Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Who says that the US does not have reliable allies among the potentates of the Middle East?

Making enemy lists of professors

I don't understand. US Zionists have been making such lists for decades and only now the media have noticed those lists (only because they are not targeting supporters of Palestine this time?)

a council of "rebels and civilians"

"Hisham al-Skeif, a member of a council of rebels and civilians in eastern Aleppo".  A council of rebels and civilians? Now I understand why Western media have been treating all Syrian rebels as civilians.  

Abdallah Frangi, the chair of the Fath Conference

You know that Abdallah Frangi, who has been chairing the Fath conference, is the author of a lousy book on the PLO (published by Zed press) which has anti-Semitic references, including a reference to ancient Jews as "band of robbers".  The book is not around me here but I still remember it.  

Saudi regime media and its standards

In listing the militias and parties active in Syria (on the side of the regime), the sectarian Saudi regime news station, Al-Arabiyya (owned by the King's son, Muhammad) categorized the secular Syrian Social National Party as part of "the sectarian militias in Syria".  

When Thomas Friedman dabbles in graphs

This is a delicious review of Friedman.

Do you want to see the direct effects of Saudi money in DC think tanks?

Look at this report from Rafiq Hariri Center for Gulf propaganda: of all the recommendation, they don't even throw cliches about democracy.  Instead, they speak about freedom to do business.

PS See the list of senior advisors who were consulted for the report: one is Prince Turki Al-Faisal and another is the president of the Hariri foundation in DC. Kid you not.

Thomas Friedman denies that he does not have a mind

""It is okay to change your mind as an opinion writer; what is not okay is to not have a mind," writes Thomas Friedman in his new book, Thank You for Being Late."

Diaa Hadid proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that she is superior to the natives of Egypt

"My mother spoke French with her Greek neighbors in Alexandria, at the time Egypt’s most cosmopolitan city. She skipped Catholic school to ride in a red convertible with a German girlfriend down broad boulevards. She water-skied in a swimsuit, enjoying the freedom of this city in the 1960s, when it was still a beacon of Mediterranean culture."  You are supposed to read this and exclaim: wow. Her mother spoke French, which means we can trust her reporting.  So what is the conclusion of her piece? That Alexandria was great twice: 1) once under colonial powers before the Egyptian Revolution allowed the poor to live there and visit; 2) under Husni Mubarak.  

Russia and Israel in Syria

It is clear now that all Israeli terrorist actions in Syria and Lebanon are blessed and approved by the Russian government--the ally of Syrian regime, Iran and Hizbullah.  Figure that one out.

Human Rights Watch purposefully mistranslates a leaflet from Syria

Rami Jarrah (who is widely cited as an authority by mainstream Western media) posted the Arabic leaflet dropped by Syrian regime forces and the English translation by Human Rights Watch, which has been widely circulated.  I will provide to you my translation of the original Arabic and you judge how reliable the translation by Human Rights Watch is. The Arabic says (in full): "Read and Repeat.  This is the last hope.  Save yourselves.  If you don't evacuate those areas soon, you shall be finished off (or vanquished or destroyed).  WE have provided you with a safe passage to exit.  Take your decision fast. Save yourselves.  You know that all have abandoned you and left you by yourselves to face your destiny and they won't provide you with any help.  General Command of the army and armed forces."

PS The word annihilation is very specific and has an equal Arabic equivalent "Ibadah" which does not appear in the original Arabic.  

the journalism of Rami Jarrah: or beautifying Israeli terrorism

So Rami Jarrah (whose cited by all mainstream media without telling us why an individual's tweets and Facebook comments are reliable news sources, and why tweets and Facebook comments by the other side are NOT reliable news sources) cites the authority of his father to tell us that the Israeli enemy used to provide maps (and maybe sandwiches and beverages) when they drop leaflets from the air.  I was in Lebanon in 1982, when there were leaflets being dropped from the air by the Israeli terrorist forces and I don't recall one map on them.  And why do some people use the Syrian issue in order to beautify Israeli terrorism? It makes you wonder, does it not?

PS These are leaflets dropped by Israeli terrorist planes which have no maps on them.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What ALL the Western correspondents in Beirut won't cover: what happened in Sha`ar Quarter in Aleppo

It seems that Syrian rebels (and not for the first time) shot at protesters who were trying to flee East Aleppo.  

The Syrian regime after the Israeli attack

Any minute now, someone in the lousy Syrian regime will be saying that the Syrian regime will be retaliating "at the right time and place"--a Ba`thist euphemism for never.  

Israeli soft shooting at ISIS

You need to understand this in its context: in the conflict between Al-Qa`idah in Syria and ISIS, the Israeli terrorist state favors Al-Qa`idah.  

It seems that the Trump administration already started its contacts with the Syrian regime

Astonishingly, the Syrian regime newspaper, Al-Watan, published an article (approvingly) about the meeting between Randa Qassis (friend of Shimon Peres and BHL) and Eric Trump.  The article stressed the secular declarations of Qassis.  This is telling about the political orientations of Qassis.  

Ahrar Ash-Sham and Hamas

An official of Ahrar Ash-Sham said on Aljazeera that they broowed tunnel technology "from the brothers in Gaza".  I find it interesting that in the West, tunnels by Palestinians and by Hizbullah is considered terrorism, while tunnels by Syrian rebels is considered an ingenious method of survival.

Comparing Spanish civil war and Syrian civil war

"In response to Al-Marashi’s presentation on the Spanish Civil War and it’s similarities to the Syrian War, AbuKhalil discussed differences in motivations, ideologies, and participants between the two civil wars, as well as the role of the U.S. in conflicts in the Middle East.
“With the Syrian rebel scene, we are not talking about dreamers, communists, or anarchists. We are talking about people who want to put women in prisons,” said AbuKhalil. "

What bothers me about Syria

Military triumphalism by both sides (at different times) bothers me a lot.  I find it most jarring at many levels.  

