Tuesday, March 31, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Al-Arabiyya publishes exclusive pictures of Saudi troops conquering Sanaa, Yemen

Al-Arabiyya TV: Saudi channel publishes photo ‘from Yemen’… but really from first Gulf war

"The Saudi TV channel Al Arabiya has come under fire for publishing a fake photo online. On Monday, it posted the following photo to its official Twitter account. The description, in Arabic, reads: “Al Arabiya exclusive: Saudi Arabia’s Operation Decisive Storm destroys a Houthi military convoy in Saada [Yemen].”  There’s just one problem: that photo is an iconic photo from the first Gulf War. According to information provided by the US Department of Defense, which put the image in the public domain, it was taken by a military photographer on March 4, 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. The photo shows Iraqi military vehicles that were destroyed by coalition forces."

University event questioning Israel's right to exist is cancelled

"A conference at the University of Southampton discussing the right of Israel to exist has been cancelled, say the organisers, who have accused the institution of bowing to pressure at the expense of free speech.

The conference, due to take place next month, described itself as “unique because it concerns the legitimacy in international law of the Jewish state of Israel”, but critics denounced it as one-sided.

Among those who condemned the conference were the Jewish Board of Deputies, and MPs including Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, and Caroline Noakes, MP for Romsey and Southampton.

The Zionist Federation UK arranged a petition opposing its staging that attracted more than 6,400 signatures. A counter-petition signed by more than 800 academics, including from Oxbridge, Russell Group and US Ivy League universities, urged Southampton to resist the pressure."

Sisi, previously

Anne Barnard now introduces a new distinction between Nusrah terrorists

It seems that Ms. Barnard believes that Nusrah Syrians are good, decent, secular terrorists who are quite moderate, while the Nusrah foreigners--as she calls them--are bad people:
Anne Barnard (@ABarnardNYT)

3/31/15, 9:27 AM
Nusra foreigners killed 2 Idlib Christians for liquor store; locals told us. Update: today others blame Ahrar al-Sham nyti.ms/1DiaQGk

So basically, according to her, if only the good terrorists of Nusrah can get rid of the foreigners among them so that they can establish their secular and moderate Islamic state.  If only.

"Delusions of NYU's philosopher-preseident"

From Arang: “It’s a monarchy, not an autocracy,” says Mr Sexton, describing the crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, as a “philosopher-king.”

UAE- Saudi conflict

There is clearly a conflict between UAE and Saudi Arabia over some matter. The level of representation of UAE in the Arab summit was one of the lowest in recent memory.  It is possible that the Saudi regime is now reconsidering the policy of launching war on the Muslim Brothers realizing that they can be used in this sectarian regional war.

Western media and the Joint Arab Force

They all inaccurately reported that the Arab League summit agreed on the formation of a joint Arab military force. No such agreement. What they agreed upon is the formation of a committee to look into the formation of a joint Arab military rapid intervention force.  Big difference.

U.S. protects shadowy neocon NGO

"The group was founded and is run and guided by a roster of U.S., Israeli and British neocon extremists" "Why would such a group like this even possess “state secrets”? It would be illegal to give them such material. Or could it be that the CIA or some other U.S. government agency has created and controls the group, which would be a form of government-disseminated propaganda, which happens to be illegal? What else could explain the basis for the U.S. government’s argument that allowing UANI to be sued would risk the disclosure of vital “state secrets” besides a desire to cover up something quite untoward if not illegal? What “state secrets” could possibly be disclosed by suing a nice, little “not-for-profit, non-partisan, advocacy group”?" (thanks Amir)

Myths about the Yemen conflict

"The first myth is that this war represents yet a new front on a massive regional Sunni-Shiite struggle. The reality is that a great deal of this struggle is heavily among Yemeni Shiites themselves. Yes, the Houthis, who are now well on the way to seizing leadership of the entire country, are indeed Shiite. They are Zaydi Shiites to be specific (also known as Fivers, believing in five imams) -- who differ significantly from Iranian Shiites (mostly Twelvers). Indeed, among the various schools of Shiism, Zaydism is theologically closest to Sunni Islam. Sunni and Shia have co-existed quite well in Yemen over long centuries.

Zaydi imams ruled most of Yemen for hundreds of years as an Imamate, until some 60 years ago when an Arab nationalist revolution displaced them.

