Sunday, September 24, 2017

Look how Western liberal media celebrate Saudi regime schticks, no matter how small and shallow

"Saudi Arabia allows women into stadium as it steps up reforms". What is next: the Guardian will honor the Saudi royal family for allowing women to drive bicycles? 

This is how Saudi regime stances evolved over the decades

King Faisal: Calls for Jihad and anti-Semitic discourse against Jews and vocal condemnation of Jewish people for their contribution to communism.
King Fahd: while Jihad calls continued, he proposed a solution named after him, which proposed the right of Israel to exist in return for a transitional period in the West Bank and Gaza, followed by a mini-state.
King Abdullah: the Beirut summit proposal, according to which Israel would get full peace AND normalization (as if Saudi regime speaks for all Arabs) in return for a mini-state in West Bank and Gaza.  And he also used "religious dialogue" as a cover for Israeli-Saudi meetings.
King Salman: a declaration of the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The irony, is that Israel throughout this period and evolution of the Saudi stance, did not cede one inch of Palestine, and didnt desist in its aggression and war.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Zafir Al-Khatib

My weekly article n Al-Akhbar: "Zafir Al-Khatib: The Lebanese Hero who should be (widely) known".

Look at the colonial mentality of Human Rights Watch

He gave the Pakistan Prime Minister "a chance". Who does he think he is?  Some colonial viceroy? The arrogance of a white man burdened with a sense of privilege and superiority.

I gave Pakistan's new prime minister a chance to show moral leadership against death sentences for "blasphemy." He utterly failed.

Friday, September 22, 2017

capitalism and war

"To be successful, Mattis and Tillerson decided they should use talking points and commentary with which they believed Trump would be most familiar: the role that the military, intelligence officers and diplomats play in making the world safe for American businesses, like The Trump Organization, to operate and expand abroad."

Al-Khalifah and Israel

"In recent years, Bahrain has begun to slowly externalize its relations with Israel." "Nonetheless, diplomatic sources claim that Bahrain’s changed attitude reflects Saudi Arabia’s stance. Statements such as the one by Bahrain’s king are not made without receiving the go-ahead from Riyadh. It is likely, they argue, that Saudi Arabia was the one encouraging Bahrain to step forward in regard to Israel."

Israel and Al-Qa`idah: if only Americans knew

"Israel has even provided air cover to Syrian al-Qaeda. In June, journalist Nour Samaha published a lengthy article interviewing Syrian rebels in the illegally occupied Golan Heights who openly spoke of how Israel has supported them." (thanks Amir)

How Western media celebrate Jamal Khashoggi

Khashoggi, who worked for various Saudi princes (Prince Khalid bin Faisal, and then Turki bin Faisal, and then Walid bin Talal, among others) never ever protested Saudi regime repression. He only spoke out when he was muzzled repeatedly and when some of his friends (pro-regime people) also spoke out.  Mr. Khashoggi is clear at what he wants: he wants repression in the country to go back to what it was a month ago.  Then, it was a democratic paradise for him.  He was very clear when he was asked about twitter: he wanted revolutions in Arab countries but not in Saudi Arabia because he thinks it constitutes an exemplary democracy.  A sample of the accolades he has been getting. Also, if a supporter of the Asad regime or the Iranian regime spoke out and said: I want things to go back to the repression of a month ago, would he/she be lionized in Western media?
Ben Hubbard (@NYTBen)
Quite a cri de coeur from Saudi journalist @JKhashoggi: Saudi wasn’t always this repressive. Now it’s unbearable.

Another Hizbullah commander confess to an anti-hizbollah site

"a commander told Middle East Eye."  Does this commander drink thick black coffee like the commander who spoke to NBC news?