Who makes decisions in Syria?

A few weeks ago in a conversation with Bassam Haddad (whose knowledge of Syria I respect even if we don't always agree, and lately we have disagreed) he makes this point that is rarely made: he maintains that Bashshar Al-Asad still in fact governs within the regime, and that he has not really surrendered all powers to the Iranian or Russian government.  I think that he is right: Western commentaries have overstated the case that Bashshar has become a figure head.  Bassam does not believe that at all.  I wonder if the regime wants to promotion this view that Bashshar is powerless in order to absolve him of responsibility for all that happened in the last few years.

If this was a picture of Trump with an Arab potentate, liberals would be mocking it

Anwar Al-Awlaki has proven to be more dangerous dead than alive

It seems that the OSU shooter was a fan of Al-Awlaki.  I wrote before that Al-Awlaki's rhetoric is substantially different (and more dangerous) than the rhetoric of all Muslim clerics (including those who are quasi Westernized in Western countries).  Al-Awlaki's style of preaching and agitation is much more likely to appeal to disaffected Muslims living in the West, and also to Westernized Muslims in Muslim countries.  I don't think that we have heard the last of this dead man.

Non-Salafite Islamism in Saudi Arabia

One of the missing stories about Saudi public opinion is that there is a very strong trend (among intellectuals and students which is non-Salafite Islamism).  I maintain that this is a strange current and is close to the line of the Muslim Brotherhood and is aligned with the policies of the Turkish government.  If I were to predict, I would say this would be the strongest current in a free election in Saudi Arabia.  

Aleppo for me

One more time: no victory for me in Aleppo or anywhere else in Syria.  There are only defeats as far as I am concerned. 

New York Times on Bashshar Al-Asad

This is a typical propaganda piece on Syria:
1) As Nicholas Noe wrote on Facebook, the Times typically cites the same people and experts (all one side) who were wrong on Syria all along.
2) When Bashshar's forces advance, it is considered a defeat for him, and when the rebels retreat, it is also considered a win for them.  So they really can never lose.
3) When Syrian rebels retreat, there is an attempt to justify their defeat even on humanitarian grounds: 'The rebels have a dilemma: go on fighting and allow people to die of starvation or from bombings, or agree to lay down their weapons so the Syrian government".  Wait: so if the rebels are retreating out of concern for the plight of the rebels, why did not they leave much earlier sparking the civilians the suffering that they are now using as a pretext for their retreat? Notice in all articles about East Aleppo in Western media, there is a deliberate attempt at obfuscation by never identifying those "rebels" thereby leaving the reader with a romanticized image when in reality those are Nusrah and allies and their ilk.  There are no "secular" or "democratic" forces in East Aleppo.  That is a fact.  
4) This is simply untrue: "“There are at least as many Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi-Iranian militia fighters as there are soldiers born in Syria".  The number of Syrians fighting along the side of the regime in the battles around and inside Aleppo are far more than the non-Syrian fighters. But this has been a consistent fallacy of Western reporting on Syria all along: that there are no Syrians who support the regime.  This fallacy explains a lot about the endurance of the repressive regime and the reason why all predictions by rebel cheerleaders have been consistently wrong.  This is like when Western correspondents in Beirut were shocked to see thousands of Syrians in Lebanon voting for Bashshar for presidents two years ago. Do you remember that? And then they went overtime to find various bogus justifications to explain the phenomenon (in fact, many in March 14 at the time, called for the expulsion of Syrians having found out that many supported the regime).  
5) Look at this passage: what on earth is "an activist" in East Aleppo? What do they activate about? What are their activities? who are you fooling with this trashy unprofessional journalism?  And since you are exchanging messages with those people, 1) how can you tell if they are civilians or fighters? 2) how on earth do you obtain their contact information?  is that from the published Directory of Syrian Activists through Syria?  "The desperate words used by political activists, civilians and fighters interviewed on WhatsApp, a phone and messaging service, from inside places now being bombed repeatedly suggest the rebel resistance may be nearing its limit — especially in Aleppo."

PS I asked a Western correspondent in the Middle East about the absurd claim by Ambassador Ford above, and he wrote to me: "what a fucking idiot, there are about 50,000 syrians in aleppo, whether army, militias, police, security etc and i dont think there are more than 7,000 iraqis and a couple of thousand other non-syrians in syria total. but in some places the non-syrians maybe play a greater role as shock troops, special forces etc. but the aleppo city battle is mainly being fought by syrians and ford is crazy".

The other side of Castro by Sinan Antoon

"I first heard of Castro and Cuba in the 1970s. I didn't know what the stakes were at the time except that the apartheid regime of South Africa was on one side whilst the Cubans were fighting alongside the Angolans. Many years later, I was to learn that the Cuban intervention and support in Angola was decisive in weakening the apartheid regime.  Mandela wrote from prison that this "was the first time that a country had come from another continent not to take something away, but to help Africans to achieve their freedom."Mandela's first visit outside South Africa after his release from prison was to Cuba to personally thank Castro and the Cuban people for their unmatched support."

Democratic dilemmas

Democrats choose lousy candidates, like John Kerry or Al Gore or Hillary Clinton and then wonder whey did not win.  I mean, who in his/her right mind would choose those kind of people as candidates for high office?

There is another As`ad AbuKhalil, it seems

"The influence of lubricants and glidants on the flow and capsule filling properties of powders." (thanks Mark)

The West and GCC want this guy to be the representative of the Arab...youth

President Beji Caid Easssebsi turns 90.

