Friday, August 28, 2015

Flash: Palestinian women teach an Israeli terrorist a lesson

Odors and Protests in Lebanon

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Odors and Protests in Beirut: Legacy of Rafiq Hariri."

Israeli police

From Eyal: "A Palestinian from Jenin was assaulted in Netanya by locals. Despite
being injured from the blows, but managed to escape his assailants and
call the (Israeli) police. They proceeded to arrest... the Palestinian,
and nobody else. You can always trust the police here to fight crime!

By the way, for those who haven't noticed, over the past year, over half
of the police commissioners in Israel resigned: Several due to
allegations of sexual assault against female police officers and one due
to a corruption scandal involving a lawyer and a district prosecutor
official who had conspired to help shield people from criminal
investigations. So now the minister of internal security has decided to
appoint someone 'clean', from outside the police force, as the new chief
of police. He appointed... you guessed it, a retired high-ranking
military officer, Gal Hirsch.

The same Hirsch, during his tenure as the head of the Israeli Military's
officer school, introduced numerous Jewish religious texts into the
commander's library and the cadets' library, and initiated the
construction of the Great Synagogue at the officer school. He commanded
a division of the force invading Lebanon in the war of 2006. Indeed, an
"inspiration" to us all."

Saudi mufti meets with US-Saudi new ally in Yemen, Shaykh Zandani (a Ben Ladenite)

Do you notice that the Brazani police state in northern Iraq still gets good press in the US?

""Kurdish security officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said that Thursday night saw the execution of a security plan in which Arab Sunnis_of which there are tens of thousands as refugees in the Kurdisn areas_that have been under observation were being arrested in a series of raids throughput the area. Plainclothes Kurdish security forces could be seen in unmarked cars throughout may areas of the capital, as, according to the officials, steps were taken to prevent ‘sleeper cell’ attacks inside the city.""

Threat to world peace

"Washington alone builds roughly eight new warships a year, including a brand-new nuclear carrier every four or five years" (thanks Krim)

Notice that a Zionist in the US is able to say things that a non-Zionist would be accused of rabid anti-Semitism for saying it

Where is the ADL about this statement by this Israeli Zionist? "Natalie Portman revealed in a recent interview that she believes her childhood Jewish education placed too much emphasis on the Holocaust, arguing that the Jewish community must focus more on other injustices being perpetrated around the globe."

From Jadaliyyah: on Lebanon

Comrade Maya: "Lebanese media pose these young men as “hooligans” or “dogs,” in diametrical opposition to the non-sectarian, educated, independent thinking, middle class and non-violent protestors. The license given to armed forces to break their bones and bodies is more generous than the license given regarding the bones of “peaceful protestors.” These are discourses on masculinity that proliferate across borders in the twinned eras of the war on terror and of neoliberal securitization. They intersect and traffic alongside discourses on sectarianism, masculinity and violence in Lebanon."

US embassy in Beirut and its dirty media tricks

So the US government is strongly on the record on the side of the corrupt Lebanese government and its repressive security services. But just in case, today the US embassy seems to have ordered the bribable Lebanese journalists through to leak to imply that the US government is not pleased with repression. Nothing in public statement. The US government wants, typically, to have it both ways.

Saudi dilemma

"Yet the key difference between the aforementioned military defeats and the ongoing Saudi-led campaign
in Yemen is the group constituting the opposition. Riyadh’s expensive war against the Houthis will face scrutiny from a growing unemployed youth population. There will likely be international opposition as well as criticism from voices within the ruling family. Whereas Saddam Hussein’s regime relied on brutal and reprehensible tactics to maintain a firm grasp on power, Mohamed bin Salman is in no position to execute members of his extended family as a means to 
hold power. The Deputy Crown Prince faces a dire dilemma in terms of his next move."

Take this as a rule: when the corrupt PA denies it is lying

They steal and then deny.

When it comes to information and evidence about Hizbollah, Nicholas Branford only relies on objective and neutral sources

From Basim: "According to Matt Levitt, a counter-terrorism and intelligence specialist with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Mughassil was living in Beirut prior to the 1996 attack. “He basically ran the Khobar operation – directing surveillance, providing funds, arranging for the explosives to be driven from Lebanon – from his Beirut apartment,” Mr. Levitt says."

Libya is a Western model

"Administration officials say that even though the NATO intervention in Libya, emphasizing airstrikes to protect civilians, cannot be applied uniformly in other hotspots like Syria, the conflict may, in some important ways, become a model for how the United States wields force in other countries where its interests are threatened."

This is an American-Saudi war in Syria (not to be confused with the American-Saudi war in Yemen)

"First was the murder of Gen. Abdo Khodr al-Tellawi with his two sons and cousin in Homs' Bab Tadmor district on April 17, 2011, while they were going to the general's home in the Zahra district. Tellawi, whose arms and legs were chopped off, was an Alawite — a religious minority of which embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a member. The second event came soon after, when a bus headed to Zahra was stopped and 13 people were killed, including three women. One woman was forced to march naked in the streets. All the victims were Alawites, he said. But Alawites did not retaliate, and kept silent for four months. The rebels continued their violent anti-Alawite campaign, cutting off roads and picking up Alawites." (thanks Amir)

Hariri movement and the protests on Saturday

For a whole week the Hariri movement has been demonizing the protest movement blaming Hizbollah for it, and today Interior Minister even faulted a US conspiracy.  But today, out of panic the Hariri movement seems to shift gear and wants to steal the momentum by calling on their supporters to participate--in a protest against corruption, mind you.

