region.  Kid you not.

US has clear and specific information on the bombing of Idlib

"Russia or Syria was behind deadly Idlib school attack, says US".  

HRW director has the solution: just add the Syrian dictator to the list and all will be well

"The claim that the international criminal court unfairly targets Africans is gaining significant traction after the Gambia became the third country on the continent to announce its withdrawal from the Hague-based tribunal."

Human Rights Watch and ICC

Regarding African criticisms of ICC, Human Rights Watch director yesterday that the credibility of the court can only be salvaged if Arabs are added to the list.  

ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror

Readers have been sending me examples of factual mistakes and errors in the book, ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.  Here are two examples.  I have noticed this trend. The interest in Syria and ISIS have led many people in the West, without language training or academic specialization in the Middle East to intrude on the field and produce those quick studies of the region.  Those are some of the results.

George Soros

Goerge Soros appeals to the world so that US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Denmark, France and other allies of the US and their rebels monopolize bombing in Syria.  They alone should bomb Syria, he argues.

Obama's embrace of Israeli occupation and war crimes was not enough

"Her team describes a former diplomat eager to reassert where Israeli and American interests converge. President Clinton’s focus, they say, will be to reconstitute an environment in which Israelis are willing to follow US leadership, motivated by the belief that tactics from the last administration proved counterproductive to its well-intentioned pursuit of peace.  Their description of Clinton’s vision amounts to a notable rebuke of a sitting president of the same party, whose legacy relies on her success. “Reestablishing trust is going to be relatively straightforward for her,” Martin Indyk, director for foreign policy at the Brookings Institution and US special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations from 2013 to 2014, said in an interview. “I think President Obama got off on the wrong foot with the Israeli people, and I think that secretary Clinton is determined not to do that.”"

Speaking at CSU, San Bernardino.

I am speaking next week at California State University, San Bernardino.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Director of Al-Arabiyya TV news station was caught lifting a whole passage from Wikipedia

Social media have been exploding today: Director of Al-Arabiyya News station (the station of Prince Muhammad bin Salman) was caught lifting a whole passage in his article in Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (the mouthpiece of King Salman) from Wikipedia about Mosul. Follow this hashtag:

What about Jordanian regime shooting and killing of Syrian refugees at its border? Does that also distress fake Zionist lovers of the Syrian people?

Jordanian regime now shoots and kills any Syrian refugee at the border who tries to come to Jordan. How come there are no hue and cry over this? Where are the Western human rights organizations? Where is the Jordanian royal Commissioner of Human Rights at the UN, who was appointed in his post by the US-Israeli alliance? Where are the tears of the Western correspondents in Beirut who feign around the clock concern for the Syrian people? Why are those shootings not reported in Western media?

Hillary advisers want a war on Syria and a war on Iran--these are the two wars that we know of

"Michael Morell is a former acting director of the CIA and a national security adviser to Hillary Clinton — one who is widely expected to occupy a senior post in her administration.
He is also an opponent of the Iran nuclear agreement, a defender of waterboarding, and an advocate for making Russia “pay a price” in Syria by covertly killing Putin’s soldiers.  On Tuesday, Morell added another title to that résumé: proponent of going to war with Iran, for the sake of securing Saudi Arabia’s influence in Yemen. “Ships leave Iran on a regular basis carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen,” Morell said, in remarks to the Center for American Progress, the liberal think tank founded by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. “I would have no problem from a policy perspective of having the U.S. Navy boarding their ships, and if there are weapons on them, to turn those ships around.”"

"Media Roll Out Welcome Mat for ‘Humanitarian’ War in Syria"

"As she marches toward the US presidency, Hillary Clinton has stepped up her promotion of the idea that a no-fly zone in Syria could “save lives” and “hasten the end of the conflict” that has devastated that country since 2011."

Where is the weeping about Palestinian victims? How come no one calls for war on the Israeli state of occupation?