Now a moment with crazy Lebanonese kooks: Castro is of Lebanese extraction

"À la recherche des racines libanaises de Fidel Castro"

And the dumbest comment on Castro is

"The irony of Fidel Castro's death on Black Friday- the most capitalist day of the year - should serve as a reminder that freedom always wins"

My articles on US role in igniting the Lebanese civil war

My 11-part articles in Al-Akhbar about US role in igniting the Lebanese Civil War will appear in a book form in a week or so in the Beirut Book Exhibit. The articles are basically a detailed and critical reviews of 1) James R Stoker, Spheres of Influence: US Foreign Policy and the Collapse of Lebanon, 1967-1976, published by Cornell University Press; 2) unpublished MA thesis at the University of Oslo titled  A Dangerous Sideshow. The US and the Lebanese Civil War, 1975-1976 by Huse, Geir Bergersen Huse, 2014; and various declassified US documents that I retrieved from the National Archives and also the recently released US "presidential briefs" which were declassified and released by the CIA pertaining to the years under study.  The cover of the book is designed by comrade Raed Charaf.  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic

He just announced that Netanyahu will be joining the Atlantic as Editor-at-Large.  

The irony of serving the Saudi regime: the case of Jamal Khashuqji

It is an interesting case. Here is a man who served various Saudi princes and who devoted his life and career to serving Saudi regime propaganda: he was with Bin Laden when the regime was for Bin Laden, and he went after Bin Laden when the regime wanted him to switch.  Yet, despite decades of loyalty, services, and subservience, he is now being banned not only from writing and tweeting: but also from speaking.  

Lies about Castro in the Washington Post

"He claimed all property for himself".  Which property did Castro claim for himself?  Which?

Heroism of an American general against Muslims

"Trump has praised the ruthlessness of Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing, citing an apocryphal story in which Pershing is said to have ordered his men to dip 50 bullets in pigs’ blood and kill 49 Muslim terrorists in the Philippines during the early 1900s. One survivor was supposedly set loose to warn the others.  “For 25 years, there wasn’t a problem,” Trump said. “Okay? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem.”"

This is how Huffington Post Qatar-English and CNN are documenting human rights abuses under Castro

"Ana Navarro, a CNN contributor who immigrated to the United States from Nicaragua, invited Cubans and Cuban-Americans to tweet stories of family members who were imprisoned, beaten or killed by Castro’s regime for political reasons. She retweeted many of the responses."

Jordanian King arrived safely in New Zealand. I thought that you should know given how much he is loved in the West

Some Arab reactions to Castro's death

Hizbullah issued a statement eulogizing Castro while the Algeria declared a seven-day mourning period.  But the odd thing is that the buffoonish foreign minister of Bahrain wrote a eulogy of Castro on Twitter.

The sister of Castro and the brother of Obama

During the election year, Fox News and Drudge Report rolled out a half-brother of Obama and gave him a platform to criticize Obama. But all mainstream media ignored him.  Yet, the US government for years tried to lure and buy the services of Castro to embarrass him. And for years, they would pull out the sister of Castro as if her criticisms of Castro carry more weight than some right-wing propagandist in Miami.  Today, the New York Times, brought her back.  

Washington Post on poverty in Havana. I can add: just a few blocks from White House in DC, there are impoverished Americans and prostitutes

"But just a block behind the restored facades, impoverished Cubans lived in crumbling homes on rationed food. Teenage prostitutes openly offered their services to tourists."

Russian plane bombs a town held by the Syrian regime and kills two civilians

I asked a well-informed correspondent in Syria, and he told me that it was a Russian jet which bombed the Syrian regime-held town of Az-Zahra' (suffered for years from rebels sieges and bombing) and killed a man and a woman and injured 9 civilians.  No to US intervention/No to Russian intervention.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

U.S. bombings have killed more than 80 civilians in Mosul, Iraq

"Air and artillery strikes by the U.S.-led coalition in the Iraqi city of Mosul appear to have killed more than 80 civilians since a major operation there began last month, a watchdog group said Friday."

Cuba in context

"As of the year 2006, Fidel Castro, Cuba's revolutionary leader, who has died aged 90, had reportedly been the subject of no fewer than 638 assassination plots by the CIA." "Despite spending a fraction of what the US was then spending per person, Cuba enjoyed a lower infant mortality rate than its neighbour to the north - not to mention one of the highest ratios of doctors per capita in the world." "That Cuba is able to provide basic necessities of life free of charge is to some extent proof that useful programmes are possible when a nation does not spend trillions of dollars on devastating wars. Instead of exporting catastrophe, Castro's Cuba has focused on exporting doctors." (thanks Amir)

Saudi regime media standards

From Basim: "The two men, Nasrallah and Assad, met in a tent after a covert operation. The same source said that Assad took a secret road and had only few persons with him in the car. Nasrallah has also taken a secret road that only villagers would use, as stated in the news."
The news was published in ad-Diyar Lebanese Newspaper.*

*For those who don't know, Ad-Diyar is like National Inquirer in the US, only less professional.

Sorry, I know that Western media are busy bashing Castro because Western media just love democracy but...

Moroccan King who receives (like all pro-US potentates in the Arab world) fawning coverage in Western media, just announced: "I am Commander of the Faithful in All Religions".   If the North Korean dictator said that, it would be on the front pages of all Western media.

Qatari foreign minister

Qatari regime foreign minister said that his regime will arm Syrian rebels even if Trump end the arming.  Come on: it will take one phone call from president Trump to end all GCC arming of the rebels.  Those are most obedient regimes. 

