Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Percent of GDP committed to Foreign Aid

Percent of GDP Committed to Foreign Aid
1 Sweden 0.99 %
2 Norway 0.88 %
3 Denmark 0.82 %
4 Netherlands 0.80 %
5 Belgium 0.50 %
6 United Kingdom 0.48 %
7 Ireland 0.43 %
8 Finland 0.43 %
9 Spain 0.43 %
10 Switzerland 0.42 %
11 Austria 0.42 %
12 Germany 0.38 %
13 France 0.38 %
14 Canada 0.32 %
15 Australia 0.29 %
16 New Zealand 0.27 %
17 Portugal 0.25 %
18 Italy 0.21 %
19 Greece 0.20 %
20 Japan 0.20 %
21 United States 0.19 %

Is this what makes a despotic regime look good in US eyes?

"Even on the ever-toxic topic of Israel, Qatar invited Israeli leader Shimon Peres to speak in Doha, encouraged a Georgetown University-organized student trip to Israel, welcomed Israeli athletes and, before being pressured by its neighbors to close it in 2009, hosted an Israeli trade mission in Doha." (thanks Basim)

For some reason, there are no Western tears for Syrian civilians when they are killed by US bombs

"U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria are killing hundreds of civilians each month, according to monitoring groups, deepening already grave concerns for thousands of families trapped inside the city. "  In fact, killing Syrian civilians make the US president look "presidential" according to US pundits and journalists.

Trump's attack on anarchism

If I am not mistaken, the last time anarchists were attacked by a sitting US president was in the early 20th century.

The war against ISIS and Al-Qa`idah in Lebanon

Notice that this story failed to mention that Hizbullah had just defeated Al-Qa`idah in Lebanon.  But I understand: Western correspondents in Beirut have nursed a deep appreciation for Al-Qa`idah in Syria--just like Israel has.

Obama is also to be blame for White Supremacy

"But there were more sinister undertones to Obama’s rhetoric, more flaws in his outlook, than Baker acknowledges. Obama often enough lashed black folk in public — belittling Morehouse College graduates in a commencement speech, blaming black people for using poverty as an excuse to commit crime in his address at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, needling black members of Congress with the condescending exhortation to stop complaining, take off their bedroom slippers and put on their marching boots. Obama could identify what he thought of as black pathology in remorselessly granular detail. Yet he could hardly utter a discouraging word to white America, wouldn’t dare take the same liberties with them as he did with his own."

Silly journalism

Whataboutism? As if this is unique to one government or one person?  It is amazing how US media act superior only because they regard US propaganda as being morally superior.

US media is still nostalgic to the corrupt and repressive era of Yeltsin

US media have no credibility on Russia; they covered up the crimes and corruption of the lousy era of Yeltsin only because he was a mere puppet of US imperialism.

In the name of challenging Russian propaganda, US private sector goes to work in censorship and news manipulation

"Russia’s Internet manipulations have spawned a new push by companies and civil society groups to combat such “fake news.” One example is the online “dashboard” created by the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy. It monitors 600 Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence operations to collect a regular summary of trending hashtags, topics and URLs. (Note: I’m a GMF trustee.) The world is forewarned now, and partially forearmed. 
●Internet and social-media companies are seeking technology solutions to bots, trolls and fake news. Facebook plans to identify dubious articles and steer them to independent fact-checking organizations, which will warn users if supporting evidence can’t be found. Google is creating algorithms to identify reliable sources from the billions of pages it indexes. Such private-sector efforts are the best hope for sustaining a fact-based electronic environment."  I can only imagine the results.

UAE recruits the business class to spew its political propaganda

Everybody in the UAE is recruited as a propaganda soldier.  Some self-respecting Emeratis chose silence. 

Alan Dershowitz is now advising Trump on the Middle East

Read here.

Lebanese churches ban the movie Annabelle

Do you happen to notice that when Middle Eastern religious establishments--or Jewish for that matter--resorts to censorship and repression, it is never covered in the Western press.  Here, the Lebanese Maronite church banned Annabelle II under the pretext of offense to the core of religion.

This is how the Sudanese war criminal was forgiven

The door of forgiveness for third world despots always pass through the Israeli lobby in DC.