There is an orchestrated campaign for war in Syria, and it is in sync with the rise of Hillary Clinton

Make no mistake about it.  There is a universal campaign for war on Syria.  The rise of Hillary has emboldened the war mongers out there.  There are many elements of this campaign: it includes the leadership of Democratic and Republican parties; the Gulf regimes and their lobbyists in Washington, DC, and of course the Zionist lobby through all of its branches.  The DC think tanks are now part and parcel of the Zionist-Gulf lobbies in the capital of the US.  Gulf regimes are utilizing their media in its vicious and determined campaign, and they are resorting to the same Zionist tactics of vilification and defamation against Arab progressives and Western progressives who oppose war and destruction in Syria. When you read that Arab leftists have supported Bashshar Al-Asad and his mafia regime, you should not believe that.  It is rather hilarious for this writer to read that by people who only a few years were official apologists or diplomats of the Bashshar regime when I, for example, was banned by the Syrian regime for years from entering Lebanon (for writings against the father tyrant, Hafidh Al-Asad), and was accused by official Syrian TV in 2012 of receiving money from the West to attack the Syrian regime.  Arab leftists are not supportive of the Bashshar regime (there are some who are but they are in the minority) while the overwhelming majority of Arab liberals are supporters and apologists and stooges of Gulf regimes.  Arab leftists are on the whole opposed to the Syrian regime and its brutality while also condemning the Western-Zionist-Gulf transparent conspiracy against Syria and the Arab world. Those who advocated NATO bombing of Libya and who are responsible for the mess and destruction of Libya today are trying to replicate the Libyan scenario in Syria, under different headings and titles--or under the same headings and titles: the same propaganda techniques are being used, nakedly.  And they are resorting to a variety of tactics and tricks: they sometimes roll out a Syrian supporter of Gulf regimes and label him as a leftist when he has not been a leftist for more than 30 years and when he writes against Arab leftists in Gulf regimes newspapers; they roll out people working for Gulf regime media and present them as neutral observers and as representatives of the silent majority; they roll out former Ba`thists and operatives of the Syrian regime who now pretend they have been fighting for "peace and democracy" all their lives; they roll out people who have never studied the Middle East and present them as the foremost experts on the region because they want to push for war and destruction in Syria; they roll out Western journalists who never in their lives expressed emotions or sentiments toward Arab victims but allow them to pose for the moment in the media as arbiter of sentimentality and humanitarianism and as new lovers of the Syrian people.  They roll out Zionist haters of Arabs and Muslims and tell us that they are the real champions of the interests of the Syrian people.  They use people like Obama administration officials--people who have been in the administration of war and destruction throughout  the world--and ask them to counsel for war and destruction in Syria. They are willing to revive the rhetoric of the Cold War to present the war on Syria as the only safe and rational option for the US and "national interests".  They even rely on the authority and opinions of a Jordanian regime royal who was put in the UN to handle human rights from the standpoint of the US-Israeli alliance--which put him in his post.  It is time to raise our voice and to warn of the deadly and devastating consequences of war--or more war--on Syria.  Those who are still laughably claiming that there are some secret secular and feminist and democratic Syrian rebels (whose names and identities are never revealed and identified) are engaged in the same propaganda which preceded the US war on Iraq and on Libya.  The scenario is all too obvious for all to see.  Too many leftists and progressives have been intimidated from speaking out against Western conspiracies in Syria for fear of being labeled as Asad regime supporters, just as Zionists have intimidated people from speaking out against Israel for fear of being labeled anti-Semites.  Don't let it happen, not this time, not any time.  Western governments and media don't want an end to the war in Syria; they want what has been the most favored Western policies for decades: the continuation of bloodshed by Arabs against Arabs, or by Muslims against Muslims.  They want what they worked for in the Iran-Iraq war and the Lebanese civil war: they want a continuation of the war in order to keep Israeli aggression and occupation safe and protected.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

You know what is the second toughest test for progressive Western media these days?

The first test is always the question of Palestine, but now we can add this: it is ultimately a difficult test for progressive Western media to be able to resistant the dominant hegemonic narrative about the Syrian "revolution".

Zionists and their love for the Syrian people

This overwhelming love demonstrated (fairly) by American Zionists has led me to believe that they love the Syrian people as much as they love Israelis.  

The land of the French revolution

"“We don’t want them!” shouted the demonstrators in this village of 1,900 people, 80 miles from Calais, where the migrants were bused from a camp known as the Jungle on Monday."

This is what US media want you to believe about Syria

Where US bombs fall there are only terrorists.  But where Russian bombs fall there are only civilians.  Understand? 

Why aren't US journalists weeping for the Syrian civilians killed by US bombs in Syria?