Israeli propaganda in Le Monde about "secret" Israeli algorithms

"Ce système est conçu comme une pyramide à trois étages. A la base figure la quasi-totalité des Palestiniens de Cisjordanie (environ 2 millions, sur un total de 2,9 millions d'individus). Puis sont appliqués des critères démographiques et géographiques permettant d'affiner les recherches. Au deuxième niveau se trouvent tout au plus quelques dizaines de milliers de personnes. Au troisième et dernier niveau, il y a les individus considérés à hauts risques, suivis pas à pas, voire neutralisés au plus vite. C'est à ce stade que leur identité complète apparaît. " L'algorithme est créé pour scanner cette population sur la base d'informations administratives, en provenance d'Internet, du renseignement humain classique et de signaux téléphoniques, -explique une source familière de ce dispositif. Parfois, il s'agit de données pures, sans signification en soi, qu'il faut croiser. C'est comparable, dans le secteur privé, à l'application Waze, qui propose au conducteur un itinéraire dans la circulation. "

Tout peut être utiliséImpossible de savoir si les extrémistes parmi les colons sont concernés par le dispositif. L'armée se refuse aussi à détailler l'ampleur de la surveillance électronique. Mais tout porte à croire que son maillage est exceptionnel. Les réseaux sociaux, en particulier Facebook et YouTube, les messageries privées -telles que WhatsApp, sans parler des SMS et des conversations téléphoniques : tout peut être utilisé. En 2016, l'occupation israélienne a ainsi acquis un degré de sophistication inédit. La question du droit à la vie privée importe peu." (thanks Tarek)

PS This will soon spread in US Zionist media. 

When Qatari regime media feign feminism: Huffington Post Arabic

In this article, the writer feigns feminist outrage and lectures men: she said that men should understand that love should be based on "manhood".  I am not making this up.  This is when polygamist Islamists intrude on feminist discourse.

A man sits in London and yet can document chlorine gas attacks in....Syria

Imagine if I write to you here that I was able from California to "document" chlorine attacks by regime or by rebels.  Wait: if I said that about the regime, my post would be circulated at an international level because Western media work and coverage about Syria is pure propaganda work and has no relation to documentation and research methods.  "Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian conflict, said the Observatory had documented two incidents of chlorine attacks in the past fortnight."

Wait: were we not told that White Helmets is not a political organization and that it only does rescue work?

"Saleh also criticized Russia, which is backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the conflict. “I believe the withdrawal of Russia from the International Criminal Court is because it knows it commits war crimes in Syria and it doesn’t want to be accountable,” he said."  Does this politician-civilian rescuer know that US never ratified the ICC because it wants its soldier to be exempt from war crime charges and it punishes any country which does not pledge to never charge US troops with war crime?  

You know what some Arabs are saying about Israeli fires?

Some are saying: this is a state that have jets to burn the entire world, but don't have planes to extinguish fires. It shows you the true nature of this war criminal state.

Racist Separation wall

My weekly article in Al-Akkhbar: "The Israeli Racist Wall Arrives in Lebanon".

US government, media, and HRW don't like Castro and Guevara: they prefer instead this guy

But then again: who can be impressed with Guevara and Castro when you have this guy (Prince Khalid bin Sultan of SA)?

Saudi sleazy regime media

There is a sick sleazy obsession in Saudi regime media with Ivanka Trump.  She is everywhere there.

Saudi regime website, Al-Arabiyya, removes a story after I pointed out here that Trump was mocking Saudi regime

Regarding the post below from a few days ago: I pointed out that Trump was mocking Saudis when he said: of course, I love them when they pay me money. The writer of the article thought that Trump was serious in his declaration of love, so it was been sneakily removed since.

"It is hilarious.  Despite many years of expression for disdain of the Saudi regime, the Saudi notoriously sleazy news website, Al-Arabiyya (owned by King Salman), has a lead feature today: "Is it true that Trump hate Saudi Arabia"? Their answer is that no, because he once said that he loves Saudis.  In fact the quotation in question was in mockery.  "

Ken Roth reminds me of the director of the Saudi regime commission on human rights: that is how credible he is

Are you aware that Roth never ever used this language of about a Saudi King or about a Jordanian king or an Israeli leader upon their death? Never ever.  He would not dare. He feels his job is to use unrestrained polemical language only against leaders who are not approved by the US government.  Here, he agrees with Marco Rubio. But to me: Roth has as much credibility as Marco Rubio on human rights--maybe Rubio a bit more than Roth because he is not as phony.  

Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth)
Appropriate criticism and even ridicule for @JustinTrudeau's see-no-evil eulogy for brutally repressive Fidel Castro

Just like in pictures of Tehran: you never see those pictures of Havana in the US media

Saturday, November 26, 2016

This is hilarious: the writer concedes that Cubans had an excellent educational system but complains that students were indoctrinated

"In schools, Cuban students did learn to read, write, and do math — but most importantly, they became indoctrinated." And students in US are not indoctrinated?  

In all those years, nostalgia for Batista's dictatorship never went away

From Foreign Policy: "Before his rule, Cuba was one of the richest countries in the Americas."

When I first grew my beard at age 17, I was nicknamed "Castro"

A despot can be called a "reformer" if he is obedient to the US

(thanks Ben Norton)

Saudi regime journalist, Jamal Khashuqji, banned by the government from speaking for criticizing Donald Trump

The Saud regime has banned US media's favorite Saudi regime "journalist", Jamal Khashuqji (who served Prince Khalid Faysal and Prince Turki Faysal before settling on serving Prince Al-Walid bin Talal) from writing or appearing on TV or speaking publicly for criticism Donald Trump in a forum in DC.

The New York Times obituary is one of the most stupid pieces of journalism: here is NYT evidence that Castro was a communist all along

"Mr. Castro’s university days earned him the image of rabble-rouser and seemed to support the view that he had had Communist leanings all along. "  Is there no editor to go over those stupid statements? What standards of journalism?

Flash: New York Times still does not know who killed Che Guevara

In one of the most stupid articles I have read in a while, here is the account of Guevara's murder by the CIA in the Times: "Che Guevara, who had become hostile toward the Soviet Union, broke with Mr. Castro before going off to Bolivia, where he was captured and killed in 1967 for trying to incite a revolution there."

You know what is ironic?

Irony is when an Israeli prison-guard-turned US journalist complains about lack of freedoms in Cuba's Castro.

American obsession with Castro

The US almost destroyed the planet to spite him.