But the Zaydi Shia remain a major force in the country (some 40 percent) and are dominant in the north. Furthermore, the two most important tribal confederations in the country are also both Zaydi. So was the former president of Yemen for 32 years, Ali Abdullah Saleh (overthrown in the Arab Spring and who now may be secretly supporting the Houthis). The Houthis are simply one regional Zaydi clan who happen to be rebelling for an end to what they saw as discrimination and the corruption of Saleh and his successor -- both Saudi-supported Shiites. Typically the Houthi movement takes the form of a revivalist movement seeking cleaner government and a "purer Zaydism.""

You should learn about the professionalism and reliablity of Israeli media

"Hezbollah probably has advanced missiles".

"The destructive legacy of Arab liberals" by comrade Joseph Massad

"Ironies abound. Terrified by the popular Arab schadenfreude expressed in massive demonstrations across the Arab world in solidarity with Iraq, demonstrations that did not sympathize with Kuwait and other oil-producing Gulf countries, the illiberal Saudis launched pan-Arab newspapers and satellite channels that bombarded the Arab world with pro-Saudi and pro-US liberal propaganda to reverse this Arab anti-imperial nationalist tide that also opposed the Arab regimes allied with US imperialism.

Intellectuals from across the Arab world joined the effort, abandoning old leftist, communist, Nasserist and Islamist positions and adopted the much, much more profitable pro-US and pro-Israel liberal line politically, and the neoliberal economic order being globalized. By the dawn of the new century, the Saudis and the Americans issued new orders to their media and agents to spread an unprecedented sectarian campaign against Shiites inside and outside the Arab world.

The campaign would be first articulated in 2004 by the new and neoliberal King Abdullah of Jordan, a self-styled “liberal” monarch who possesses absolute and unchecked power. The king expressed his and others’ fear of the rise of a “Shiite crescent” in the region.."

Experts in US media about Saudi war on Yemen

There are two groups of experts being cited in mainstream US media: 1) the usual suspects of WINEP who are never identified as they should as being part of a research arm of the Israeli lobby; 2) experts with ties to the Saudi regime. One expert in fact works for the Saudi Ministry of Interior and yet is identified as "Middle East expert".

Sa`d Ad-Din Ibrahim and his claim about Jumlukiyyah

For years, Sa`d Id-Din Ibrahim has been claiming in the Arabic and Western press that he coined the term "jumlukiyyah" (a word that combines republican and monarchist in reference to republican dynastic rule as in Syria or Libya or Iraq).  Not true.  Saudi dissident, Nasir As-Sa`id (who was kidnapped by Arafat's goons and surrendered to Saudi intelligence in Lebanon who killed him) used it long before Ibrahim in his book Tarikh Al-Saud (p. 853).

Monday, March 30, 2015

"Oh, Welcome War"

This Saudi paper reports about a new hit in Saudi Arabia: a song called "Oh, Welcome War". Enjoy.

By brilliant Sudanese cartoonist, Khalid Albaih

When House of Saud supported the Iranian regime

This front page of Al-Jazirah paper from the days of the Shah in the 1970s features an interview with then Crown Prince Fahd.  In the interview he said: "Kingdom declares support for the regime of Shah of Iran."  

Pakistani army for hire

Pakistani Army has been hired for internal repression in Arab countries before.  Don't forget that the tyrant Zia Ul-Haq served in Jordan during Black September alongside Jordanian regime troops in the massacres of Palestinians.

How Anne Barnard justifies attacks on civilians by "rebels" (i.e., terrorists of Al-Qa`idah)

"Insurgents could take revenge on pro-government residents".  Pro-government residents? And how do they determine that? Do they have markings on their foreheads?

The same people who had predicted to you that Bashshar would fall next week are now statoing that Huthis have been defeated already

It is over after two days only:  "“I think they’re losing this battle,” Khatib said of the Houthis". Mark your calender. 

This passes as necessary qualifications in the US

"She offers few bold or risky ideas. On foreign policy, for example, she says little beyond noting that Israel is a close ally."

Land of Israel?

From a well-known US correspondent who does not wish to be identified: ""These vessels belonged to Egyptians who lived in the land of Israel in 3100 BC." The land of Israel? In 3100 BC? Abraham wasn't born until 1800 BC. There was no Israel in 3100 BC."

AIPAC is the last refuge of Congressional scoundrels

"Mr. Menendez received enthusiastic applause addressing Aipac, the prominent Israel advocacy group, this month; it has contributed to his legal defense fund and has privately pressed other Israel-oriented donors to do the same.

