Sunday, August 31, 2014


From Angry Arab's chief Turkey correspondent, Ali: "‘ISIS created by regime’ said FSA cleric join the ranks of ISIS

Ex-FSA commander Omar Gharba, who claimed “ISIS was created by regime” now joins the ranks of ISIS.
A youtube video (Link: )  shows him with a few ISIS commanders including Shakir Wahiyib.
Previously, he leaded the attacks against ISIS in Idlib province during last summer and told BBC Arabic that, “ISIS created by regime”…
Gharba was bearing FSA logos and was previously shown in a video while smashing a Virgin Mary Statue in Yakubiyah town and saying “We won’t accept anything but the tradition of the Prophet” but laterly described as “moderate” because of fighting against ISIS. "

A Zionist hoodlum apologizes

"To Middle East Forum subscribers:
I apologize for just sending out an article titled "Give Palestine—Not the U.N.—the Money, Responsibility, and Glory" by Alexander H. Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky. This is the title The New Republic gave this article. MEF policy requires alteration of such a title (to "the Palestinian Authority"), but I inadvertently overlooked this step.
This article does not signal a shift on the Forum's part. As far as we are concerned, "Palestine" ceased to exist on May 15, 1948.

Yours sincerely,

Gary Gambill
web editor" (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

Israel's ticking bombs in South Lebanon

"Megan Burke, another editor of the “Cluster Munition Monitor” report, said the widely accepted data for the Israel-Lebanon conflict showed 249 cluster munition casualties between July 12, 2006, and April 12, 2007. The time period goes beyond the conflict’s end to reflect the effects of the unexploded Israeli bomblets. The United Nations has said that many of the Israeli cluster bomblets in Lebanon did not explode, essentially turning them into booby traps that required an extensive cleanup operation."

How does Israel undercount its cluster bombs? It does not count them as bomblets although each are separate bombs after they are released

"The New York Times Correction: August 30, 2014 

An article on Thursday about a report on the deaths and injuries caused by cluster bombs in the Syrian civil war overstated the number of cluster bombs Israel dropped on Lebanon during the conflict with Hezbollah in 2006. It was about 1,800 bombs, containing more than 1.2 million bomblets; it was not “hundreds of thousands” of cluster bombs."

This liberal admits that he is racist against black, and proud of it

"I’m typical. The first time I took the test, years ago, I shot armed blacks in an average of 0.679 seconds while waiting slightly longer — 0.694 seconds — to shoot armed whites. I also holstered more quickly when confronted with unarmed whites than with unarmed blacks." Yes, Kristof.  You are typical of racists.

The golden age of Arab atheism: Syria

This article deals with the rise of atheism in Syria, in areas under the control of government and the rebels alike.

FBI-approved Islam

""ISNA rejects all acts of terrorism, including those perpetrated by Hamas, Hizbullah and any other group that claims Islam as their inspiration."" (thanks Basim)

I looked at this picture of Thomas Friedman and Barham Salih and thought: who do I detest more? I could not settle

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Explosive: minutes of a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Prince of Qatar (and later Khalid Mish`al)

Reading these minutes leave me with this impression: neither Fath nor Hamas comes off well.  The Emir of Qatar barely spoke.

Translations of Arabic articles

This blog features translations from Arabic, including articles by the incomparable, comrade Amer Mohsen.   

Western men and war

"We could laugh, but advocating war as liberation has real, negative consequences for women—not to mention other living and non-living things. After all, what is imperial war if not the mass rape of nations and cultures? Within the general context of indiscriminate violation, individual rape cases also abound; in fact, war and rape pretty much go together like bees and honey." (thanks Amir)

Human Rights Watch would never dare to insult the King of Saudi Arabia in personal terms

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
French Pres Hollande has it right: #Syria Pres Assad isn't an anti-terrorist partner but effectively an #ISIS ally.

The US assures the Arabs that Israel is a "responsible" possessor of nuclear weapons

"The Johnson and Nixon administrations concluded that, in talks with Rabin, it had been stated in a manner both “explicit and implicit” that “Israel wants nuclear weapons, for two reasons: First, to deter the Arabs from striking Israel; and second, if deterrence fails and Israel were about to be overrun, to destroy the Arabs in a nuclear Armageddon.”"

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Zionist hoodlums at Campus Watch

This passage by me is presented as an apology for Hamas: "Meanwhile, As’ad AbuKhalil, a political scientist at California State University, Stanislaus, argued that, “With every war, with every massacre, and with every ‘assault,’ Israel (the government and its people) genuinely thinks that this war crime would do the job and finish off the flame of Palestinian nationalism once and for all.” “The US media and government are willing to justify any Israeli war crime no matter the scale,” he added."

Origins of ISIS

Another US responsibility for the creation of ISIS and its rise is that it, along with Saudi Arabia, adopted the official policy of Sunni-Shi`ite war to isolate Iran and Hizbullah.  The resort to Sunni sectarianism was destined to empower those are are most capable at it.

Saudi threats to the West?

In summoning all those diplomats, was the Saudi King making predictions or threats to the West?

The peace process

“I’ll back you and protect you, I’m your guy … it’s very upsetting … all the Arabs are the same,” US President Bill Clinton told Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a 19 July 2000 meeting during the failed Camp David summit with Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat.....
Israel also secretly recorded conversations between Clinton and Assad back in 2000. The only question unanswered is why, given the extent of the collusion, the Israeli government believed it was necessary to eavesdrop on its counterpart.....
In a secret 1998 letter to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Albright promised: “Recognizing the desirability of avoiding putting forward proposals that Israel would consider unsatisfactory, the US will conduct a thorough consultation process with Israel in advance with respect to any ideas the US may wish to offer the parties for their consideration.” As Bregman notes, this effectively gave “Israel carte blanche to veto any American peace proposals” it didn’t like....
After noting that in 2004, US President George W. Bush appeared to release Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon from an earlier commitment not to harm Arafat, Bregman states that the US government had given Sharon “if not a green light to proceed with the killing, then at least an amber” light." (thanks Nikolai)

Palestinians continue to die

"The Ministry stated that Mohammad al-Ma’sawani, 22, suffered a very serious injury in an Israeli bombardment near al-Fairouz towers, northwest of Gaza City. He succumbed to his serious injuries despite all efforts to save his life. Also, an elderly woman, identified as Widad Abu Zeid died at an Egyptian hospital of wounds suffered after the army bombarded her family home in Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Several family members, including children were killed in the Israeli attack."