And now let the stupid American media talk about Castro and Cuba

Here is the Washington Post: "Secrecy shrouded details of Fidel Castro’s health".  What secretly? He died at age 90.  I know more about his health than I know about the health of Trump or Hillary.  Damn: we know more about Castro's health than the health of all pro-US Arab potentates combined.  What do you know about the health of Saudi King?  

Who are America's alternatives to Guevara and Castro?

In politics, you have to make choices.  Who but US would choose the top two over the two in the bottom picture?  

Castro versus US-armed Arab potentates

At least Castro never paid anyone to support him and cheer for him.  He got support for free.

They have their princes, kings, and Sultans

Arab journalists who follow the various oil and gas princes, kings, and sultans dare mock people like Castro.  You keep your Salman and Fahd and Sattam and Khalifah and let others have their Castros and Guevara.  

Castro versus Obama

Castro's health care system extends to all without exception, unlike Obama's health care plan.

How many political prisoners in Cuba?

Usually, the numbers are either 8 or 9 or 12 but American reactionaries in Miami and descendants of the Bay of Pigs mercenaries count all criminals in Cuban jails as "political prisoners".  US executes far more than Cuba, which has largely abandoned the death penalty.  

US killed in one day in Iraq

more than the entire record of the Cuban Revolution.

Jordanian cabinet receives "vote of confidence"

I asked a Jordanian journalist: has there ever been a cabinet presented by the King which did not receive the vote of confidence from the empty parliament? She said: only, one, the Samir Rifa`i cabinet in 1963, when the King quickly dissolved parliament and arrested MPs, and returned MPs to West Bank.

PS Now that kind of autocracy does not bother US democratic lovers.

Did I not tell you that Arab media can be funny?

You look around in Arab social media and you see journalists of Gulf regimes complaining that Castro's Cuba lacked political freedoms.  I kid you not.  

Castro's popularity

Does anyone have a doubt that Castro was more popular in Cuba than any of US presidents (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump) in the US?  You don't need elections to prove legitimacy and popularity.  

US political disease

Castro was the name of a US psychological-political disease.

US war on the Cuban population

This will go down in history--when the US narrative is no longer the prevalent propaganda narrative--as one of the most cruel and savage wars by a state against a civilian population.  Castro's domestic reaction to this US savagery and sinister infiltration and sabotage was mild in comparison.  

Ask Chomsky this question:

Is there a difference between Democratic and Republic commentaries about Castro?

Excuse me, who pushed the world to the brink of a nuclear holocaust? The New York Times on Castro

"and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war".  He pushed the world? He did not have nuclear weapons to push the world.  No one pushed the world to t he brink of a nuclear war except that one country which dropped nuclear weapons on Japanese civilians to test its military power and to send a message of toughness to the world.

Friday, November 25, 2016

How nuclear weapons fuel was diverted to Israel: From NASA archives

"Those reports indicated that Zalman Shapiro, throughout the time he headed NUMEC, collaborated with a number of Israeli officials. They included people from the “Science Attaché” office at the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., and others from the Israeli intelligence agencies Shin Bet and Mossad, all believed to be part of Israel’s scientific intelligence organization (LAKAM), which collected nuclear technology in the United States to aid Israel’s nuclear weapons program."

Fake heroes: Aung San Suu Kyi don't know about human rights violations under her watch

"Amid reports by Rohingya refugees and human rights organizations of arson, rape and killings, the lacklustre response of Burma's state counsellor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has been criticised by media and human rights groups." (thanks Amir)

Take this as a rule: the last person I wish to hear from in the world is this buffoon

"Dalai Lama: "I have no worries' about Trump's election".  I am shocked that this man does not have an act in the circus.  

First they tell you....

First tell you that that you should vote for Hillary because she is the lesser of two evils, and then they would tell you to vote for Paul Ryan because he is the lesser of two evils.

How both US and Russia manufactured news for the Syria war

Of course, all sides who engage in propaganda engage in spreading false news.  Remember the propaganda of false news by US occupiers in Afghanistan?  Syrian regime and Syrian rebels have both been engaged in spreading false news, as have the Qatari and Saudi and Iranian regime media.  It has been a festival.  US PR firms have also been involved in intense propaganda efforts which included fake news.  This story was clearly one of many false news stories inserted by the propagandists of the US in Western and Arab media.

General Mattis and Arab culture

"Mattis called in experts in Arab culture to lead cultural sensitivity classes. As Thomas E. Ricks recounts in Fiasco, Marines were taught to remove their sunglasses when talking to Iraqis, and when searching a home, to respect the head of the household by seeking his permission to enter rather than roughing him up." Who were those experts in Arab culture, I wonder? John Bolton and Fouad Ajami?

Chomsky and Hillary

Why are some leftists acting that Hillary was some great progressive war?  I tell people: Hillary posted a bigger danger to the world, while Trump poses bigger danger to the US.  Who knows: he could pose biggest dangers to both, as would Hillary.  But to see some progressives in mourning over Hillary is inexplicable.  Chomsky even said that those who did not vote for Hillary made a mistake.  That is some 75% of the American population, if you count non-voters.  His statement implies that things were just wonderful under Obama and that we need to extend the Democratic war era.  

The only democracy West of Mars planet

"Satirical Facebook Post Criticizing Celebration of Israel Fires Lands Arab in Jail".    Deep down do you think that fanatical Zionists like Alan Dershowitz really believe that this occupation entity is a democracy which practices free speech?

This is not true: shuffling the deck in Saudi regime media

What is the big deal? This is not unusual at all. Saudi regime media are treated by the House of Saudi as one apparatus of propaganda and it is very common to transfer one editor-in-chief from one mouthpiece of one prince to another mouthpiece of another prince. Very common. And it is not true that this is the first time a non-Saudi was appointed editor-in-chief.  There were two others: Jihad Khazin and `Irfan Nidham-ad-Din. End of story.