Is ISIS really getting an unfair bad press? Well, this Daily Telegraph correspondent in Beirut thinks so

Ziad sent me this.

Bashshar and not responding to Israeli attacks

I won't even cite his lousy words, but you should read the lousy answer that Syrian tyrant, Bashshar Al-Asad, gave to the question about why his lousy regime does not respond to Israeli attacks.  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Who says Western media don't care about Arab women?

"The perfectly polished pair stepped out in complementary outfits for the high-profile occasion. Queen Rania looked elegant in a cream knee-length dress that had billowing sleeves with slits to the elbow and a neck-tie detailing. She carried a pale pink box-style bag by Kate Spade and wore high-heeled pointed courts with a tie-fastening. Meanwhile young Princess Iman bint Abdullah looked smart in a white dress with a bold red pattern around the waist, caged beige sandals and a white crochet cardigan." ( thanks Basim)

Forgotten Gaza

"It’s not merely because the Gaza Strip has been categorised as “the world’s largest open-air prison” that Dr. Zeyada’s metaphor hits home. It’s also because being Palestinian in Gaza - existing, more or less, in a permanent state of traumatic stress - often amounts to psychological torture."

Thus: you do not call torture “torture” if the U.S. government falsely denies that it is

"Thus: you do not call torture “torture” if the U.S. government falsely denies that it is; you do not say that the chronic shooting of unarmed black citizens by the police is a major problem since not everyone agrees that it is; and you do not object when a major presidential candidate stokes dangerous nativist resentments while demanding mass deportation of millions of people. These are the strictures that have utterly neutered American journalism, drained it of its vitality and core purpose, and ensured that it does little other than serve those who wield the greatest power and have the highest interest in preserving the status quo."

Oh, how beautiful: when all the social classes unite in downtown Beirut

"The protest on August 22 attracted a broad spectrum of Lebanese from different regions, economic backgrounds, and sects."  They were all so united and nice and loving but when they saw poor Shi`its coming from a poor quarter in the city, they all panicked and called on the security forces to remove them by force and to name them to defame them.  Oh, how beautiful and united it was.

Israeli weapons fueling South Sudan civil war

"Israeli weapons are being used in South Sudan by the local army and its senior officers, according to a recent UN report." "According to the current report, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army has been implementing a scorched-earth policy, and has been involved in indiscriminate killing, rape, pillaging, destruction of infrastructure and uprooting of civilians from their homes."

Everyone understands that

"So American military power is at work every day all over the world, and I think everyone understands that."

The U.S. has around 800 military bases outside of the nation's borders

"The U.S. has around 800 military bases outside of the nation's borders." "Largely, people of course don't like their land occupied by foreign troops — and I think it's worth thinking, for American audiences, to think about how it would feel to have foreign troops living next door, occupying your land with tanks. ... There have also been a number of harms that these bases have inflicted on local communities — there have been accidents, crimes committed by U.S. personnel, environmental damage — a whole range of damage that people were quite upset about." (thanks Amir)

"civil society organizations"

The Saudi regime, like Western governments, discovered that "civil society organizations" can become a mere tool in the hands of government. Yesterday, the Saudi regime issued a statement on behalf of Yemeni "civil society organizations" in which the latter vomited the rhetoric of House of Saud on Yemen.  In Lebanon, Hariri family basically orders "civil society organizations" around.

It is Hebrew not Arabic: no need for alarm

"'Arabic Terror Threat' Was Actually A Hebrew Welcome Sign"

US ambassador in Jordan is really pissing people off

Read here.

Human Rights Watch speaks on Lebanon: how its office in Beirut is part of March 14 political coalition

1) look at this sentence: "Witnesses said that some protesters threw firecrackers and water bottles over the police barrier near the Grand Serail".  I don't understand the point. Is HRW trying to say that this is violent that justifies the government's violence?
2) "The Skeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom, which monitors freedom of the press, ".  Are you kidding me? You cite the most discredited media organization in Lebanon? Skeyes? The one that refuses to include in its definition of the Middl East region all Gulf regimes?  That same organization is your reference? the organization that is aligned with March 14, which controls the government of Lebanon? This is how you gather information?
3) this is another source for HRW: "Nada Andraos, a journalist from LBC TV, a local station. He does not mention that this is the same station that described all poor protesters as thugs and uncivilized and the same Andraos is the one who talked about poor protesters like this: "they don't look like they are activists or students or teachers".
4) The statement does not mention that the security forces guilty of the abuses mentioned (mildly) are controlled by March 14 and their sponsors in SA and USA.
5) the statement did not utter one word about the hate sectarian language of March 14 journalists in Lebanon. Not one word especially that those journalists loudly called on the authorities to use force against them.
6) Notice that the statement mentioned only one organization among all the organizers of protests, and the one mentioned is the most conservative of the bunch.