Who did this? The Western governments did when they adopted the "Syrian revolution"

"The Soufan Group, a New York-based intelligence firm, estimated in June that there were at least 12,000 foreign fighters from 81 countries in the Syrian conflict, including some 3,000 European nationals." (thanks Amir)

I told you so

Maybe I should do that once a week: do you remember how I (among others) warned during the days of the romanticization and glamoration of the "Syrian revolution" that the US policies and the permission to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey to shower the rebels with weapons and money that a monster would be produced? The US can't in any way, along with Western governments, wash their hands of the responsibility for the unleashing of ISIS, just as they could not wash their hands of responsibility for the creation of Al-Qa`idah from the womb of their highly touted Mujahidin of Afghanistan.  

Saudi kingdom

Are you aware that the Saudi regime insists in all its "humanitarian assistance" to international organizagtions that all shipments be labeled "from the Kingdom of Humanity"?  And are you aware that recently refugees in northern Iraq refused to accept humantarian shipment of food because they were from Saudi Arabia? And are you aware that all Saudi assistance to international organizations is conditional on the requirement that those international organizations embark on PR work on behalf of Saudi Araba to improve its image in the West?  All this is not analysis but information form a UN source in NYC.

PS My source added later: the refugees were upset because they blamed Saudi regime for the creation of ISIS.

ِAmerican military assistance to the Lebanese Army

Lebanese are having fun on social media at the expense of the US: they found out that part of the most recent pakage of US military shipment to the Lebanese Army included hammers.  Kid you not.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Return to Nasser

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Retrun to Nasser: the Naksah speech". 

Lebanese military assistance to the Lebanese Army

The biggest story on Lebanese social media today is mocking the recent shipment of "US military aid" to the Lebanese Army.   It looks and sounds like firecrackers really.  

Lebanese journalists who work for media of Saudi princes

You probably can tell from reading the writings in English of Lebanese journalists who write for Saudi media. They are by far the lowest category of journalists worldwide.  One of them, Samir `Atallah (a pioneer really in the art of prostration to Saudi princes) writes in the mouthpiece of Saudi prince Salman, Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, that the Saudi king is "the most perfect of all men".  Literally.  See why many Arabs have only contempt for those Lebanese who work for Saudi media?  Those are people who have no self-respect and who will say anything and switch positions if ordered so by the entourage of the prince.  

Khalid Mish`al: one lousy leader

Now that the war on Gaza is over although the siege and occupation of Gaza by Israel is not over, we can resume the discussion of Hamas and its lousy opportunistic leader, Khalid Mish`al. His statement yesterday was almost word-for-word dictated by his sponsors in Qatar.  This is a man who has no political integrity and who offered his movement back in 2011 to the highest bidder, as was reported in Al-Quds Al-Arabi. His list of "thanks" yesterday was a lesson in political opportunism--he even thanked Kuwait and Oman for their stances on Palestine.  This man is the Yasser Arafat of the Qatari government and his path will emulate that failed path of Arafat.  If Hamas were to develop into a resistance movement in the full meaning of the world, this man has to be ousted. He is one of the worst Palestinian leaders in the history of the movement and has the visage of a liar when he speaks.  However, he made a clear statement to Jews in the world yesterday stressing that his movement was not in any way hostile to Jews and Judaism. Was that reported in the US press, I wonder? Will that ever be reported in the US press, I wonder?  I just woke up and I have not seen US papers. 

The hope of American liberals

"Echoing Benjamin Nentayahu (and Hillary Clinton), Elizabeth Warren's clear position is that Israel bears none of the blame for any of this. Or, to use her words, "when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they're using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself." Such carnage is the "last thing Israel wants." The last thing. That, ladies and gentlemen, is your inspiring left-wing icon of the Democratic Party."

School of Arab dictators

"Four reigning Arab monarchs are graduates of Sandhurst and its affiliated colleges - King Abdullah of Jordan, King Hamad of Bahrain, Sheikh Tamim, Emir of Qatar, and Sultan Qaboos of Oman. Past monarchs include Sheikh Saad, Emir of Kuwait, and Sheikh Hamad, Emir of Qatar. Sandhurst's links have continued from the time when Britain was the major colonial power in the Gulf." Yes, but the BBC does not tell you that NOT ONE of those potentates actually went through the normal course at the school but that the school--for large sums of cash--prepares special short and less rigorous programs for the royal Arab brats.  

Russia and Ukraine

I believe that the American intervention in Ukraine--military and otherwise--exceeds Russian intervention there.

Iraq no longer exists?

"The retired US army general who served as Washington's first occupation chief in Iraq said the country has functionally ceased to exist and urged the Obama administration to decisively support and arm the forces of Iraqi Kurdistan as a fallback." (thanks Amir)

there is no lie that is too big in Saudi propaganda

Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Fawzan, a Saudi Salafi Islamic scholar an[d] a member of Human Right Commission accused Shiite of Qatif of leading Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Al-Fawzan said that “known scholars and jihadi leaders in Iraq have reported that they had arrest a leader in Al-Qaeda called "Abu Sahn al-Baghdadi " who has incite to kill Sunnis”. He added that “after investigations, they have discovered that he is a Shiite from Qatif”. (thanks Basim)

Obama lies

"American officials have denied participating in a plot to oust Iraq prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, despite a series of phone calls made by Barack Obama and Joe Biden to support the appointment of his successor."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

US allies in the war on ISIS

" The countries likely to be enlisted include Australia, Britain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates, officials said."  Yeah. Nothing can defeat the ideology and message of ISIS like the secular feminist ideology of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and UAE. 