This Western correspondent in Beirut claims to speak for "many in the Middle East", that they want more US wars

"Many in the Middle East will be hoping for a recalibration of US policy after the Obama administration’s generally hands-off stance, particularly toward the war in Syria – despite anxieties fed by Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric. If Trump generally follows Obama’s policy of limited involvement, it could bode poorly for Syrian rebel groups."  By many in the Middle East he of course mean Israel and Gulf regimes and of course, the Hariri family, which he adores.  (thanks Basim)

Kenneth Roth of Human Rights produces fake news--while complaining about fake news (by which he means news bothersome to US/Israel)

This is the quality of documentation for this wealthy human rights organization, called Human Rights Watch.  People were in disbelief.  Roth was retweeting this today on Twitter with carries propaganda undocumented esteemed of the murder of children in Syria which basically absolves Jihadi groups (and of course US and its allies).  Worse, the Arab source of this "fake news" is a Gulf funded shop which never told us how it collected those number and how it assigned responsibility for the murder of those children.  Oh, and look at the source of the source of this.
23,863 children have been killed in . 90.81% of them killed by & . Get your priorities right

Nassib Taleb and the statistics of war in Syria

Now let me explain right at the outset: that I don't agree with Taleb's outlook about Lebanon and language and political identities. We clashed on Twitter before (and be immediately blocked me but later unblocked me), and that his take on the Arab East suffers from an acute case of sectarianism and a typically Lebanese disease of assuming that history in the region stopped as soon as the Muslims arrived into Lebanon.  But he is right that there should be questions raised about the statistics of the war in Syria: you have Qatar and EU and US funding various shops which produce numbers and figures and yet with no substantiation whatsoever.  There is never even an attempt to document the collection of number.  They are all arbitrary and unscientific.  People forget that UN stopped counting in Syria a few years ago because they admitted it is too difficult. So Western media copy from Western-funded shops and treat their production as "native knowledge".  Look at the number of victims the Hamah massacres: I always thought that it was around 10,000 (a huge number of course and a horrific war crime) but the number is being multiplied by the day as of late.  I don't think it is 2000 as Taleb's maintains though.  "It hit me that I needed to look into the estimates of Syrian refugees in Lebanon –here again numbers are flying without much rigor, swelling upwards from report to report. But we can assess the bias: they are potentially overstimated. For, at a certain municipality in Lebanon, I was told that the number of refugees in the town, while large, was considerably lower than what was used by the bureaucrats of the U.N. The real number is about a third of what is published. While this is very optimistic for Lebanon (there should be fewer refugees than claimed, so let us worry less about the stability of the place), it is not good for the economics and funding of U.N. agencies and the lifestyle of their bureaucrats.  Now, the real number of casualties in the Syrian war. We hear half a million people died in Syria. We are also told that many are “murdered” by Putin, Assad, and Catherine the Great (who came down to bully the Ottomans in the Levant after her invasion of the Crimea). It is easy to verify that much of the information we get about “butcher” of Damascus are suspicious: some Saudi-Qatari funded P.R. firms in Washington and London have shown evidence of hyperactivity. Just as the number of hospitals in East Aleppo where Al-Qaeda is based (and from where it shells civilians in other parts of the city), just as the number of hospitals per capita there appears to me several times that in the rest of the world (every day we hear that the Russians have destroyed another hospital, yet the State department spokesman John Kirby could not place or name any of the five hospitals he was recently discussing). I see propagandists and Al Qaeda apologists such as Charles Lister (at the Salafi-funded Middle East Institute) throw numbers that get cited –yes, some idiot will cite numbers from the Al Qaeda propagandist Charles Lister, and may eventually be cited in turn by some decent newspaper, hence get fixed for posterity. I once saw a serious American journalist (“expert” on Syria) posting on social media macabre scenes as a testimony of Assad’s murders: it turned out that a picture of “dying children victims of Assad” was likely to be from Libya four years earlier; it appeared to be promoted by a Qatari-funded P.R. firm. Her reaction was unapologetic: “Don’t you think Assad is capable of these crimes?”  Trust none of what you hear, some of what you read, half of what you see goes an old trader adage. As a trader and quant/mathematical statistician, I have been taught to take data seriously, trust nobody’s numbers, and avoid people naive enough to engage in policy based on lurid but questionable pictures of destruction: the fake picture of a dying child is something nobody can question without appearing to be an asshole. As a citizen, I require that the designation “murderer” be determined in a court of law, not by Saudi-funded outlets — once someone is called a murderer or butcher, all bets are off. I cannot believe governments and bureaucrats could be so stupid. But they are."  His skepticism--but not his outlook--should be kept in mind in dealing with Western and Arab propaganda on Syria.  

The prices of Hashish in Lebanon

Al-Akhbar published an article last week in which it was claimed that the prices of Hashish have gone down.  I have received from various people "who know" in Lebanon messages that this is not true and that the industry is doing well.  

What is the difference between "sneak attacks" and "preemptive strikes" and "preemptive wars"?

In the US, you still read that Israeli war on Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine was a "preemptive war".  Why is it not a "sneak attack" like Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Who is Syrian dissident Rana Qassis who met with Eric Trump?

So it was reported in the Wall Street Journal that Eric Trump met in Paris with Randa Qassis who claims to head a small opposition group.  But Syrian opposition groups and rebel groups hate her and accuse her of being a secret supporter of the Asad regime.  She is very close to the Russian government, and those opposition groups and personalities who are close to the Russian government are not trusted by other Syrian opposition groups. She is a blunt advocate of strict secularism in an amateurish way (that "secularism is the solution to all problems").  She also was vilified by all groups and people on social media for meeting with Israeli war criminal, Shimon Peres.  

fires in occupied Palestine

As one Saudi wrote on Facebook: the burning of Palestinians generated less sympathy than the burning of trees.

Just to be clear: I would accept--if offered--the UN ambassadorship

And I won't use the veto power except against US resolutions.  The fun I would have (oh, and I would have free access to the room service of the Waldorf Astoria).  