"U.S. AUTHORITIES OVERSEEING the war against the Islamic State in Syria have failed to respond to evidence of hundreds of civilian casualties resulting from coalition airstrikes and potential violations of the laws of war, according to a startling new account from Amnesty International.  In a press release issued Tuesday night, Amnesty said it has presented the Pentagon with evidence that 11 coalition airstrikes in Syria over the past two years appear to have led to the deaths of as many as 300 civilians — and that so far that evidence has been met with silence. “U.S. authorities have provided no response to a memorandum Amnesty International sent to the Department of Defense on September 28 to raise questions about the conduct of coalition forces in Syria,” the group claimed."

Zionist threats to free speech

"Targeting students from a position of cowardly anonymity is only the latest — and ugliest — stage in the well-funded project to shield Israel from criticism on campus, and it fits into a larger pattern. Last spring and this month, lurid posters appeared on the UCLA campus naming specific students and accusing them of supporting “terrorism” because they are members of student groups that dare to criticize Israeli policy. David Horowitz’ ironically named Freedom Center claimed responsibility for the posters."

David Ignatius tells you what people in the Middle East want

According to him, the biggest beef people in the region have with the US is that it bombs them but it does not bomb them long enough and it does not occupy them long enough.  He cites this person as a conclusion: "“You’ll walk away,” said the priest. “That’s what you do.”"  Why can't the US bomb and occupy the region forever, so Arabs argue to David Ignatious.

John Allen and Charles Lister: their advice about Al-Qai`dah

This is actually their recommendation: that the US should help Al-Qa`idah in East Aleppo in order to avoid the spread of Al-Qa`idah later: "The city’s symbolism and strategic value are unmatched, and allowing it to fall would dramatically empower extremist narratives. Groups linked to al-Qaeda would reap the rewards of our shortcomings."

Oligarchs in the Putin regime

The Economist special section on Russia is rather hilarious in its crude propaganda content. They basically make it clear: they don't object to the rule of Oligarchs in the Putin regime but they argue that the Yeltsin's oligarchs were better and that Western-favored Oligarchs were: "But they also cultivated personal connections with the liberals in the government to gain privileged access to the most valuable assets.". That makes them better.

These war criminals, like Abdul-Rashid Dustum of Afghanistan, are the types of "liberals" the US supports and funds and arms

Really. This is the classic example of US clients and allies in the developing world.  I wonder how he is on the gender question. I bet he is very good given decades-long US support for him.

Shaykh Khalifh bin Hamad of Qatar: how he was eulogized in Western media

Read this obituary in the Times. They even talk to people who work in Qatar who can only offer praise.  You would not know that the man ran a tyranny.

Hillary Clinton's foreign policy vision

So Libya was the embodiment of Hillary's foreign policy vision. How did that go, by the way? Still going democracy strong? 

U.S. dropped depleted uranium bombs on Syria

"An Air Force congressional liaison officer replied in an email that American forces had in fact shot 6,479 rounds of “Combat Mix” in Syria over two days – “the 18th and 23rd of Nov 2015”. The officer explained the mix "has a 5 to 1 ratio of API (DU) to HEI". "So with that said, we have expended ~5,100 rounds of API," he wrote, referring to DU rounds. Update: On 20 October, CENTCOM officially confirmed to IRIN that the US-led coalition had fired rounds of depleted uranium (DU) munitions at targets in Syria on the 18 and 23 November 2015."

US-backed war in Yemen could leave an entire generation crippled by hunger

"More than 14 million people — about half the population — are going hungry, and as many as 370,000 children are at risk of starvation, the United Nations said this summer. Now, a new report from the UN's World Food Program says the problem is getting worse and is affecting women and children the most." "US President Barack Obama backed Saudi Arabia in its campaign in Yemen, and America's involvement recently deepened."

The liberal Center for American Progress (CAP)

"CAP, according to a report in The Nation, has received funding from war contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing, who make the bombers that CAP wants to rain hellfire on Syria. The Brookings Institute has taken tens of millions from foreign governments, notably Qatar, a key player in the military campaign to oust Assad. Retired four-star Marine general John Allen is now a Brookings senior fellow. Charles Lister is a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute, which has received funding from Saudi Arabia, the major financial force providing billions in arms to upend Assad and install a Sunni caliphate stretching across Iraq and Syria."