It is official: the New York Times now refers to Al-Qa`idah terrorist group as "less extreme"

"who was being held by a less extreme militant group, the Nusra Front."

Free Syrian Army is also in the business of beheading but it is moderate US-sponsored beheading

"The rebels who killed him were fighting for the Free Syrian Army, a rival group backed by the United States, and they went on to behead six ISIS fighters"

the use of Palestinian human shields...BY ISRAEL

"Israel has repeatedly used defenseless civilians to shield themselves from potential guerrilla attacks, brutally abusing young men like Mahmoud Abu Said during their invasion of Gaza. The practice is not only a war crime that violates international human rights law,"

Lousy Oxfam

"While offering the Israeli occupation tips on when and how to kill Palestinians whose land it is occupying, Oxfam advises that Palestinians should be denied any means to self-defense and resistance." (thanks Amir)

Racism in the Sisi press in Egypt

(It says: Gangs of Black Horror in Cairo: Most of the crimes against activists and journalists are from South Sudan, and African adolescents committed 115 deeds".) (thanks "Ibn Rushd")

death versus murder on Fox News

A dear colleague from Pakistan sent me this: "Dear As’ad: Last night (26 August) at 10 PM Fox Radio news bulletin reported on Ceasefire agreement between Hamas & Israel with the following statement: “The ceasefire ends that war in which more than 2,000 Palestinians died and 70 Israelis were killed.”
What does that mean -- 2,000 Palestinian died of natural death ?"

Saudi-Qatari rivalry

From a reader: "Has there been a more disgusting, murderous manifestation of the Saudi-Qatari rivalry -- at the cost of thousand of innocent lives -- than the creation of ISIS and Jabhat an-Nusrah respectively? I can't think of one. "

American media intelligently discuss Iraq

"MATTHEWS:  This has nothing to do with the Sunni and the Shia and what the hell`s going over in Iraq, or  Mesopotamia or whatever they`re calling it now, if it is a country." (thanks Basim)

Water bucket challenge

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Majorities and minorities

There is something disturbing about the discourse of minorities and majorities in the Middle East especially regarding to ISIS. The rhetoric implies that the majority is living in bliss and only the minorities are suffering.  ISIS has killed more Sunnis than Shi`ites and Christians combined.

O, Western man: there is ISIS inside us

This is the message that has been instructed to all Arab propagandists of Hariri and Saudi princes in English: rather than blaming Wahhabi Saudi ideology and the policies and doctrine of the Saudi regime and the funding of fanatics worldwide, make sure that you diffuse the blame by blaming "all of us" the "monster within" the "faults in us" "Arab body politic" and anything else that you can think of provided that you leave the Saudi regime--the mother/father of ISIS's ideology--alone.  Got it?

Guess who is ready to fight ISIS? None other than the Free Syrian Army?

"A spokesman for the rebel coalition, Oubai Shahbandar, said,  “The Free Syrian Army commanders on the ground fighting ISIS in northern Syria have declared their readiness to coordinate with the U.S. in striking ISIS.”" I bet that they are ready to receive more cash and weapons. How many years will elapse before the US admits the obvious: that there is really no such thing as the Free Syrian Army and there is no Feminist woman in Damascus leading the "revolution" in Syria.

Israeli officials are always garrulous in the Times except when they are embarrassed

"Israeli officials declined to comment." I bet they did not because they look like fools.

Goldstone's credibility and the NYT

"Mr. Goldstone later backtracked from that conclusion, damaging the credibility of the report." What? In fact, by backtracking on his own report, he merely damaged his OWN CREDIBILITY not that report's.

Persistent American racism

""It took the shooting of 18-year-old Brown on August 9, a young man who was unarmed, before anyone took an interest in the everyday reality of the city's African-American population and their demoralizing harassment by the police. It also took this tragedy before people began to ask an important question: Why does a city whose population of 21,000 is two-thirds African American have a police force that is 95 percent white?""

New York Times and casualties of the Gaza war

"I had just this morning sent off perhaps my fifth email to New York Times reporters and editors asking if they should not address their inappropriate use of this comparison over a one month period, when I was shocked to find that they had returned to the comparison again today! In an article posted online this afternoon summarizing the aftermath of the fighting, Jodi Rudoren wrote again, suggesting near parity, "But many analysts and others criticized Mr. Netanyahu’s leadership of the campaign, in which the Israeli military said it struck 5,263 targets in Gaza, while 4,564 rockets and mortars were fired at Israel.”

The continued use of this comparison, despite concerns raised about them, is to me inexplicable and suggests a complete lack of accountability to the truth. On July 16th, Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch raised concerns about the comparison with relevant New York Times staff, but The Times continued using it daily, with no changes. Sunjeev Bery of Amnesty USA tweeted concerns about these New York Times statistics on July 30th. On August 2nd on Mondoweiss, I noted a very rough comparison, suggesting that, as of July 16th, Israel may have fired 5.49 times as much ordnance at Gaza as Palestinians fired at Israel, and this was likely an underestimate of the disparity. Sunjeev Bery repeated his concerns about this Times interactive in more detail on the Huffington Post on August 8th , and his article was later posted again by Amnesty USA.

In the meantime, statistics reported over the last few weeks have proven beyond any doubt the absurdity of this comparison, but Times reporters seem not to be paying attention to them. What in the world do “5,263 targets in Gaza” have to do with 59,973 Israeli strikes, 7000 shells fired into Shija’iya in 24 hours, 1000 shells fired at Rafah in 3 hours, and 32,000 total artillery shells fired? " (thanks Patrick)

What is your major?