Another Zionist to the UN

"She signed state legislation to thwart a pro-Palestinian disinvestment campaign against Israel, known as Boycott, Divest, and Sanction, or B.D.S. — which made Israel one of the first to welcome her nomination for the post."

Keith Ellison: the Muslim Zionist

While the Israeli lobby is fighting Keith Ellison, Ellison reiterates his Zionism.

Egyptian regime forces deployed in Syria in support of the regime

I have not seen this in Western media. The Paris correspondent of As-Safir reports that there has been a contingent of Egyptian troops deployed in Syria in support of the regime.  He has been reporting on development of closer relations between the two regimes.  I wonder if Trump is sponsoring this new alliance.  How will GCC regimes respond to this?

U.S.-allied rebels terrorizing hospitals & doctors in Yemen

"Rebels allied with a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition have been “terrorizing” hospitals and doctors in Yemen, according to a new report by Amnesty International." "U.S.-backed, Saudi-led airstrikes have taken an even larger toll on hospitals inside Yemen."

Blaming Palestinians for fires and natural disasters

From Eyal: "During the Black Plague in the Middle Ages in Europe, Jews were sometimes scapegoated, with accusations of having poisoned the wells to infect crowded cities (see )

Now, for the past several days Palestine/Israel has experienced a wave of fires [1].  due to the unusually dry and windy weather. Israeli police has already rushed to claim that this is the result of arson. And who, do you think, might be the suspects? Palestinians, of course. "The Shin-Bet is
investigating: Arson Terrorism!" says the YNet headline.  Police chief Ronni Al-Sheikh (he's not a Sheikh, that's just his family name), who is a former top Shin-Bet official, announced [2] that "it is reasonable to assume that the arson had nationalist motives and arrests have already been made".  Ron Ben-Yishai, a security pundit, writes "Even a person wh's not an expert understands that most fires are the result of arson whose perpatrators know how to locate the places in which maximum effect would be achieved." [3]  MK Aiman Odeh, was interviewed by YNet and asked questions such as: "Do you know for a fact that these are not cases of arson?" and after saying does not know it for a fact and that if some person is responsible, than he is a wretched person, be he Jew or Arab, the next question was "So why do you object to the use of the term 'an Intifadah of Arson'?" [2]

Gotta love the Israeli media. It's like they haven't learned anything from last big forest fire in Haifa, 6 years ago, where arson was also suspected, someone was arrested, but of course nothing came of it.

Louisa Loveluck: another Western correspondent in Beirut

When Louisa Loveluck writes on Syria, she is keen on seeking out the views and opinions of experts who are objective and who have no stake in the conflict, like this fellow: "a resident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, a Washington-based think tank.".

Saudi regime media insist: Trump really loves Saudi Arabia

It is hilarious.  Despite many years of expression for disdain of the Saudi regime, the Saudi notoriously sleazy news website, Al-Arabiyya (owned by King Salman), has a lead feature today: "Is it true that Trump hate Saudi Arabia"? Their answer is that no, because he once said that he loves Saudis.  In fact the quotation in question was in mockery.  

Western media still refuse to talk about pro-US potentates' praise for Trump: here is the King of Jordan

"I have had the opportunity to speak to President-elect Donald Trump last week. The synergy was very good in the phone call conversation. I know many members of the transitional team"

How delusional can Maryam Khawaja be?

"“At least when you met with [the Obama] administration, you could use human rights language,” said Maryam al-Khawaja, an activist in Bahrain, where an uprising in 2011 was brutally suppressed." So you talk the human rights language with the Obama administration while the Obama administration sells weapons to the Bahraini dictatorship? What a great achievement really.

It is hilarious that I still read Westerners expressing outrage over the slaughter of sheep in the Hajj in Mecca

"Three hundred million turkeys are killed in the U.S. each year, many for Thanksgiving and Christmas."

U.S. officials on Saudi-Israeli-backed MEK payroll

"The MeK has paid Giuliani handsomely for years—$20,000 or more, and possibly a lot more—for brief appearances before the group and for lobbying to have it removed from the State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO), which occurred in 2012. Among other MeK devotees are former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton—another secretary of state in waiting—and champion Trump booster Newt Gingrich. Former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao (also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell), who suddenly appeared at Trump’s Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club on Monday for a meeting with the president-elect, has also been on the MeK payroll, as has former Bush 43 security aide Fran Townsend, whose name has been in play as a possible Trump secretary of homeland security or director of national intelligence." (thanks Amir)

Conventional wisdom on Syria

For all my years in the US, I thought that it was hard for Middle East studies academics to deviate from the conventional wisdom on Israel.  Now I believe that it is even harder for the community to deviate from the conventional wisdom on Syria.  

Henry Wallace and the Democratic Party

If you think about it: the Democratic Party has been moving to the right since the days of the 1940s.  The big moneyed interests and the southern segregationists succeeded in weakening the union leadership's influence and in moving the party to the right. They were the one who engineered the coup against Henry Wallace and the installation of Truman as vice president in 1944.  If you go back and read some of the statements of Wallace, it is stunning that no one would say those things now.  He denounced imperialism and used that language and denounced colonialism (hell, even FDR denounced British colonialism).  If you read what Wallace said about the races, you won't have the "first black president" ever utter such denunciations of white racism.  The Democratic Party--the tears of liberal Hillary's supporters notwithstanding--is really a right-wing party whose only connection to liberalism is history only.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley was the first governor to sign an anti-BDS measure.  But then again: do you really think that there will be a different between Nikki Haley and Samantha Power?  

So Hillary won the election?

So according to liberal media, Hillary simply made a mistake: she was under the impression that the US presidency is won in popular vote and she had no idea that there is such thing as the Electoral College.  