Ben Hubbard does what he does best: produces propaganda for the Saudi royal family

Look he summed up the life of King Faisal: "One ruled Saudi Arabia for 11 years, outlawed slavery, spread public education and introduced television to his country."  This is the man who was first to declare Jihad (in the religious fanatical meaning of the word), the man who fought progressive, secular movements thoruhogut the world, the man who was a benefactor of every reactionary anti-communist movement in the region and beyond, the man who inspired the alliance of Islamist political forces in the Cold War, the man who sponsored the fanaticism of Ibn Baz, who would inspire Bin Laden and his ilk, the man who used the oil wealth to fight the war in Yemen, the man who solidified the alliance between the house of Saudi and the religious Wahhabi establishment.  King Faisal was one of the most notorious anti-Semites in the entire contemporary history of the region, and he funded anti-Semites in the world.  But for Ben Hubbard, he "ended slavery and brought television".  In fact, he did not want to end slavery but the regime of King Saud in its last year, championed progressive issues especially in the economic and oil sphere, and Faisal did not want to appear less progressive and Western powers supported his coup in return for the ostensible reforms which he announced.  Slavery in the kingdom did NOT end in 1964. 

Thursday, September 21, 2017

You know what the funniest joke on the planet? Freedom House and its ranking of freedom worldwide

In their latest report, Jordan is placed in the same category of Lebanon.  But for Freedom House, having good relations with the Israeli state, earn you freedom points in its kooky scale.

Terrorist clown

And this is supposed to be the sane and rational alternative to Trump?

"Clinton says U.S. could "totally obliterate" Iran"

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

About the humiliation of the Israeli occupation army in South Lebanon in 2006

From the deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration: "especially since the 34-day war in the summer of 2006 in which it defeated Israel". (thanks Basim)

In Lebanon, you can get a menicure while a foreign domestic worker holds you hookah pipe

A protest at AUB this morning against Samir Khalaf who insulted a student for wearing the Hijab

ADC Convention

How much the ADC has changed since I came to US in 1983.  It was an expression of the progressive and fiercely pro-Palestinian sentiments of Arab-Americans.  I read that ADC will be given the Hala Salam Maksoud award to Phalange-sympathizer, May Rihani.  Why not give an award to Bashir Gemayyel while you are at it?  Hala Salam was a progressive fiercely pro-Palestinian leader.  Her name should not be associated with Lebanese nationalist Phalange-sympathizers.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Another version of the picture

Outcry at the American University of Beirut: a professor insults a student for wearing a hijab

The story is here as recounted by the student.

A Sisi meeting

Human Rights all around

No, opposition to Jihadism or Ikhwan or Wahhabiyyah is NOT Islamophobia

While it is true that many progressive and mostly liberals support dictatorial rules in Syria or Egypt or Tunisia or Jordan or Gulf regime out of a desire to crush Islamists and Ikhwan, but opposition to Jihadism or Ikhwan or Wahhabiyyah is NOT in itself Islamophobia, just as opposition to Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitism.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Jamal Khashoggi speaks out in the washington Post

1) He never ever said a word about arrests and repression in Saudi Arabia.
2) He only spoke out now because repression is affecting him and his friends.
3) He basically is only speaking out because those who were banned or arrested are people who support the regime.  In other words, Mr. Khashoggi does not mind repression, arrests, and beheading of opponents of the regime. He only gets upset when people like him--long standing supporters and propagandists of the regime--are banned.
4) When was Saudi Arabia ever not repressive and cruel?
5) He says tat the Crown Prince is popular: how do you measure that when criticisms of the man is illegal and can get you long prison sentences? And who does he talk to? Does he talk to anyone who is not like him a supporter of the regime?

Look how many US lawmakers visited Israel sponsored by AIPAC

A week after Liz Sly posted a false report that Israel only once violated Lebanese airspace since 2006

Liz Sly was promoted a week after posting a false report that Israel violated Lebanese airspace only once since 2006 (when the real number is over 7000 by 2012).  Real journalism warrants real rewards in the US, especially when Zionism is concerned.

NYTimes opened up its pages for the Saudi regime to justify its repression

Can you imagine the New York Times providing free space for the Iranian or Syrian regime to justify their repression, the way the Times provided free space for Saudi regime to justify its repression?  

Why the US allowed ISIS convoy to proceed

So when Hizbullah expelled ISIS terrorists from the Lebanese borders, Western correspondents in Beirut were up in arms (taking their cues from propagandists of the Saudi regime camp in the Middle East--as they always do).  Yet, when the US allowed the ISIS convoy to proceed, they simply provided justifications.