Dumb Mossad propaganda

""Hamas... dismissed the document as a forgery intended to justify Israeli attacks that have killed hundreds of children, women and other non-combatants.
...The Israeli army said the training manual was found in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun at the end of July, when troops were operating inside the enclave. The full manual is 102 pages long, the army said, but it released just one page of it.
...It is marked at the bottom with "Izz-el-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Training and Guidance Branch, Engineering Corps". The al-Qassam Brigades are the military wing of Hamas, the Islamist group that has controlled Gaza since 2007. Unlike other Hamas documents, the page bears no Hamas logo.
...An Israeli army spokesman would provide no further details about the document, only to say that the army was "extremely confident it is a Hamas training manual".
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said: "This is a fabricated paper and neither Hamas nor Qassam has anything to do with it."
He added: "Israel circulating this is aimed at justifying the mass killings of Palestinian civilians and massacres committed by the occupation army."""

Saudi regime and ISIS

“The ideology of the Saudi regime is that of ISIS even if the foreign policies differ,” California State University-Stanislaus Professor Asad AbuKhalil tells The Progressive." (thanks Amitabh)

CNN president direct all reporters to file favorable reports about Israel

*After the attacks of 9/11, Amanpour defied then-CNN president Walter Isaacson’s attempt “to get all the reporters in the Middle East to skew their stories more favorably to Israel.” Instead she aired a critical report about the Israeli destruction of an Arab village, without including the Israeli government’s point of view. “Christiane had the power to push a piece through,” says a CNN insider."

UN and war crimes in Syria

How is it that the UN can 1) quickly determine whether war crimes are committed or not in a place when it takes it years to decide if Israel committed war crimes or not; 2) how come the UN always conveniently find quick evidence of war crimes in Syria but only by groups (regime and ISIS which are not on good terms with the US).  So Nusrah and FSA, which have done more sectarian kidnappings of Lebanese are blameless here?

Syrian Observatory observes the skies

From Martin: I read the following in a recent article about US surveillance flights in syrian airspace:

"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that “non-Syrian spy planes” carried out surveillance flights on Monday."

Just how was this infamously credible and respected independent outfit able to ascertain that? They must have some really good binoculars..."

US government and ISIS

"Now the Obama administration and American political class is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the failed "Bomb Assad!" campaign by starting a new campaign to bomb those fighting against Assad – the very same side the U.S. has been arming over the last two years." "It switched sides virtually on a dime, and the standard Pentagon courtiers of the U.S. media and war-cheering foreign policy elites are dutifully following suit, mindlessly depicting ISIS as an unprecedented combination of military might and well-armed and well-funded savagery (where did they get those arms and funds?)." (thanks Amir)

US government on Libya

"We believe outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition." (thanks David)

Meet the commander-in-chief of the Lebanese Army

"Jean Kahwaji: I can say that Lebanon was rescued from a catastrophe in Arsal.

TAAN: How so?

JK: There was a dangerous plan for Lebanon. If it had succeeded, the country would have collapsed. The terrorist groups were aiming to make Lebanon another Iraq or another Syria by provoking a sectarian war between Sunnis and Shi'a, but the army struck these groups with an iron fist. I would not be exaggerating when I say we destroyed them and changed the changed the course of history. " (thanks Basim)

If you want an example of a jumbled head, read this article about Lebanon's history

"The Israelis invaded in order to crush the Palestinian Liberation Organization, with Syria's blessing, and at one point the United States intervened, partly to block the Israelis. " (thanks Michele)

Ambassador Ford is still looking for moderate Syrian rebels--he will find them in no time

From comrade Laure: "Look at this joke, he is still looking for moderate opposition groups..
"We need moderate armed opposition leaders in Syria to capitalize on this weariness by moving politically, not just militarily."
Oh, and this:
"But toppling wasn't our goal before and shouldn't be now. We should aim to help the Syrian opposition inflict enough pain on the regime so that, despite al-Assad, the regime finally agrees to negotiate a new government whose first task will be to fight the Islamic State and eventually expel it from Syria.""

ISIS and the Syrian "revolution"

Of all the theories and the explanation about ISIS none are admitting the obvious: that it is the product of the Syrian "revolution" and its romanticization.  There would not have been thousands of people flocking from the West to join the cause if ISIS if the West didn't glamorize the Syrian "revolution" and invented the notion that a moderate Syrian command is leading the fight against Asad.  A person on Twitter reminded me how the Syrian "rebels" (the so-called moderates among them) used to brag about the power of ISIS and they raised the slogan داعش_عرأس_الأسد (Stepping on Asad's head--it is a pun in Arabic).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Patrick Cockburn: explaining ISIS

If you want to read a good reliable book on the rise of ISIS I highly recommend the newly released "The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising" by Patrick Cockburn.  Read it. NOW.

Talking points about Palestine

The activists at Ikhras came up with those useful talking points about Palestine.

Who can defeat you, o people of Palestine

Who can defeat those people, who? Those are the reason why Israel and the Zionist project are doomed.  Zionists had many good fortune but to have the Palestinians as their enemy is their biggest misfortune of them all. 

Sanaa Hamri removed her name from the statement about Gaza

From a reader: "I saw it on this list from the group who organized the letter yesterday or the day before. It is now gone:"

Women and global economy

"The global economy is not working for working women. Women contribute 66 percent of the world’s work and produce 50 percent of the food. Yet they earn 10 percent of income and own 1 percent of property.  Millions of women live in poverty—they account for 70 percent of the world’s poor. Women also are highly likely to experience violence at home or at the workplace: Up to seven in 10 women globally will be beaten, raped abused or mutilated in their lifetimes."

BBC on Gaza

From comrade Laure: "Assuming that all the 700 men killed are fighters, how does that make killing 250 women and 450 children not discriminate?  BBC is so obsessed with the civilian Gaza toll and making the argument for Israel that they have already written 3 articles to cast doubt on the statistics and were still talking about it on the Radio today.

"Of those killed, the UN estimate that 70% were civilians and of those thought to be civilians, approximately 250 were women, 450 were children and 700 were men. (...) Now the fact that among the Palestinian civilian casualties there are nearly three times as many men as women has been in the spotlight. Indeed an article on the BBC News website said “if the Israeli attacks have been “indiscriminate”, as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women”."