Liberal media talk about the worst showing for a US president among minority groups

"But Bush and Reagan both did far better with Hispanic voters, capturing 35 percent and 34 percent, respectively, according to exit polling data compiled by the non-partisan Roper Center for Public Opinion Research."  So he lost 5% support compared to Bush among Latino voters.  How much support did Hillary lose among all voters compared to Obama in 2008?

That is what I call a light meal-for-one

Why Israeli leaders are welcoming rise of anti-Semitism in U.S.

"In a column for Israel’s Ynet, Yaron London, long a prime-time host on Israel’s Channel 10, wrote that “a worldview which supports white supremacy matches our government’s interests.” “If Trump’s people are more disgusted by Arabs than they are by Jews … we have struck quite a good deal,” he adds, noting that “Trump and his friends see Israel as a forefront against the barbarians.” “To put it more sharply, anti-Semitism is the generator and ally of Zionism,” London states."

U.S. voted against anti-Nazi resolution at UN to protect its neo-Nazi allies in Ukraine

"The United States says it was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism over freedom of speech issues and concerns that Russia was using it to carry out political attacks against its neighbors." "Ukraine and Palau were the other no votes."

Exclusive: how Sabra Hummus is prepared in special kitchens

Boycott HP: Technology of Israeli apartheid

"There are clear parallels between HP’s biometric access control system as currently employed to confine and control Palestinian movement in Israel/ Palestine and the racist passbook ID system used by South Africa’s apartheid government, for which the U.S.-based Polaroid Corporation provided imaging services.  In the 1970s, there was a boycott and divestment campaign targeting Polaroid for its complicity in South African apartheid.  The campaign was eventually successful, andPolaroid’s dramatic 1977 withdrawal from South Africa increased pressure on other complicit companies across the globe, accelerating international efforts to end South African apartheid.  Leaders of the Polaroid boycott and divestment campaign, such as Caroline Hunter, the Polaroid employee who discovered her company’s role in South Africa and helped launch the boycott campaign, are today calling for a boycott of HP companies." (thanks Ami)

UN rights official commends Saudi prison conditions

“I can say that the Mohammed bin Naif Counseling and Care Center’s work according to the applied standards is a role model,” Emmerson said."  Is this the counseling center which sends people back to Jihadi terrorism? The problem is that Jihadis are the best treated among the political prisoners in the kingdom.  (thanks Basim)

"Evanston Public Library Books About Islam Defaced With Swastikas, Racial Slurs"

"Evanston Public Library Books About Islam Defaced With Swastikas, Racial Slurs"

Zionist classification of Syrian rebel groups

For Zionists, Wahhabi clerics are secularists if they are aligned with the Zionist regime. Such are the criteria if Zionists.   Look at this one: Notice that there is an attempt to distinguish various different Jihadi groups and the introduction of "political islamists" as if they don't subscribe to the notion of Jihad.  But the funny part is the reference (a whole 25% of "secularists", which is a reference to the various Western-trained and created and Turkish-trained and created and GCC-trained and created gangs grouped under the larger banner of Free Syrian Army.  Note that some of the gangs themselves have religious names but it does not matter.  And the Zionists who prepared the report conclude: " When the thousands of rebels in the non-powerbroker categories are added, the "secularists" become the largest grouping".   So by WINEP's calculations, and with extra math, the percentage of the secularists is really 99.99%.  So the percentage of Jihadis is merely 1% of all rebels really.  They remind me of one Western correspondent who wrote about the Syrian war early on and claimed that the righters in Syria are unlike what is being presented are mostly hippies, secularists, feminists, Sufis, and people who like to have sex.  Kid you not.  

What do you call the murder of civilians in war? Collateral damage

And what do you call a failed Army which never was an army but was a collection of warring gangs and factions which had nothing in common, and which answers to various paymasters? You call it: "a decentralized insurgent brand".  And what do you call US special forces when they appear--in violation of international laws and agreements governing wars--without their military uniforms and disguised as local natives? You call that: "relaxed grooming standards".

Fake news

Obama's fake news scares me far more than other fake news.  Obama's attempt to "correct" the news scare me far more than fake news.

Orthodox Jews versus "orthodox" Muslims in the US

In my years in the US, I have noticed this about American culture: when someone is known to be an Orthodox Jewish person, it is always a subject of admiration and praise, but when someone is known to be an observant Muslim, it is horrifying to people.  This reminds me that in my first teaching job at Tufts University, a colleague there once took me aside and said: are you a Lebanese Christian? I said: no, I am from a Muslim family.  He said: but you are not religious, right? I said: no, I am not. He was visibly relieved.

Obama's weapons to "moderate" Syrian rebels are in the hands of ISIS

"Evidence suggests that weapons intended for Syrian rebel groups backed by western governments are falling into the hands of the militants."

Just as Trump has chosen his son-in-law to achieve peace between Israel and Palestinians...

he wants this man to achieve peace between blacks and whites in South Africa. 

Trump's interview in the New York Times (2)

If you read the full transcript, you can't escape this conclusion: Thomas Friedman is by far the most obnoxious and most annoying and most egotistical member of the New York Times staff. By far.  

Under Trump

It is likely that Trump would sponsor a closer relations between Egyptian regime potentate and Syrian regime potentate.  And if ordered, Gulf potentates will follow behind.

Trump's interview in the New York Times

"ARTHUR SULZBERGER Jr., publisher of The New York Times: Thank you very much for joining us. And I want to reaffirm this is on the record. DONALD J. TRUMP, President-elect of the United States: O.K.SULZBERGER: All right, so we’re clear. We had a very nice meeting in the Churchill Room. You’re a Churchill fan, I hear?  TRUMP: I am, I am.  SULZBERGER: There’s a photo of the great man behind you.  TRUMP: There was a big thing about the bust that was removed out of the Oval Office.  SULZBERGER: I heard you’re thinking of putting it back.  TRUMP: I am, indeed. I am.  SULZBERGER: Wonderful."

PS I initially wrote the headline as "Putin's Interview in the New York Times".