Saudi funding: no strings attached

This week, I have basically heard from pundits and writes in DC think tanks that--all worries to the contrary notwithstanding--Saudi funding in the US comes with no strings attached.  Interestingly, before the Saudi regime aligned itself with Israel and its lobbies in the US, Zionists used to raise alarm about Saudi funding in the US.  In fact, the functionary of the Zionist lobby scene and the early advocate against Muslims, wrote a whole book in the 1980s titled "American House of Saudi" about Saudi buying of influence in the US.  Suddenly, Zionists are no more worried about Saudi buying of influence in the US. 

I won't see tweets on this by Western correspondents in Beirut, despite their deep humanitarianism regarding East Aleppo

"The young Palestinian, later identified as Khalid Bahr Ahmad Bahr, 15, was reportedly shot by Israeli forces in the back, with the bullet exiting through his chest." "Bahr became the 235th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since a wave of violence spread across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October 2015."

Racist group launches national offensive on U.S. campuses

"A notorious anti-Black and Islamophobic group has launched a national offensive against students and professors associated with the movement for Palestinian rights." "The David Horowitz Freedom Center has claimed credit for the campaign. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups and extremism, says that since the 1980s the group’s founder, David Horowitz, has “become a driving force of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-Black movements.” " (thanks Amir)

A trial in Saudi Arabia: this will not outrage Western journalists and human rights functionaries

A Saudi court convicts three Huthis of various crimes including "spreading rumors and harming" the Yemeni war coalition. Kid you not.

The mafia which rules the Syrian regime

The class mafia which rules the lousy Syrian regime has been ever since Bashshar came to power launching a war on the poor.  This war on the poor has not stopped.  I posted yesterday about there decision to lift subsidies on food necessities, like sugar, rice, and bread.  I noticed that the lousy Syrian regime is using the same language of the lousy Hariri family in Lebanon: they talk about "liberating the bread".  

Are there limits to the crudeness of the propaganda?

Syrian rebels are notorious for exploiting children in their propaganda campaigns.  But to come opening twitter accounts--in English mind you--on behalf of little girls in Syria? Is that not too much? Is there no decency left at long last?  

The alleged crook who posed as the toy smuggler of Aleppo and who was celebrated by all Western media

"but "may have exaggerated" the injury.".  "Just a little bit", as Robert De Niro says in one of his movies.  Can't you find decent heroes for your propaganda campaigns alas?

Do you even know what the views of Tawakkul Karman are?

Just see her twitter account. She is an unabashed advocate of Saudi and Qatari regime and a fierce advocate of the Muslim Brotherhood and a fan of sectarian agitation. Yet, in the West, she is honored as if she is some secular democrat.

This is hilarious: Saudi regime wants to appease the West but winds up causing more embarrassment to itself

So some US/EU PR firms (they basically run the dynasties in the Gulf nowadays) suggested to the Saudi regime to issue a statement about Muslims in non-Muslim countries.  So it was supposed to be a moderate Islam schtick. Yet, in this statement (available in English and Arabic) it says that "Muslims must obey the provisions of Shari`a even in non-Muslim countries". That should go well with US Islamophobes.  

US bombing: The Empire of Chutzpah

As US bombs in Syria and Iraq and Pakistan and Somalia and Libya, it offers condemnation for Russia for bombing in Syria.  US is the Empire of Chutpzah. 

Putin and Obama

Putin is a terrible person who has caused death and destruction in Syria and elsewhere.  But there is not contest: Obama is a far worse person who has caused far more death and destruction around the world.

Wikileaks and this election

Wikileaks has allowed itself to get involved in this US elections.  That was a mistake.  It could have waited before dumping the email batches and it could have done a better job in the selection.

US and elections around the world

I will maintain this: there has not been ONE election in the world since WWII in which the US did not interfere with money or with weapons or with other covert operations either to support one side or to undermine a side.  Not one.

What is the story about dropping leaflets over Aleppo? How Western media invent propaganda talking points

Every day, you see the same journalists and Western human rights types sticking to the same propaganda talking points on Syria, circulating the same propaganda youtube and items.  In the last few days, they have been feigning outrage that the Syrian regime has been dropping leaflets on Aleppo, and they consider that to be a human rights outrage.  They all commented on that.  But excuse me: in this article in this US military website, the US government BRAGS that it drops leaflets on cities that it bombs, and in fact it condemns the Russian government for not dropping leaflets.  And this one chronicles the dropping of leaflets by US bombers over the years.   But I get it: it is humanitarian when the US does it but savage when US foes do it.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Reporters without Borders

This week it will award its Freedom of Speech award to the Saudi king. Congratulations.  