This is a long article about AIPAC: it is revealing but news of the end of AIPAC are rather premature.

When Western governments try to produce acceptable versions of Islam

These attempts are so dumb and the US tried to do that after Sep. 11. They don't realize that those Western government-approved Imams have no connection to their communities and they sound so programmed that they can never dream of ever having influence.

Palestinian human shields--for Israeli terrorists

"Over the next several days, he was moved among homes and made to walk ahead of groups of soldiers looking for tunnels. Food was scant, and his bathroom breaks were limited and monitored, he said; at one point he wrote a note in Arabic, saying, “In case I die or get arrested, please send my greetings to my family,” according to D.C.I.-Palestine’s report."

Have you ever heard of "Sunni Assyrian"?

"For a thousand years, Sunni Assyrian Arabs from the northwest have fought for exclusive control of that area, against countervailing pressure from Shia Persians from the southeast and their Arab co-religionists. " (thanks Ansar)

If you were in their shoes

"Do congressional leaders ever stop to wonder what they would do if they were born Palestinian, had their homes and private property stolen from them, and were forced to live without freedom under an illegal Israeli occupation for 47 years? Do they know what it means to be on the receiving end of Israel's barbaric "mow the lawn" euphemism?"

Those who were assigned to liberate Muslim women in Afghanistan

"Calvert says that an estimated 26,000 rapes and sexual assaults took place in the armed forces last year,"

"Were KGB or Stasi this bad"

"The search tool was designed to be the largest system for internally sharing secret surveillance records in the United States, capable of handling two to five billion new records every day, including more than 30 different kinds of metadata on emails, phone calls, faxes, internet chats, and text messages, as well as location information collected from cellphones." (thanks Amir)

The US government on outside intervention in Libya

"“We believe outside interference in Libya exacerbates current divisions and undermines Libya’s democratic transition,” said the statement issued by the US State Department. " (thanks Krim)

The New York Times informs readers about who Israel targets in Gaza

"Israeli forces continued on Sunday to strike Palestinians suspected of being militants ".  So hospitals, schools, mosques, children, women, high rises and shops are all suspected of being militants, I guess.

The New York Times now lists children among the victims of the war on Gaza

"More than 2,000 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting that is stretching into a seventh week, most of them civilians, according to monitoring groups. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers and four civilians have been killed, including a 4-year-old boy from a small community near the border who was killed by mortar fire. He was first Israeli child to be killed in the current conflict, and he was buried Sunday."  The obvious question, of course, is why the one Israeli child is worth mentioning but not the 500 Palestinian children??

One of the most racist (and ignorant) articles: From Haaretz

If this article was about "the Jewish civilization" there would be an outcry and calls for boycott and picketing.  But my favorite part of this piece is the identification of the author.  Here, the predicts for Muslims their abysmal future: "In this complicated situation the chances for secularization and a separation of religion from state are very small. That is, there is little chance Islam will adopt modern ideas stressing man’s autonomy. There is little chance it will adopt thinking freed from tradition and dogma, or critical thinking about social mores. There is little chance it will recognize the crucial nature of change. "

State Department spokesperson: Palestinians should not damage the atmosphere with their killers

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In praise of a terrorist organization

"BOB BAER, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, I think that Jabhat al-Nusra is -- I wouldn't use the word moderate, but it is tamable. It's not completely radical group. It does want connections with the outside world. I've been in touch with it indirectly a couple of years ago. They want to be accepted. Their main goal is to defeat Bashar al Assad. Right now, they have no attention to set up a caliphate or randomly kill Westerners. So, I think that we were able to indirectly, if you like, that the family was negotiating with this group and make them see reason. " (thanks Basim)

Something is fishy about this story

"A gang of anti-Semitic thugs roughed up a Jewish man and his wife on the Upper East Side on Monday evening before fleeing in cars flying Palestinian flags, police sources told The Post.  Two cars and multiple motorcycles pulled up to the couple on East 63rd Street near Third Avenue just after 8 p.m., and the assailants began yelling “anti-Jewish statements,” the sources said."  Let us forget about the details of the story, how would the thugs know that the man and his wife are Jewish?  And those who decided to openly fly the Palestinian flags decided that the most hospitable place for them is the Upper East Side?

M J Rosenberg on AIPAC

This revealing story misses one element: that Sen. Levin never challenged AIPAC ever again.

Monday, August 25, 2014

corruption in Shi`ite religious establishments

This is an important article: the first one that i have seen which deals with the issue of corruption in the Shi`ite religious establishment.  Did you know that Al-Khu`i and Fadlallah each left an endowment of $2 billion and that the sons of the two late marji` taqlid were put in control of the endowments?

Sanaa Hamri: did she or did she not?

Did she or did she not sign the petition in support of Israeli war on Gaza? In French, she says she did not, but her signature appears on the English petition.  I say that she seems to be lying. She could have easily written to the publication--in English--to withdraw her name.

We all are uuntouchables

"The practice of forcing low-caste people in Indian communities to remove accumulated human waste from latrines is continuing despite legal prohibitions and must be stopped, says a leading advocacy group.   In a report released Monday, the New York City–based Human Rights Watch (HRW) detailed the practice of “manual scavenging” — the collecting of excrement from latrines by hand. The job is done by those considered to be of the lowest birth. These Dalits, or untouchables, often face threats of violence, eviction and withheld wages if they attempt to leave the trade."

Is Khalid Mish`al that dumb?

I deliberately suspended my criticisms of Hamas during the Israeli assault on Gaza but this is too much: Khalid Mish`al today appealed to Obama to end the Israeli war on Gaza.  Is this guy that dumb?   Can you imagine George Habash or Hasan Nasrallah or even Ahmad Shuqayri appealing to the US administration to end an Israeli war? How little understanding does this man have for international relations?

the good native

I know that the White Man really likes her and she knows how to make the White Man feel good and superior but was she really a good choice for a book discussion? She has read three or four books and she kept referring to them throughout this silly interview.

