Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Saudi regime media are quite adamant in supporting in Israeli propaganda. I maintain that Saudi regime has become the closest Arab ally of Israel since 1948. In two days in the last three days, the headline of Al-Hayat, the mouthpiece of Khalid bin Sultan, said: "Israel imposes calm". And it and Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat (mouthpiece of King Salman and his brats) refers to Israeli murder of Palestinians as "clashes". They are on the footsteps of the New York Times in coverage.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 9:29 AM
"It is perhaps not coincidental that Nobel Committee Chair Kaci Kullmann Five is a former chairwoman of the Norwegian Conservative Party, a business consultant, a managing director of one of Norway’s largest holding companies, and a member of the board of directors of several other large privately held corporations as well as Norway’s largest petroleum company, Statoil. A committee led by someone with these credentials might not recognize, or might not wish to acknowledge, that it was the preeminent role of the UGTT along with strikes, occupations of public space, and street demonstrations that broke Tunisia’s political logjam, not simply “peaceful dialogue . . . to find consensus. . . .”
The Nobel Committee correctly noted that Tunisia still faces political, economic, and security challenges. The security issue has received the most attention after the major terrorist attacks in March and June of this year. The government subsequently proclaimed a state of emergency and adopted a new anti-terrorist law. Eight international NGOs, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Carter Center, and the International Federation of Human Rights criticized the new law as “imperil[ing] human rights and lack[ing] the necessary safeguards against abuse.” Many consider the new law uncomfortably similar to the 2003 law enacted by the Ben Ali regime, which was largely unenforced from his departure in January 2011 until May 2015."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 8:49 AM
Monday, October 12, 2015
"This video shows Yahya Hassan embracing and bidding farewell to his baby daughter Rahaf in Gaza on Sunday. “Wake up, my daughter,” the inconsolable father says, and asks relatives to “leave her with me.” The toddler died along with her pregnant mother Nour Rasmi Hassan in an Israeli air strike."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 8:07 AM
"Civilian casualties overall in America's 2003-2011 Iraq war were anywhere from 140,000 dead to upwards of 500,000, with many killed by artillery, aerial bombs and depleted uranium munitions, indiscriminate weapons unique to American forces." "America's allies, equipped with American weapons, follow a similar pattern in making war. Saudi Arabia in Yemeni cities, and Israel in urban Gaza, employ cluster munitions." "Though not confined to cluster munitions alone, the deployment of these US-made weapons by the Saudis in Yemen has only added to the carnage. Almost 4,000 people have been killed, with 19,000 injured. In Gaza in 2009, the Israelis used cluster munitions, white phosphorus - a flesh burning agent also used by the US in Iraq - as well as standard artillery, all against dense urban areas. The UN estimates over 1,400 civilians, of whom 495 were children, were killed in the attacks. The Israelis also destroyed a hospital in Gaza, attacked two others, and shelled UN-run schools in 2014." (thanks Amir)
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 8:06 AM
"Columbus was clearly no friend of native peoples, but a document discovered10 years ago in Simancas, Spain, suggests he was an equal-opportunity tyrant. Witnesses testified that his brief government of Hispaniola was marked by routine cruelty not only to the native Taínos but also to Spaniards who defied or mocked him. A woman who reminded Columbus that he was the son of a weaver had her tongue cut out. Others were executed for minor crimes."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:10 AM
Read the report: every other word is "taliban".