According to the Podesta emails, there is only ONE QUALIFIED MUSLIM IN THE ENTIRE USA

"2) There is only one candidate I thought was a viable one for a Secretary-level job among the Muslim Americans."

Secular and feminist leaders of the Syrian opposition

In this picture, you see leaders of the Syrian opposition: Voltaire to the right, and then Rousseau and Mills, meeting with their secular and feminist sponsor, the King of Saudi Arabia.

Where is the outrage about East Aleppo?

Why are there no Western media sharing footage of Syrian rebels shooting at civilians trying to flee East Aleppo?

Let me explain the crucial differences between the political recipes of a liberal think tank and a conservative tank in Washington, DC

The liberal think tank: US needs to bomb more in Syria.
The conservative think tank: US needs to bomb more in Syria.
The liberal think tank: US needs to do more to reassure Gulf tyrannies.
The conservative think tank: US needs to do more to reassure Gulf tyrannies.
The liberal think tank: US needs to provide more support for Israel.
The conservative think tank: US needs to provide more support for Israel.
The liberal think tank: US needs to do more to confront Iran.
The conservative think tank:  US needs to do more to confront Iran.
Welcome to the world of bipartisanship in US foreign policy.  

The grotesque sexism and misogyny of Huffington Post US (not to mention the grotesque sexism of Huffington Post of Arabic Qatari regime)

This is a disgusting misogynist and vulgar piece about Melania Trump.  In the US, liberal feminists don't get outraged over sexism against Republican women.  

Notice how difficult it is the for the UN to admit that Syrian rebels are not letting civilians leave East Aleppo

"It is deeply regrettable that no patients or accompanying family members could be moved. The evacuations were obstructed by various factors, including delays in receiving the necessary approvals from local authorities in eastern Aleppo, conditions placed by non-State armed groups and the Government of Syria’s objection to allowing medical and other relief supplies into the eastern part of the city."  This passage must have been edited by a US official to dilute the blame of Syrian rebels.  They just forgot to add to the factors the phenomenon of global warming.

Syrian rebel infighting

Syrian rebel infighting in East Ghutah

Those Syrian protest don't receive coverage in Western media: they just don't fit the dominant lazy narrative

Syrians have been protesting against the rule of the various Syrian rebel militias and there has never been a coverage of those protests in the last few years. The rebel militias in Ghutah have been engaged in bloody feuds and clashes and not a word about that in the Western media.  Western media are busy singing the praises of the non-existent Voltaire Battalion of Syrian rebels.

Reported STDs at unprecedented high in the U.S.

"Total combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis reported in 2015 reached the highest number ever, according to the annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."

The other side of cute Trudeau

"These days, Canada is the second-largest arms exporter to the Middle East."

Overwhelming majority of Palestinian minors in Israeli custody are tortured

"The “overwhelming majority” of Palestinian minors held in Israel’s Megiddo and Ofer prisons have been tortured during their detention and interrogation, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said Tuesday, amid a marked increase in the incarceration and mistreatment of Palestinian children by Israel."

Compare the coverage of Mosul & East Aleppo

"The extreme bias shown in foreign media coverage of similar events in Iraq and Syria will be a rewarding subject for PhDs students looking at the uses and abuses of propaganda down the ages." (thanks Amir)

Western coverage of Mosul and East Aleppo: Is Patrick Cockburn the only Western correspondent who is free of propaganda burdens?

"But look at how differently the international media is treating a similar situation in Mosul, 300 miles east of Aleppo, where one million people and an estimated 5,000 Isis fighters are being encircled by the Iraqi army fighting alongside Kurdish Peshmerga and Shia and Sunni paramilitaries and with massive support from a US-led air campaign. In the case of Mosul, unlike Aleppo, the defenders are to blame for endangering civilians by using them as human shields and preventing them leaving. In East Aleppo, fortunately, there are no human shields – though the UN says that half the civilian population wants to depart – but simply innocent victims of Russian savagery. Destruction in Aleppo by Russian air strikes is compared to the destruction of Grozny in Chechnya sixteen years ago, but, curiously, no analogy is made with Ramadi, a city of 350,000 on the Euphrates in Iraq, that was 80 per cent destroyed by US-led air strikes in 2015. Parallels go further: civilians trapped in East Aleppo are understandably terrified of what the Syrian Mukhabara secret police would do to them if they leave and try to pass through Syrian government checkpoints."