By the end of 2014, Mr. Menendez had raised more than $200,000 for his legal fund — nearly a quarter of all its receipts — from political donors who have also given to pro-Israel political action committees, according to an examination of financial documents filed by the Robert Menendez Legal Expense Trust."

Tell Anne Barnad and Liz Sly: what moderate Syrian rebels?

Nusrah terrorists ban Syrian National coalition from Idlib.

Regimes and social media

"Non-democratic regimes have only recently begun to realize the full potential of co-opting social media for their own purposes. This trend, therefore, is likely to intensify in the near future, with profound consequences for the future of democratization and state-society relations. Government involvement in internet technology has continuously evolved from early strategies of brute-force denial to more sophisticated strategies of control and contestation.75 Here I have focused on the latest phase of this evolution what I call the shift from contestation to co-optation. This strategy incorporates elements of censorship and control, but also builds on them to actively subvert the reach and power of online
technology in order to strengthen the regime ’s grip on political life."

Anne Barnard needs to know more about Ahrar Ash-Sham (again, Western media promoting Bin Ladenite terrorists)

"Ahmad Kara Ali, a spokesman for Ahrar Al-Sham, said in an interview that his group would not allow any other group to “monopolize power” in Idlib. “We are counting on the awareness of the Syrians and the rebels not to let any of the parties to repeat the experience of Daesh,” he said."  In fact, Ahrar Ash-Sham, as  this writer of As-Safir explains, is still under the direct sponsorship of none other than Ayman Adh-Dhawahiri.  And one of its leader, Abu Hafs, is an old friend of Dhawahiri, and some mentions him as one of the founders of Al-Qa`idah in 1998

PS What is hilarious is that Barnard refers to Ahrar Ash-Sham as "ultra-conservative" as if we are talking about a political party seeking representation in the Swedish parliament.

Liz Sly and the Washington Post now refer to Al-Qa`idah as "Syrian rebels"

You can see her cheering the the Bin Ladenites: "The rebel force, led by the al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra".

Al-Qaeda took over Idlib thanks to U.S. weapons & Turkish anti-air missiles against Syrian planes

"The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has released another video showing its fighters using American-made TOW missiles. As The Long War Journal reported earlier this week, Al Nusrah released a video featuring a TOW missile attack in the early hours of the jihadists’ newly-launched offensive against Syrian regime forces in the city of Idlib."

Turkey welcomes fall of Idlib to al-Qaeda with Turkish help

"Turkish officials have expressed their satisfaction at the seizure of the northern Syrian city of Idlib by opposition forces, stressing that the Ankara-supported Free Syrian Army (FSA) was part of the winning side. The coalition that seized Idlib city on March 28 was composed of the al-Nusra Front, the official Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda, as well as several Islamist factions."

U.S. secretly built biological & chemical weapons for Saddam

"As Alan Friedman wrote in The Spider Web: The Secret History of How the White House Illegally Armed Iraq, the Reagan and Bush administrations, which backed Iraq in its 1980-1988 war with Iran, approved of U.S. companies selling chemical agents and equipment to Iraq, including “a huge petrochemicals complex called PC2. Western intelligence also knew that PC2 was capable of generating chemical compounds to make mustard and nerve gas.” Donald Riegle, a Democratic U.S. Senator from Michigan, held hearings about the veterans illnesses in 1993 and 1994. He told me the decision by Reagan and Bush “to secretly help Saddam Hussein build his biological and chemical weapons was a monstrous strategic error that eventually led to the tragedy of Gulf War Syndrome, which killed and disabled so many unprotected American troops.” " (thanks Amir)

Arab legitimacy

"The backing of the West gives Saudi’s position legitimacy."  Yes, there is nothing that accords legitimacy to an Arab party or regime than Western support. IT does it. Also, can we do away with importing Western media cliches about "the region's policeman" especially when the regime in question is in fact supporting the criminals and terrorists of the region? That is no policeperson by my book.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Socialist Sweden bows down to Saudi royal family

From David: "After the FM criticized Saudi Arabia,  here is what the response has been:
"Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador and stopped issuing visas to Swedish businessmen. The United Arab Emirates joined it. The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, which represents 56 Muslim-majority states, accused Sweden of failing to respect the world’s ‘rich and varied ethical standards’ — standards so rich and varied, apparently, they include the flogging of bloggers and encouragement of paedophiles. Meanwhile, the Gulf Co-operation Council condemned her ‘unaccept-able interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia"

Yemeni demographics and the Birmingham 'Scientific Institute'

From Nu`man: "On Yemeni demographics: Its said that Zaydis (otherwise referred to as Shi'ah in the media) are 30-40% of Yemen. Obviously this was not always the case. I remember reading many, many years ago that Zaydis were about 60% of Yemen (or of the old North Yemen). The rest was made of up (shafa'i) Sunni muslims. The split is along geographical lines. Anyone south of Ta'iz and stretching to the east into Hadramout was assumed to be Sunni while everyone to the North of Ta'iz was assumed to be Zaydi.