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:08 AM
Washington Post explains why unarmed Palestinians are killed by Israelis: William Booth does a stint for the Israeli army
"“popular resistance” to the Israeli occupation — meaning large, often violent demonstrations". Well, the demonstrations are often violent by virtue of Israeli shooting on demonstrators.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:06 AM
Here he proves that Nusrah Front only obtained two TOW missiles: "“Nusra made a big public display of having these two missiles,” said Ford, who is now a fellow at the Middle East Institute. Had they acquired more, he said, “they would be using them now.”" This guy should be an investigator.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:02 AM
Of course, Liz Sly, in the course of the Syrian war, takes at face value every single claim of every Syrian who supports the rebels and every claim of the rebels themselves. She never exercises the basic faculty of critical thinking or journalistic skepticism in reporting. This renders her dispatches undistinguishable from the Ba`thist media but from the other side. Look at this article: it is all based on claims by the Syrian rebel groups. But the rebel groups make military claims of victory more fantastic and more bombastic than the military communiques of Yaser Arafat. I was looking at military communiques of Suqur Al-Ghab (US-supported, as they say in US media): it is clear that they are lying and exaggerating and fabricating in order to receive more Western aid. And look at the statements of Tajammu` Al-`Izzah: and notice that they raise the same banner of "No God but God and that Muhammad is his messenger". Yes, the same group that is now being described as secular and democratic and feminist. But this Youtube video (and Liz Sly's article cites Youtube videos as irrefutable evidence) does not prove that a tank was hit. It only proves that something was set on fire. Do you know how easily one can stage that, and I am not dismissing the possibility that a tank was hit. But skepticism in the press is healthy, toward both sides and all sides.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:57 AM
There is a new Syrian rebel shop in town: US-supported Tajammu` Al-Izzah: they promise to "fight until the last drop of the Syrian people"--kid you not
Every season there is a new group and a new leader. And then quickly, they are forgotten. Whatever happened to Dr. General Engineer, Salim Idriss, who was hailed by John McCain as the best hope for Syria? Whatever happened to Jamal Ma`ruf who was hailed by Lynn Sly as the best hope for Western powers since Pope John II? Here is an interview with the Commander of Tajammu` Al-`Izzah: (US--supported): He pledges that they "will fight to the last drop of the Syrian people". Kid you not.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:41 AM
As I was telling the audience in San Diego on Saturday, the problem with the Syria story in the Western press is that there are no dissenters. That all Western correspondents are signing the same tune and parroting the same line. To be sure, the same applies in the Arabic press but there Qatari and Saudi regime control the media and there is no escape from strict orders. In the West, the press is free in theory but does not dissent on foreign policy from the government. Aside from Patrick Cockburn, I can't think of one correspondent who has deviated from the official party line on Syria.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:55 AM
From Basim: "The New York-based group said it had obtained photographs showing cluster munitions were dropped on Kafr Halab, a village southwest of Syria's second city of Aleppo, on October 4. It said it could not confirm whether the munitions had been used by Russian forces, or supplied by Moscow but used by Syria."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:33 AM
"Violence against Palestinians is nothing new. Israel’s ongoing colonial project requires enormous levels of brutality against Palestinians." "Israeli soldiers executed six Palestinian protesters and injured another 60 in Gaza for allegedly throwing rocks at the border fence. And on Friday, a Jewish Israeli in Dimona stabbed four Palestinian workers."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:31 AM
"So here we are: Fake FBI ISIS setting up ostensibly real post-Soviet mobsters to purchase material for a potentially deadly device that exists only in the minds of counterterrorism threat risk managers. The media, either agnostic to or incapable of understanding what really happened, paints the picture of the FBI swooping in to stop a Russian/ISIS nuclear conspiracy at the 11th hour."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:30 AM
"The scholars, who have previously given evidence before the UK Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Select Committee, further report that despite large convoys transporting IS oil through Syria, Iraq and Turkey, “allied US air-raids do not target the truck lorries out of fear of provoking a backlash from locals” (although killing up to a thousand Syrian civilians is apparently fine). As a result, “the transport operations are being run efficiently, taking place most of times in broad daylight”. So the US is not targeting the Islamic State’s financial lifeline - its black market oil infrastructure - but instead is teaming up with the same al-Qaeda affiliated groups that spawned IS in the first place, to undermine Assad."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:29 AM
"The PLO delegation also quoted from a previous show during which Stern said, “The Arab world has to be taught a lesson, that we are the boss and you are going to be our dogs… let Israel loose… it could be taken care of in an hour; you could wipe them off the face of the earth…I’d blow up… the Palestinians… blow them all up and be done with them, and you won’t miss a night’s sleep.” If Stern were to make such comments about other ethnic groups, including Jews, the PLO delegation asserted, “the public outcry would rightly be fierce.” " (thanks Amir)
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 7:27 AM
Imagine if a US Muslim were to say this.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:58 AM
"Palestinian “lone wolf” teenage attackers with no ties to militants or mullahs."
How come all individual Israelis who kil unarmed Palestinians are suffering from "mental illness" according to the government?
"In the southern desert city of Dimona, a Jewish Israeli, allegedly suffering from mental illness, stabbed four Arabs, two seriously, in what police labeled a nationalistically motivated attack."
From the beginning of the war in Syria, week after week, the Economist has been firm that the Syrian regime is falling and that the Syrian rebels are weeks from reaching Damascus. This week, the magazine--like all other mainstream Western media--added a qualification: that the Syrian rebels were about toe reach Damascus when the Russian jets appeared over the skies of Syria.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:34 AM
"Under the new plan, leaders of groups already battling the Islamic State undergo vetting and receive a crash course in human rights".