Juan Cole reviewed in the New York Times

Is this a joke? Is this really a farce? Look who they gave the new book by Juan Cole to review in the New York Times.  I mean, I don't mind if they chose at least a qualified Zionist academic, but this one?

Arab atheists

This Saudi writer is taking note of rise in Arab atheism

PS He is implying that one of the first vocal contemporary Arab atheists, the Egyptian Isma`il Madhhar, was murdered.  There is absolutely no evidence of that, and I am sure it was not.  He also fails to mention that Mahdhar recanted at the end of his life.

Genocide begins with the silence of the world

"Dozens of Holocaust survivors, together with hundreds of descendants of Holocaust survivors and victims, have accused Israel of "genocide" for the deaths of more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza since the conflict erupted in July." "Genocide begins with the silence of the world," the statement reads, "We must raise our collective voices and use our collective power to bring about an end to all forms of racism, including the ongoing genocide of Palestinian people."

The Saudi Lobby

My latest blog post for Al-Akhbar English: "the Saudi lobby".

Lebanese for the explusion of Syrian refugees from Lebanon

85% of Maronites and 88% of Catholics are for the immediate and mass expulsion of Syrian refugees from Lebanon.  64% of Greek Orthodox, 62% of Sunnis, 51% of Shi`ites, 50% of Druzes and 33% of Alawites support that option.  (From AsSafir). (thanks Raed)

Britain & al-Qaeda

"Britain and al Qaeda are also the only two outside powers to cause an American president to be a fugitive in his own country. President Madison ended up hiding in a shack in Virginia. President George W. Bush took refuge at an Air Force base in Nebraska." (thanks Amir)

British war criminal advises Kazakh dictator

"Tony Blair gave Kazakhstan's autocratic president advice on how to manage his image after the slaughter of unarmed civilians protesting against his regime."

She is now a major Syrian opposition voice on twitter

"Now that Yitzhak Rabin has managed his historic handshake with Yasser Arafat, he must stoically relinquish the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel in 1967, to give Israel what it needs more than territory: an abiding peace with its only real adversary in the region - Syria.

The handshake that will usher in a new Middle East is the handshake we have yet to witness, between two seasoned and skeptical soldiers, Prime Minister Rabin and President Hafez Assad of Syria. There can be no hopeful future for Arabs and Israelis without it.


As you know, the US is a stickler for respecting international borders

“We’re actively considering what’s going to be necessary to deal with that threat and we’re not going to be restricted by borders.” (thanks Basim)

Behind the blocking of Salaita appointment: the money factor

"Also on Friday, the university responded to an open records request from Inside Higher Ed for communications to the chancellor about the Salaita appointment, prior to her action to block it. The communications show that Wise was lobbied on the decision not only by pro-Israel students, parents and alumni, but also by the fund-raising arm of the university. The communications also show that the university system president was involved, and that the university was considering the legal ramifications of the case before the action to block the appointment.  Most of the emails have the names of the senders redacted and some are nearly identical, suggesting the use of talking points or shared drafts. Many of the letter writers identify themselves as Jewish and/or sympathetic to Israel, as students, parents or alumni, and as people who say that the tone of Salaita's comments (especially on Twitter) makes them believe he would be hostile to them and to their views."  What about those students who take classes with rabid Zionist champions of Israeli wars and murder, like Alan Dershowitz and Elie Wiesel and numerous others like them around the country? How come no one worries about their rights? (thanks Yusuf)

Syrian regime supporters are gloating today

Deaths from police shootings

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fareed Zakaria at the Atlantic Council

I wonder what Fareed Zakaria will do at the Atlantic Council.  Who will he plagiarize, I wonder.

Qatar and ISIS

The Qatari regime denied having any connections with ISIS. In other news, the Qatari regime ordered ISIS to release an American journalist, and ISIS complied. 

How many Sep.11s have Israel inflicted on the Palestinians in one month?

Embedded image permalink

Zizek on Gaza

"Today in Gaza, the Israeli military is fighting not only in underground tunnels, but also against the natives of the land. They are fighting not only against Hamas, but also against Palestine itself. They –alongside the West– are fighting against a nation that they have tried to expel from the land for almost 70 years now. They are fighting not only because of these tunnels, but also and precisely to conquer the land within which the tunnels were dug. The refugee camps in Gaza are living evidence of this enormous land robbery, the original sin. Since 1948, there’s been an attempt to divide the Palestinian people, to deprive them of all national consciousness; there’s been an attempt erase their memory, as if memory were the inalienable property of only Judeo-Christian thought. It was assumed that afterwards they could be branded with a new, divided consciousness as Arab-Israelis, Arab-Jerusalemites, fundamentalist Gazans, West-Bankers, and exiled Palestinians without the right of return. But we in the West didn’t anticipate that the Palestinians would still see themselves as one people. And yet, despite the attempt to erase their collective memory, they are reunited again. That’s the real reason for the missing fourth beat [i.e., Israel's refusal to release the fourth and last batch of Palestinian prisoners in March 2014 as guaranteed during US-backed peace talks], and that’s the main reason for the war and the killing. All of the rest — footnotes."

On swords and beheadings

From Nikolai: "Those who claim that the sword has some kind of unique special place in Islamic and Islamicate culture are misleading at best - in many (most? maybe all?) cultures there have been trends to give special significance to swords and other weapons. This shouldn't be that surprising to anyone.

In Anglo-Saxon culture (as well as other European cultures) the word "sword" was closely tied to the phrase "God's word", a phrase found in Biblical translations. In fact, a popular folk etymology claims that the word "sword" is a contraction of the phrase "God's word" (this is not true - it comes from the Germanic word "swerdom"). Regardless, the sword - probably more so than other kinds of weapons - often invoked spiritual warfare in English culture. The Oxford English Dictionary (certainly the best English language dictionary) even gives as one definition of sword: "something figured as a weapon of attack in spiritual warfare". How's that for "religious and cultural symbolism"?