US military experts

Basically, US military experts always give the same "strategic" advice: more troops and more training for local forces. I mean, aside from bad politics, what lack of imagination.

George and Amal Clooney

I have a better idea: why not give a million to the despot of Bahrain, for whom Amal did consulting work, and why not George donate a million to the South Sudanese regime, for which he lobbied?
"George and Amal Clooney give $1 million to combat U.S. hate groups"

The new liberals--or neo-liberals--in Syria: former leftists adjust

An article about former leftism in Syria.

In countries that are not pro-US

Do you notice that in covering countries which are not allies of the US, the US media insist that any accusations of theft or embezzlement or even murder against an opponent of the regime must be bogus.

Netanyaho's spoiled brat lecturing Americans

US money to the poor nation of Isarel

US foreign aid in 2016. ($ billion)

Israel: 3.1
Afghanistan: 1.5
Egypt: 1.4
Jordan: 1.0
Pakistan: 0.8
Kenya: 0.6
Nigeria: 0.6
Ukraine: 0.5 

When does the US media find Trump to be presidential?

Only on two occasions: when he ordered the bombing of Syria, and when he ordered more troops for Afghanistan.  War and bombing always makes a presidential seems presidential in the eyes of the US press corps.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sebastian Gorka's PhD Dissertation

I actually read a while back his PhD dissertation.  My impression is summed up with what Hanna Batatu said about Fouad Ajami's Arab Predicament: not one original insight in the whole work.

PS Although I remember that Gorka was trying to make it clear in the dissertation that what he is saying does not apply to all Muslims, if I remember correctly.  But then again: there are those who say that and then add: this applies to "only" 20 % of all Muslims who are fanatic, which means we are talking about some mere 400 million Muslims.

This is hilarious; Arabiyya English explains why it publishes fabrications

"It is important to note, however, that this article originally appears in Arabic in the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat and Al Arabiya English has no authority in changing the original article."

PS This is what is hilarious about this: the same Prince (MbS) own both Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat and Al-Arabiyya.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Apparently, the notion that staring at the eclipse damages the retina is also fake news.

Steven Salaita on AUB

"I didn’t leave AUB; I was ousted, deprived by management of a permanent job for which I had been selected.  For a long time after it happened, I was shocked that Zionist pressure could succeed in the Arab World.  Having suffered that pressure in the United States, I knew the danger of aggravating pro-Israel groups, many of which make a living denying the same right to others.  The affair made me rethink some of my assumptions about Zionism as a settler-colonial project.  I realized that Zionism informs class loyalty as strongly as it does ideological devotion. "

Hillary's new book

Will Hillary be talking about her "family" friendship with Husni Muabrak and other Middle East despot? Will she also feature pictures with the Libyan chief of secret police, Qadhdhafi's son?

This man lost his mind a long time ago and now he will be losing his eyesight.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Western correspondents in Beirut (who can't read Arabic) won't report on this: red flags over the Sudan

A big turnout for the burial of the Sudanese Communist feminist leader, Fatima Ahmad Ibrahim.  Just think about it: there is more about Malala (who only inspires Western government bureaucrats at their desks) getting into Oxford than about this communist Arab/Muslim woman who inspired millions.  

An Israeli Minister qualifies opposition to Nazism

"“Due to the terrific relations with the US, we need to put the declarations about the Nazis in the proper proportion,” Kara said. “We need to condemn antisemitism and any trace of Nazism, and I will do what I can as a minister to stop its spread. But Trump is the best US leader Israel has ever had. His relations with the prime minister of Israel are wonderful, and after enduring the terrible years of Obama, Trump is the unquestioned leader of the free world, and we must not accept anyone harming him.”"

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Fracture of the American Empire

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The Fracture of the American Empire: Growing Dangers".

An interview with UAE dissident Ahmad Mansour

He also talks about his prison experience.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Neo-Nazis for Israel: a good fit, really


They steal the land and they steal the culture

Someone needs to explain this to me. If Labne, and Tabbuleh, and Hummus and Baba Ghannuj are all part of "Modern Israeli cuisine", what did Arabs eat before the state of Israel was established in 1948? Sometimes I feel the theft of cuisine is almost as offensive as the theft of the land

Finally, scientific and through investigation by Reuters of Syrian chemical weapons use

Here are their sources in this investigation: "according to half a dozen interviews with officials, diplomats, and investigators involved in eliminating Syria's weapons of mass destruction."