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:26 AM
"Reports indicate that CIA-trained groups have sustained a small number of casualties and have been urged to avoid moves that would expose them to Russian aircraft."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:24 AM
So in a matter of days, US and its official media have determined that Russian bombing mostly hit non-ISIS groups
"But most of Russia’s airstrikes have targeted Western-backed rebels instead of Islamic State infrastructure, U.S. officials say." The French government actually gave a figure of 90% (of Russian bombing that didn't target ISIS). But if Western governments have such accurate and precise estimate of bombings that didn't hit ISIS can they supply us with an even more precise estimate of their own bombing that either missed the target of on groups other than ISIS?
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:16 AM
I dont mean to bother you but who are those incredible rebels who are fighting the Syrian regime, ISIS, and Russia at the same time?
Wait: are they talking about the 4 to five Syrian rebels who are certifiably moderate? "But the progress made by Islamic State fighters comes at the expense of rebel groups opposed to Assad and the jihadists. Those groups, which the United States has viewed as the most palpable allies in Syria’s messy civil war, are now confronting both the Islamic State and Russian firepower."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:12 AM
"e crush and stampede last month outside Saudi Arabia’s holy city of Mecca killed at least 1,470 people during the hajj, a new tally showed Friday, making it the deadliest event to ever strike the annual pilgrimage. The Associated Press count is 701 higher than Saudi Arabia’s official tally of 769 killed and 934 injured in the Sept. 24 disaster in Mina, a few miles from the holy city of Mecca. Saudi officials, who could not be reached for comment Friday, have said their tally remains accurate and have not updated their casualty toll since Sept. 26. "
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:08 AM
By the way, what is the running rate of dead Afghan families by Pentagon's standards? Is it still $800?
"Pentagon Says U.S. To Make Payments To Families Of Kunduz Air Strike Victim".
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:02 AM
"QUESTION: John, I’m just wondering if – does the – and this is not intended to be purely a semantic point, but does the Administration have a view as to whether this wave of violence that you’ve condemned is criminal in nature, or is it actually terrorism?
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:00 AM
Saturday, October 10, 2015
"Additionally, one should not forget that the Quartet, which includes the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts, the Tunisian Human Rights League, and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, is in significant ways part and parcel of the dictatorship era, with some of its four components not only occasionally offering opposition, but also sometimes standing in as regime support-bases—the very structures that helped keep key sectors of the Tunisian body politic and economy frozen in the monopolistic mold that many Tunisians found frustrating and oppressive."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 6:28 AM
From Scott: "Yes, CNN is trying as hard as it can to deny Saudi Arabia is bombing Yemeni civilians. Bombs from unknown sources are just falling from the sky and landing on weddings. Thousands of civilians are just simply dying.
Airstrikes hit a wedding celebration in a rebel-held portion of Yemen, killing at least 30 people, local officials said... It wasn't initially clear who had carried out Wednesday's strikes in the southwestern town of Sanabani.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 5:47 AM
"including the Nusra Front, Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, and relatively secular groups like the Free Syrian Army". What is "relatively secular"? One is either secular or one is not. You can't be both. This reminds me of the title of an Arabic Egyptian movie from the 1970s: "A virgin but...".
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 5:45 AM
After days--MERE DAYS--of the Russian military campaign Anne Barnard declares that it has been a great failure
This is rather hilarious. The US has been bombing ISIS for over a year in Syria and Iraq and I never read one article by Anne Barnard in which she passes judgment on the US military campaign. Yet, after MERE DAYS of the Russian campaign, Ms. Barnard decides that it is all over and that the campaign has been an abysmal failure. What is also deceptive about this article and the headline is that it leaves out an important fact: that the ISIS successes have been registered against other Syrian rebel groups.
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 5:43 AM
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 5:06 AM
Friday, October 09, 2015
Again, today: the US ambassador in Lebanon is honoring those who are repressing the youth of Lebanon
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 12:50 PM
Yes, because the Arab people take all their clues and hints from the Nobel Committee and they consider it its moral compass
“The Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian quartet gives hope to the Arab region, where for the past few years it has only been bad news. By recognizing the quartet, the Nobel committee highlighted the tremendous value and importance of dialogue and consensus building amongst political leaders at a time when polarization and violence reign supreme."
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 11:56 AM
From Kissinger: "orey Robin here at CUNY has been posting good stuff as well:
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 9:51 AM
Posted by As'ad AbuKhalil at 8:22 AM