Guess who is back? And guess who Hizbullah commanders and fighters chose to confide their secrets to?

This is what a seasoned Western correspondents in the Middle East told me about his/her theory regarding all those Western correspondents in Beirut who claim that Hizbullah fighters and commanders confide in them although they all have a record of hostility to Hizbullah and sympathy for Israel.  He/she believes that those correspondents rely on fixers--as we all know and on local translators and drivers and bodyguards and cooks and groomers and butlers--and those fixers for a fee would produce "Hizbullah commanders" who in reality are local thugs and who are willing to play the role for a fee.  I remembers when I worked with NBC News back in the 1980s how local "fixers" in Beirut would also claim that they have tapes with American hostages in Lebanon and would sell them before screening to NBC office in Beirut only to find out that the tapes were blank.  The same here.  Also, why do Hizbullah commanders and fighters sound so markedly different in tone and bravado than real Hizbullah commanders and fighters in the rare occasions when they talk to reporters in Lebanon IN ARABIC?    Notice this claim by Israeli terrorist commanders how it went unchecked and refuted in the same article: "Israel adopted a policy of specifically targeting Hezbollah and trying to avoid the Lebanese army as well as the country’s infrastructure and citizens."  Of course, Israeli terrorist state did target Lebanese Army even at their headquarters in Yarze.  And notice how the Israeli occupation state casually threatens to destroy Lebanon: "Lebanon will be destroyed in a few days.”"

Sunday, September 17, 2017

AUB President agrees with Kim Ghattas: colonial times were the best times in the Middle East

Dr. Fadlo Khuri (@DrFadloKhuri)
Reflective, poignant article by @BBCKimGhattas on Lebanon and Beirut, enduring, but endangered communal…

The lies and fabrications of the Israeli lobby

AIPAC says: "In addition to extortive taxes and fees levied against the hundreds of thousands of Lebanese Shia under its jurisdiction".  A blatant lie. As if Hizbullah is not the people of South Lebanon--or some of them anyway.  The extended members of the AbuKhalil family in Tyre and Qulaylah village live in areas where Hizbullah is dominant and they don't pay a penny to Hizbullah.

Is Huffington Post renting out space on its website? I am serious.

I know that the Arabic version of Huffington Post was sold to the Qatari regime which made it into the sleaziest most misogynistic Arabic site there is.  But now the US Huffington Post is putting out stupid propaganda in praise of wealthy Arab.  It is hilarious that they called Lebanese billionaire, Fouad Makhzoumi "a beloved public figure".  That would crack up most Lebanese if they hear it.

When the US almost invaded Lebanon in 1969

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "When the US almost invaded Lebanon in 1969: a new document".

PS I am grateful to James Stoker for alerting me to this document that he found in the archives.

Friday, September 15, 2017

King Salman mingles freely around his people in Mecca--but surrounded by a whole army

Homophobia in Israel

"But after the lawmaker, Yigal Guetta, revealed in the radio interview that he had attended the wedding of a gay nephew, his chatty appeal to a broader audience of potential Shas voters appeared to backfire. Rabbis and party activists revolted and demanded that he resign. Under pressure from the critics, Mr. Guetta, 51, told Aryeh Deri, the party leader, this week that he was resigning, and Mr. Deri agreed."

The Saudi "reformer": Jamal Khashoggi argues that protests are legitimate in Syria and Libya but not in Saudi Arabia

He agrees with the Saudi regime senior clerics that protests should be banned in Saudi Arabia and says that: "The Kingdom is a successful model among failed republics.  Revolutions there could not be stopped.  The Kingdom needs reforms and not revolutions".

Replying to 
سأعتبر انك جاد وأجيبك، لأن المملكة نموذج ناجح بين جمهوريات فاشلة ، الثورات هناك ما كان لأحد ان يوقفها ، المملكة تحتاج إصلاحات لا ثورات

Ben Hubbard does what he does best: promote the propaganda interests of the Saudi regime

"While many of the proposed changes are popular with Saudis and hailed as necessary for the kingdom’s future".  How did he know that they are popular when expression of disagreement with those "changes" would land you in jail? Did he conduct a survey?