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"So predictable: Saudi regime media now lauds Muqtada, the astronaut"

"Iraq’s Shiite cleric and political leader Muqtada al-Sadr’s visits to Saudi Arabia and the UAE have changed a few hearts and opened outlets. Muqtada al-Sadr’s steps may seem small to some but they resemble the steps of American astronaut Neil Armstrong in the sense that they are huge for Arabs and Muslims at this difficult time." (thanks Basim)

A DC think tank doubles as a lobbying form and doubles as a brokering institute and doubles as a Zionist recipient of Gulf money

"And by the way, I don't 'broker' meetings. The Washington Institute, like other research organisations/think-tanks, regularly arranges meetings... that bring together all sorts of people, from all range of governments and backgrounds, in a wide variety of formats....Satloff opened his note by thanking the UAE ambassador for "the generous new year's gift"*, without specifying what he had been given."  Yes, sure and no string attached. I always remember that.

*Responding to the reference to the "generous new year's gift, Satloff said that the policies of WINEP prevent any member of the staff from receiving any gift from a foreign government worth more than $20.  So I can only speculate that the gift must have been either a happy meal from McDonald or a box of Kleenex tissues.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Oh, the US Department of State's Annual Report on Religious Freedom found this evidence of anti-Semitism in Syria

"Government-controlled radio and television programming continued to disseminate anti-Semitic news articles and cartoons. SANA frequently reported on the “Zionist enemy” and accused the opposition of serving “the Zionist project.” The government repeated its claim a “Zionist conspiracy” was responsible for the country’s conflict. In April SANA reported on “al-Quds Cultural Day” in Damascus, a monthly event to address the “Judaization” of Jerusalem and “resistance against the Zionist project.”"

Islamism came to Sudan with direct US support to combat the powerful Sudanese Communist Party

The Islamism of Ja`far Numayri was a direct product of his alliance with the US and Saudi camp in the region. Today, a Salafi considered the late Fatimah Ahmad Ibrahim, the Sudanese communist feminist and struggler, as an infidel due to her Marxism.

The farce: it is called the US Department of State Annual Report on Religious freedoms around the world