As for beheadings, they're no more - or less - part of Middle Eastern culture than they are of European or East Asian culture. Take, for example, the case of Sweden: "Some 644 people, including nearly 200 women, were beheaded in Sweden between 1800 and 1866.  From 1866 until manual beheading was replaced by the guillotine in 1903 only 14 more people were to suffer this fate. Capital punishment was abolished in Sweden in 1921.... This drawing is of the execution of 48 year old Anna Månsdotter in Kristianstad, southern Sweden on the 7th of August 1890. In Anna's case, the blade of the axe passed through her lower jaw which was left attached to her neck afterwards..." (In 1973, Sweden truly abolished the death penalty - they abolished it for crimes even committed during times of war.) So even as recently as the 1800's beheadings were popular in what is now one of the world's most progressive states. Things change."

Look at the first angry propaganda sentence in an article by NYTimes Israel bureau chief

"Hamas is the party that keeps extending this summer’s bloody battle in the Gaza Strip, repeatedly breaking temporary truces and vowing to endlessly fire rockets into Israel."  This sentence really makes Fox News to be truly fair and balanced in comparison.

NYTimes reprot "limited civilian casualties"

" limited civilian casualties" and then: "The Gaza Health Ministry said Israeli airstrikes had killed at least 60 people since the collapse on Tuesday of cease-fire negotiations in Cairo and the resumption of violence after nearly nine days of quiet, bringing the Palestinian death toll in the operation that began July 8 close to 2,100.

Several of Thursday’s attacks targeted men on motorcycles or in cars who Israel said were militants, though Palestinian witnesses also reported that five people, three of them children, were killed while watering a Gaza City garden, and five others while digging a grave in the Sheikh Radwan cemetery...where five one-ton bombs also killed Mr. Deif’s wife, baby son and at least three others."

Your second favorite Middle East ally

"Amnesty International, which also reported on the Najran beheadings, said the four had been forced to confess under torture. Saudi Arabia has executed at least 34 people this year, Amnesty International, said, and it executed at least 79 in 2013. The country has historically rejected international standards for offenses deemed insufficient for capital punishment, applying it to crimes that include adultery, armed robbery, apostasy, drug trafficking, rape and witchcraft. "

ISIS and Wahhabism

By my colleague, Fred Lawson: "It would be worth pointing out to your readers, As'ad, that the English translation of the article in al-Akhbar by Fu'ad al-Ibrahim includes an important error.

The conflict between the Al Sa'ud in the late 1920s was not between the regime and "the Muslim Brotherhood".
The fight instead involved a collection of devout followers of Muhammad bin 'Abd al-Wahhab, who called themselves the Brothers (al-Ikhwan).  These Ikhwan charged that 'Abd al-'Aziz had abandoned the basic principles of the faith, and in particular had given up the quest to expand the domain under Muwahiddin (or, more perjoratively,
Wahhabi) control.  'Abd al-'Aziz did indeed crush the challenge from the (Arabian) Ikhwan with British military assistance.

Anyone wishing to know more about the Sahwah could do no better than read Staphane Lacroix's remarkable book Awakening Islam, which has been translated by Harvard University Press." 

PS I also suggest the book by Christine Helms on the "The Cohesion of Saudi Arabia".

This is the only atheist socialist member of the US Senate

"At a town hall meeting in Cabot, Vt. over the weekend,  Sanders began to answer a question about the conflict by saying that Israel had “overreacted,” but that Hamas was firing missiles into Israel from “populated areas,” and later said the militant Palestinian Islamist group did not want Israel to exist.

Several people in the audience began screaming over each other at Sanders.

“Excuse me, shut up!” Sanders yelled. “You don’t have the microphone.”"

Everyday racism in Israel

"There is “rabid anti-Arab racism in Israel” and it has acceptance in society and government, according to Eva Illouz, professor of sociology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Even members of the Knesset “feel no qualms expressing hatred for Arabs.” This she attributes to the rise of the religious right and right-wing political parties, and the steady erosion of liberal, democratic forces.  Angry Israeli mobs have been reported chanting “Death to Arabs” and looking for Palestinians to attack.   Calls to “kill all Arabs” used to be confined to extremist groups but “today, you hear it everywhere,” Hassan Jabareen, director of Adalah, a legal centre for Arab rights in Israel, told the New York Times. “In the past when people said racist things, we found that many officials denounced that. This time we found silence.”  
Not all the anti-Arab hate is attributable to the passions generated by the Gaza war. It is fuelled “by other factors which are much less related to war,” said Prof. Yaron Ezrahi of Hebrew University.   “We have parties and politicians who score political points by inciting hatred against Arabs in general and also Israeli-Arabs . . .
“There is tolerance of this extremist rhetoric by the present government, including by Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu, who recently made a very unacceptable comment that there is a moral gap between Jews and Arabs.” Ayelet Shaked is a member of the Knesset belonging to the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home Party that is part of the Netanyahu coalition."

This is a liberal senator, mind you

"When she was asked by a reporter if she was concerned about the falling support for Israel amongst voters who identify as Democrat, she responded, “I don't know what poll you’re looking at,” and then blasted Hamas for provoking the war with its murder of three Israeli teenagers in June, subsequent rocket fire, and its extensive cross-border tunnel network."

ISIS planes?

ISIS is now claiming that it is operating planes (or drones?)

ISIS: the movie

Embedded image permalink Arabs are circulating this on social media. It says: "ISIS, the movie.  Genre: horror.  Starring: Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Written by: Israel.  Director: UK and US.  Set design: Turkey.  Scenes shot: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt.  Film proceeds: oil and theft of people's resources and strengthening Israel in the Middle East."

Israeli media are so desperate for Hollywood approval for some reason

All Israeli media are excited.  Look at this headline:  "Hollywood heavyweights come out in support of Israel".  Heavyweights? Are you tickling me??  Tom Arnold and Seth Rogen are heavyweights?  Since when are Arnold Schwarzenegger Sylvester Stallone considered heavyweights?  In fact, not a single member of what is called the Hollywood "A list" is on this list.  But please. If the support of Sarah Silverman and Tom Arnold mean a lot to Israel, let the Israelis enjoy them.