Now one of the reasons the that Zaydi numbers have decreased is because from the mid-1970's North Yemen (before unification in 1990) ran two parallel education systems: Firstly there was the State education system; Secondly, there was the Islamist education system (run by people who later were to form the Yemen's Muslim Brotherhood, Islah Party). The Islah schools were known as Ma'had al-Elmi (Scientific Institute).

These 'Scientific Institutes' were originally funded by Saudi Arabia and had a two fold target. In the 70's & 80's, secular left politics was still strong in the Yemen so by Islamically brainwashing children in Yemen, the Saudis (British?) thought less and less people would join left-wing movements when they become adults. The other purpose of the Scientific Institutes was clearly to turn Zaydi children into Sunnis. By the time the Scientific Institutes were disbanded in the mid-1990's there were well over 1,100 of them operating in Yemen.

Also, one of these 'Scientific Institutes' was drafted into Birmingham, UK in the mid 1980's which was clearly targeted at Yemenis who had come from the provinces of Ta'iz and in the south Yemen. I wrote about many years ago well before the so-called "Arab Spring". It needs touching up but its here:

US-Saudi coordinated bombing of Yemen

"The Saudi ambassador in Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, said Friday that the U.S. has been "very supportive" of the operation politically and logistically. He said the kingdom is "very pleased" with the level of coordination with the U.S., which has established a joint planning cell with Saudi Arabia to coordinate U.S. and military and intelligence support."

By the talented Sudanese artist, Khalid Albaih

"Rice", which also denotes fortune or wealth.

War in class terms

Basically, the richest Arab countries, supported by the richest countries of the world, are launching a war on the poorest Arab country--oh, and in the name of democracy for sure.

Yemeni people and House of Saud

Yemeni people have bitter feelings about House of Saud: not only for their role in supporting the reactionary monarchy and in their role in prolonging the civil war, but also for expelling hundreds of thousands of Yemeni workers from Saudi Arabia in 1990 because Salih stood against the US-Saudi-Syrian war on Iraq.

How come Western countries never count their victims in the millions? At least 1.3 million lives lost to US-led War on Terror

"How do you calculate the human costs of the U.S.-led War on Terror?" "with at least 1.3 million lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan alone since the onset of the war following September 11, 2001." "A politically useful option for U.S. political elites has been to attribute the on-going violence to internecine conflicts of various types, including historical religious animosities, as if the resurgence and brutality of such conflicts is unrelated to the destabilization cause by decades of outside military intervention," they write. "As such, under-reporting of the human toll attributed to ongoing Western interventions, whether deliberate of through self-censorship, has been key to removing the 'fingerprints' of responsibility." "

Zia-ul-Haq once even commanded a unit of troops in Jordan tasked with combating Palestinian fighters

" “The meeting concluded that any threat to Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity would evoke a strong response from Pakistan.” (Nevermind that in this instance, it appears Saudi Arabia is leading an intervention into the territory of another state.)" "The former Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq once even commanded a unit of troops in Jordan tasked with combating Palestinian fighters."

Another Western government joins the Arab club of democracy headed by Saudi Arabia

"Britain will support the Saudi-led assault on Yemeni rebels “in every practical way short of engaging in combat”, the Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, said on Friday. In a briefing while on a visit to Washington, Mr Hammond confirmed that British-built aircraft were being used in the campaign, in which Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies have bombed targets throughout the country."

BBC: the world news service--by sect

Union membership

Embedded image permalink

He tells them, I am left and I don't want the left and yet Western media keeps calling him and his party left

"“I moved my party to the center and I will continue forcefully to stage my party to the center. The only way to win in Israel is by being in the center.”"

Max Blumenthal at his best: expose of Ayaan Hirsi Ali

"Exposing Anti-Islam Author Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Latest Deception"

A new terrorist danger

Are you aware that Gen. Sisi described the internet the other day as "the new terrorist danger"?