In Israeli occupation state, the US government found this evidence of religious persecution: "The Waqf continued to restrict non-Muslims from entering the Dome of the Rock shrine and the Al-Aqsa Mosque and prohibited individuals from wearing non-Muslim religious symbols on the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif."   In Lebanon, the report strains to find evidence of religious persecution so it included silliest material. Also, the report clearly relies on statements and allegations of Lebanese Forces. Worse, it gave bogus numbers of sectarian distribution of the population: "Statistics Lebanon estimates 36.8 percent of the population is Christian." This firm is owned by a Lebanese Forces affiliate and the numbers it provides only fit into the narrative of the right-wing sectarian agenda.  This percentage of Christians in Lebanon is just ridiculous. It is probably less than 30%.  And look at this statement: "In their monthly meeting in February Maronite bishops expressed concern over what they said was discrimination against Christians in terms of access to public offices and state financial resources."  Discrimination against Christians in access to public offices? Where and when?  Also, where did the report find this gem: "In September Hizballah announced a boycott of the Hajj and threatened to expel any party members who traveled to Mecca." Expelling members for visiting Mecca? Is this for real, when the brother of Hizbullah deputy-secretary general, Na`im Qasim, runs a company which organizes Hajj tours.  The report also found evidence of anti-Semitism: "The Jewish Community Council reported continued acts of vandalism against the Jewish cemetery in Beirut during the year. Construction rubble and trash were also thrown into the cemetery. The council complained to the security forces but stated they took no action."  Excuse me: but there is trash in most cemeteries in Lebanon. Would that also mean anti-Islam and anti-Christianity?  And this is the section about Syria: " The Alawite-led government and allied, mostly foreign, Shia militia allies killed, arrested, and physically abused Sunnis and members of targeted religious minority groups, and intentionally destroyed their property, according to numerous reports".  Wait: did the Syrian government go after them because they are Sunni? Is the Alawite-led government ever reluctant to arrest and torture and persecute someone who is Alawi if they revolt against the regime and take up arms?  But this is my favorite section: "According to human rights groups and religious communities, the government continued to monitor and control sermons and to close mosques between prayers. It also continued to monitor and limit the activities of all religious groups, including scrutinizing their fundraising and discouraging proselytizing." So the US urges Saudi and Qatari and Jordanian regimes to monitor sermons and watch mosques but is displeased when that happens by the Syrian regime?  Also, I hate to bother the US government, but does the FBI monitor mosque sermons in the US?  They would not do that, would they, given that the US is the land of the free and home of the brave? Here, the US report criticizes the Syrian government for this evidence of religious persecution: "Throughout the year, Hassoun called for combating “takfiri (Muslims who kill other Muslims who do not follow the same belief structure) mentality” and called for support of the army and leadership, according to the official state news agency. In meetings with Islamic scholars in June, President Bashar al-Asad stated the religious establishment should spread a “correct” understanding of religion."  And here the US government found evidence of sectarianism by the Syrian regime: "Media and academic experts said the government continued to portray the armed resistance in sectarian terms, saying opposition protesters and fighters were associated with “extreme Islamist factions” and terrorists seeking to eliminate the country’s religious minority groups and its secular approach to governance. For instance, the official state news agency, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), reported on the government’s fight against “takfiri terrorist organizations” throughout the year. In a September interview with AFP, President Asad said “most of the militants belong to extremist groups, such as [ISIS], [JAN], [Ahrar al-Sham], and others…every terrorist is an enemy.” According to international media reports, leaders from a number of minority religious groups, such as representatives of the Catholic and Orthodox Christian communities as well as prominent Druze activists, stated the government had their support because it was their protector against violent Sunni extremists."  I also noticed that the report in the sections on Qatar and Saudi Arabia gave specific examples of anti-Semitism in the press but gave not one example of anti-Shi`ism (far more abundant) in the Qatari and Saudi press.  But the hilarious part of the report is this: when pro-US regimes attack extremist ideologies and organizations it is praised, but when Syrian regime does it, it is criticized as evidence of sectarianism. Notice that the report does not care for insults and offenses against atheists.  They don't count for the Christian government of the US.

PS By the way, the report lied when it said that access to the Wailing Wall is open to all. A Palestinian under occupation told me that access for Arabs was revoked ten years ago.

Monday, August 14, 2017

"Women living in countries w/ more traditional gender roles are MORE likely to major in mathematics & statistics, not less"

Martin Chulov discovered a miracle in Syria: a man who started medical school at age 12 or 13

Martin Chulov--and the whole coverage of the Guardian of Syria--deserves an award for the most undistinguished mainstream ill-informed Western media coverage of the Arab world.  Look at this sentence in Chulov's article: "“I worked as a doctor in Arsal at the Central hospital and at the Islamic hospital,” said Dr Hassan Ammar, 24."  So he was a medical doctor at age 19, which means that he must have started medical school at age 12 or 13 especially if you count years of residency.   (thanks Suheil)

Who is Jamal Abdul-Nassar?

"Throughout Egypt, posters of al-Sisi wearing dark glasses abound, which is reminiscent of Gamal Abdel Nassar".

The Saudi ambassador in the US wears a US flag on his lapel--how patriotic of him

Wait: US media still call Idlib "liberated areas"

From Angry Arab's correspondent in Turkey: "For NYT, Al Qaeda has just taken control of Idilb, of course not right after jihadi coalition lead by Al Qaeda's Syria branch, captured the city from Syrian army in 2015, thanks to US backing."

The UAE grill

"Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme — including the "grill," in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found."

When Mattis treated to destroy the people of North Korea

From Kim: "Imagine if an Arab country or Iran where to threaten Israel with the "destruction of its people" There would be cries of genocide and Holocaust from Western MSM. Yet not one peep to that tune when an American Secretary of Defense threatens the genocide of the North Korean people."