This is a reporter with LBC-TV, the station founded by Bashir Gemayyel: she is talking about the poor protesters

It is always about social class, stupid.

Did the US violate its own law and international law by tipping of Saudi Arabia?

It seems that the US tipped off the Saudi regime to order the Lebanese Security Services (a militia run by Hariri family and funded by Saudi Arabia and US and is playing a big role in repressing the Lebanese people) to arrest a Saudi dissident (who is accused by Saudi regime of involvement in the Khubar bombing).  Even if he is guilty (and he has not been tried), the US government led to his arrest by a government that beheads.  Is there not an American law against surrounding a wanted man to a government that does not even have a semblance of rule of law, as the recent report by Amnesty International indicated?

US-trained, US-armed, and US-funded Lebanese Security forces uncover terrorist weapons

In an official statement yesterday, Lebanese Security Forces announce with great fanfare (the last word is according to Watt of Arabic origin but he does not provide a convincing etymology) that they captured...firecrackers--I KID YOU NOT--with the protesters and that it was "highly explosive".

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Lebanese police rush to erase the "damage"

Statue of Riad Sulh (so-called founding father of Lebanon). It says: "I am Michel Dik: take it from the hands of Sa`ahah". Michel Dik assassinated Sulh for his role in the execution of Antun Sa`ahah, the founder of SSNP.

Correction: it is Macedonia. Only in Beirut: fixing her lipstick during a protest

Leftist activist, Ayman Muruwwah, was beaten by Lebanese security thugs (US-trained and equipped and funded)

“almost incomprehensible”

"With a staggering four in five Yemenis now in need of immediate humanitarian aid, 1.5 million people displaced and a death toll that has surpassed 4,000 in just five months, a United Nations official told the Security Council Wednesday that the scale of human suffering is “almost incomprehensible”."

a complaint with the New York State Attorney General's office

"Taxpayer dollars in the United States and Israel are subsidizing Jewish terrorism against Arabs, a complaint filed with the New York state Attorney General’s Office alleges."  Personally, I don't think that we should refer to Jewish terrorism or to Muslim terrorism but it is safe to refer to Christian terrorism. You can't compare.  But seriously: instead of referring to Jewish terrorism we should call it: Israeli-inspired terrorism.

US-backed, Saudi-led bombing is helping al-Qaeda to grow in Yemen

"Meanwhile, al-Qaeda continues to grow and take more territory as the US-backed, Saudi-led bombing destroys infrastructure and plunges millions of Yemenis, most of whom already lived in abject poverty before the war began, into further desperation." "Leading human rights organizations maintain the US and other Western allies of Saudi Arabia can be held accountable for war crimes being committed by the coalition." (thanks Amir)

Socio-economic grievances in Beirut

This short video explains what is happening: a guy who admits that he belongs to Hizbollah expresses his socio-economic frustrations and says that he is opposed to all ministers and MPs, even those who belong to Hizbollah.  (thanks Laure)

The cement wall that lasted one day in Beirut

Photographer is Husayn Badyun.

Saudi media is outraged

As if Iraqi or any non-Saudi papers are allowed to publish in Saudi Arabia:
"London-based pan-Arabian newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat has announced the decision to stop publishing its edition in Iraq, after repeated violations by the Asaaib Ahl al-Haq militia, which they say is “close to Iran and to the former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.”

It added that armed militia were breaching the law, and censoring content by ‘deleting or amending articles and the reports in the newspaper’ that criticized Iranian policy in the region. Asharq Al-Awsat said in the most recent incident, the militant group even changed their first page headline." (thanks Basim)

Down with Capital in downtown Beirut

The graffiti says: "Down with Capital: in the middle of Commercial Filth" (the last expression is a corruption of the term "Al-Wasat At-Tijari" or commercial district--it rhymes in Arabic of course).

It has never been clearer: this is the time to study the conduct of Western human rights organizations

You watch them on twitter and read the statements of Western human rights organizations.  Just because they are sympathetic to March 14 in Lebanon (the ruling party) they really are going most soft about the repressive and brutal government. The director of Human Rights Watch office in Beirut even praised the "wisdom" of the Lebanese prime minister (because he removed the Cement walls from the Serail as if he did that on his own volition and not in response to popular pressures).

By the way: to clarify what is written on twitter by some Western correspondents and NGO types about Beirut

It is true that some supporters of Hizbollah are accusing one faction (not all) of the protesters and organizers of ties to an American conspiracy. But it is also true that March 14 supporters, journalists, and officials are also accusing the entire protest movement of being a Hizbollah conspiracy. This Hariri journalist in An-Nahar is quite explicit. Conspiracy theories go both ways, in Lebanon and elsewhere.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

What is happening in Beirut now: what human rights organizations are NOT tweeting about

It is obvious that Saudi ambassador issued orders and the news media of Lebanon stop their live coverage of downtown protests.  Now, I am being told by people there: a massive force of security people are beating people brutally.  

US-trained, US-equipped, US-funded Lebanese Security Forces kick protesters

Watch the videos.