Israel has the worst child poverty rate: a disgrace unto the nations

Child poverty rate.

Israel: 28.5%
Mexico: 26%
Spain: 21.7%
US: 20.5%
Italy: 17.3%
Japan: 15.7%
France: 10.8%
UK: 9.5%
Germany: 8.1%


Senior Clerics in Saudi Arabia rules against protests in Saudi Arabia (but they support it in Syria, Libya, and Iran)

This has been mocked: how Saudi clerics rule against protests in Saudi Arabia but rules in its favor in countries not aligned with Saudi regime.

Criticisms of Hizbullah's political role in Al-Akhbar

Al-Akhbar's publisher, Ibrahim Al-Amin, published a scathing critique of Hizbullah and its corrupt role in Lebanese domestic politics.  He takes on the party for its reluctance to engage in social justice struggle. But the party is not a progressive party so it is not surprising--to me.

How the US wants to win Arab "hearts and minds": by a salutation to Zionism

This has been mocked by Arabs.  The new (even more Zionist) management of the failed project of Al-Hurra TV (the Arabic US propaganda TV) wants to win Arab hearts and minds, so it commissioned an Arabic article to salute Zionism.  Kid you not.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kim Ghattas: her ignorance of Middle East history and her utter racism and sectarianism

"But after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, World War II, and decolonization, cosmopolitanism clashed with nationalism across the Arab world. The expulsions of minorities, who were often associated with the colonizing powers, led to increasing cultural and social homogenization."  Who expelled minorities? Which minorities? You certainly are not talking about the explosion of Palestinians from their homeland.  Zionists claimed for decades that Egyptian Jews were expelled from Egypt while recently they are now condeding that such explosion never actually took place.  And what is Ghattas claiming? That the Middle East was a great tolerant place until the Arab Jews and foreigners left the region and then it became backward?  But look at her internalized racism: she basically says that when the European and Jews left everything went down hill.  If only colonialism can come back, o Ms. Ghattas.  You would be most happy.  She says: "Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser kicking out thousands of French, Greeks, Italians, and Jews, putting an end to the golden age of Alexandria."  And look at her racism against Syrian refugees: "many worry about the long-term impact of the influx in recent years of around a million mostly Sunni, mostly conservative Syrian refugees on the fabric of society."  So she is saying that if only those refugees are Christians then they would have been civilized.  And she claims that Iran is settling Shi`ites in Syria.  This fabrication is just that: a fabrication and has never been proven.  I thought I could never find anything more distasteful than her hagiography of Hillary Clinton. This is even worse.

Qatari regime: how to please Trump

"The Qatar Investment Authority has deployed more than half of the $45 billion earmarked for the United States since 2015 and most of its future investments will go to the infrastructure sector, its chief executive said on Wednesday."

U.S. sent weapons to Syria through Ramstein military base

"The US military has been using its massive air base in western Germany to arm rebel groups in Syria without Berlin's permission, according to a report from German newspaperSüddeutsche Zeitung published on Wednesday."

Arrests in Saudi Arabia

The lies by the government of Saudi Arabia regarding the arrests are staggering.  The detainees are sometimes accused of terrorism and sometimes of "extremism", making it clear that none are really accused of terrorism as they range in ideological orientations.  And the regime claimed in their media that they were arrested for "intelligence links" but claims in the same charge that they were interrogated before and released after a warning.  So you are telling me that the Saudi regime knew of their outside links to intelligence services (either Qatar or Iran, is being implied) and the government did not punish them? they need to work on their lies.

Israel sponsors Evangelical media summit

"According to Maltz, the Israeli government -- which is sponsoring the gathering of broadcasters and journalists, and paying for the participant's accommodations – is "hoping to explain the country and its often controversial policies to this new target audience." While many issues will be discussed at the first-of-its-kind Summit, it is possible that high up on the list is solidifying opposition to those promoting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel." (thanks Amir)