Saudi lobby

There is a Saudi lobby in Washington, DC and it has been in existence since the late 1970s. But it only became strong when it attached itself to the Israeli lobby.  Notice that Zionists in Congress now are reflecting Saudi priorities by drafting a new law to ban the Muslim Brotherhood and to list it as a terrorist organization.

When will the Chinese government allow US spy planes to spy on China wihtout interference, damn it

"A Chinese fighter jet flew within 30 feet of a Navy surveillance and reconnaissance plane this week in international airspace just off the Chinese coast, the Pentagon said Friday."

The Ice Bucket Plague?

Is this Ice Bucket craze like the Dancing Plague of 1518? I hope not.

What the New York Times calls "audacious military action in Gaza"

From comrade Talal:  "An Israeli missile strike on an 11-story apartment tower in Gaza City brought the entire building crashing down on Saturday, soon after its residents were told to evacuate, according to residents and the military. The attack signaled Israel’s willingness to take more audacious military action in Gaza, as Palestinian militants continued to fire barrages of rockets and mortar rounds into Israel."

So destroying apartment buildings (and committing war crimes) now goes as more audacious military action? Pretty nefarious even by the standards of the NYT. "

the science of counting the dead in Syia by the UN

"At a briefing later in the day, Rupert Colville, a spokesman for Ms. Pillay, said the number of deaths was “indicative” rather than “gospel truth,”"  Was it this UN official or another one who told us back in 2011 that Qaddhafi killed 100,000 Libyans and that NATO is a charitable relief organization?

If the victims were not Muslims, their religious identification would have appeared in the headline

"Dangers Abound for Thousands Taking to the Ocean in Search of Safety". Thousands of what?

Saudi regime responsibility

"The influence that clerics wield is unrivaled. Even Saudis’ Twitter heroes are religious figures: An extremist cleric like Muhammad al-Arifi, who was banned last year from the European Union for advocating wife-beating and hatred of Jews, commands a following of 9. 4 million. The kingdom is also patrolled by a religious police force that enforces the veil for women, prohibits young lovers from meeting and ensures that shops do not display “indecent” magazine covers. In the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, the religious police beat women with sticks if they stray into male-only areas, or if their dress is considered immodest by Salafi standards. This is not an Islam that the Prophet Muhammad would recognize.

Salafi intolerance has led to the destruction of Islamic heritage in Mecca and Medina. If ISIS is detonating shrines, it learned to do so from the precedent set in 1925 by the House of Saud with the Wahhabi-inspired demolition of 1,400-year-old tombs in the Jannat Al Baqi cemetery in Medina. In the last two years, violent Salafis have carried out similar sectarian vandalism, blowing up shrines from Libya to Pakistan, from Mali to Iraq. Fighters from Hezbollah have even entered Syria to protect holy sites.

Textbooks in Saudi Arabia’s schools and universities teach this brand of Islam. The University of Medina recruits students from around the world, trains them in the bigotry of Salafism and sends them to Muslim communities in places like the Balkans, Africa, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Egypt, where these Saudi-trained hard-liners work to eradicate the local, harmonious forms of Islam." But this writer seems to imply that the royal family is a mere observer and that it too is a victim of Wahhabi excesses.  

Hajo Meyer (90) died

I received this sad news: "Saturday morning (GMT) Hajo Meyer (90) died, the first name on this IJAN list.

Blog: The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب
Post: 40 survivors of Nazi Genocide from around the world call for justice in #Gaza"

Pheonician fries in NYC

This "Arabian-French" (whatever that means) bistro is offering "Phoenician fries". (thanks Diana)

Have you noticed: lately, US media report that Syrian regime is "killing Jihadis" when they used to say that it is killing "rebels" or even "activists"

How did the terminology of the US media change:  "Syrian troops reportedly kill dozens of jihadists".  I thought that the regime only kills civilian activists? When did that change and why? Orders from above?

Wait: when aid convoys enter Syria without govt permission, it is humanitarianism but when Russian aid convoy enters Ukraine without govt permission it is an invasion?

"The conflict between Russia and Ukraine hit dangerous new heights Friday as Russia sent an enormous aid convoy into rebel-held Ukrainian territory without the permission of the Kiev government, a move that a top Ukrainian security official described as a “direct invasion.”"

Counting the dead in Syria: how the UN counts

"The figures are based on information coming from the Syrian Center for Statistics and Research, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Violations Documentation Center and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights."  So all the sources ore Gulf-funded exile opposition sources.  But even with those figures, it is obvious that most of the dead are combatants although both sides of the conflict (regime and rebels) have shown utter disregard for the lives of civilians.

40 survivors of Nazi Genocide from around the world call for justice in #Gaza

Diplomat Rips off Qatari Princess' Niqab

"A senior Brussels diplomat and chief of protocol has admitted to removing the veil of a Qatari princess by force."

Zionism is, and will forever be, racism

"75 Percent of Israeli Jews Oppose Intermarriage, New Poll Says"

This is not about Hamas
I have been critical of Hamas since its founding but I have refrained from criticizing Hamas in the last month because I strongly believe that this war is NOT about Hamas but about Israeli terrorists trying to subjugate the population of Gaza, and consequently the Palestinian people.  Look at this poster: the Marxist-Leninist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (which is one of the resistance groups active in Gaza against Israeli terrorism) published a poster eulogizing the Hamas commander who were murdered by Israeli terrorists.  Also, the media in the US never mention other resistance groups in Gaza because they want to facilitate Israeli propaganda ploys: they want to say Hamas is Nazi and thus we are justified in killing 500 children in Gaza.  That is their ploy, and it works only in the US, where it is most easy to justify the murder of Arab children.  This is not about Hamas and Israeli wars on Gaza in the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s took place long before Hamas was founded.  Who are you kidding, other than ill-informed American public?