Friday, June 23, 2017

All kidding aside, do you deny that Saudi princes are really thrilled with the new Crown Prince?

I mean, the guy to the left (fifth row) has never been happier.  

The propaganda of Ben Hubbard for the Saudi regime

Look at this article.  For an objective source on the new Crown Prince, he goes to a fellow at the King Faisal Center.  And three of the experts cited belong to think tanks funded (partly at least) by Saudi or UAE government (or is it two out of three?).  Also, he says that Muhammad bin Nayif was "respected" by Saudis. He and his father were the two most hated Saudis by far.  Notice that Hubbard have a policy: to never talk to Saudi dissidents or opposition figures.  Also, do you know that Hubbard's articles get translated and covered in Saudi regime media?  

Can you imagine this human rights poseur using this language about Iranian or Syrian rulers??

To show he represents more than the king favoring his son, new Saudi crown prince should begin real rights reforms.

Nicholas Blanford always finds a way to justify Israeli crimes

"Fighters from Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah organization routinely fired mortar rounds at the outpost or scaled the mountain to launch close-range attacks. The resulting retaliatory Israeli artillery fire often hit the village and its outskirts, killing and wounding residents and causing damage to property." (thanks Basim)

Social mobility and perceptions of social mobility

"People in the US are most unjustifiably optimistic about social mobility: "Interestingly, and this is a finding worthy of additional research, we find that Americans are especially overoptimistic about social mobility in parts of the country where actual mobility is especially low (the south and the southeast), and they are pessimistic where mobility is actually high (the north and northwest)." (thanks Laleh)

Saudi Wahhabi (most senior cleric of the 20th century) Bin Baz says this about the Muslim Brotherhood

He was asked about the Islamic groups which are "closest to righteousness".  The Muslim Brothers were included.

At this rate of Saudi regime progress....

Saudi Arabia is changing!

Who knows. Maybe Saudi regime can--say in a decade--catch up with North Korea and have its own movie industry.  This could happen.  

Syrian regime and Hizbullah are not on the same page regarding the assessment of the Arab uprisings

Hasan Nasrallah just said: "What happened in the Arab world [in the last few years] was a popular authentically patriotic movement and not the product of an international conspiracy".  This runs counter to the view of the Syrian regime and some of its allies.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

What is funny is that the man to the left of Crown Prince, senior cleric, Salih Al-Fawzan, had ruled that photography is impermissible religiously

Saudi regime lobbyists in DC

Do you notice that all US newspapers pages and TV screens have been widely opened for Saudi regime lobbyists to make their case?

I am not making this up: McDonalds Saudi Arabia pledge allegiance to the new Crown Prince

The title of the Servitor of the Two Holy Places has been changed.  It now reads:  The Servitor of the Two Holy Places and McDonalds Restaurants.  

How did Muhammad bin Salman broach the topic of his appointment as Crown Prince with his dad?

There must be an awkward conversation which took place between Muhammad bin Salman and his father.  I mean, there certainly was a moment in which Bin Salman went to his father and said: look dad. You don't look good and you are not getting any younger.  I have a hunch you are leaving us soon.  I see that you issue the royal decrees at once.  I don't want you to die before attending to this matter otherwise it will all be over for me.  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

`Abdul-`Aziz bin Fahd is clearly not into the new rule

`Abdul-`Aziz bin Fahd has been posting items which are clearly intended against the regime.  He criticized the vulgarity of the media campaign against Qatar and said that his father, Fahd, would not have allowed that.  Look what he wrote today about the new Crown Prince: He did not say I pledge allegiance.  He said: Muhammad bin Salman: you have from us all sincere prayers for what God likes and approves.

صباح الخيرات لخادم الحرمين,وأقول محمدبن نايف جهوده مشكوره,ومحمدبن سلمان لك منا جميعآالدعاء الصادق بمايحب الله ويرضى

Middle East Institute in DC: a reliable source of crude pro-Saudi propaganda

The article promises to show how the elevation of Muhammad bin Salman "raised alarm in Iran".  Here is his evidence that alarm was raised: 

"The promotion of bin Salman has raised alarm in Tehran. The most alarmist reports and opinion pieces were published in outlets affiliated with the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (I.R.G.C.). Tasnim News Agency, for example, called the succession announcement in Riyadh a “soft coup” and claimed it was approved by Washington, adding that the Trump administration is pleased with bin Salman’s anti-Iran stance. Fars News Agency, also an I.R.G.C. mouthpiece, called it a “political earthquake in Riyadh.” Another Fars article said President Donald Trump and bin Salman have developed a close rapport – citing the latest arms deal between Riyadh and Washington and the creation of a U.S.-backed “Arab NATO” to counter Iran’s regional ambitions. “Trump’s footprint is apparent in these decisions,” it alleged."  But even Arab media carried such stories and even headlines. Does that mean that they too were raising alarm?

On Live Saudi TV: a guy was talking to MbS with a pointed finger but was then forcibly removed

Watch here

With great pleasure and thrill, the Saudi Muftiti endorsed the Crown Prince

The Muftiti of Saudi regime has spoken: he supports Muhammad bin Salman

Where are the tears of the ostensibly humane Western correspondents in Beirut over this?

31 out of 34 votes in the Acclamation Body

I am rather suspicious of this number.  It does not sound credible at all.  Aljazeera just changed to 31 versus 34, which is not at all what is being claimed by Saudi regime media.  

What was the last order of Muhammad bin Nayif?

His last order hours before he was sacked was a directive to grant vacation time for the `Id for the former terrorists who are now beneficiaries of the rehabilitation program.  

The pro-Saudi Pakistani clerics welcome Muhammad bin Salman

This head of pro-Saudi Pakistani clerical shop welcomes Muhammad bin Salman.  Don't judge on appearance.  This man is a very moderate very feminist version of Islam--according to the Saudi-US alliance.

And now a word from UAE regime propaganda outlet: the National welcomes Muhammad bin Salman

What I like about those propaganda outlets is this: I mean, if Muhammad bin Nayif was declared King yesterday, they would have written the same words in his support: "In the new Saudi Arabia, bold and dynamic policies inside and outside it will probably strengthen its role in the Middle East in the coming years."

PS Tahrir Institute is "partly" funded by UAE.  

‘Devastating’ survey shows huge loss of Israel support among Jewish college students

"Since its initial coalescence in 2002, Brand Israel has commissioned a large-scale segmentation study in 2010 and a followup in 2016. For anyone with the slightest Zionist impulse, the downward slope of Israel support is disturbing. While in Israel to present the recent 2016 BIG segmentation study, “Sounding the Alarm: The American-Israeli Relationship,” Oppenheim repeatedly used the word “devastating” — each time without hyperbole.  In sum, the gap between Israel-supporters and detractors is widening. The current Israel advocacy programs are not working, and Jewish college students are the leading defectors from Israel support."

Saudi Aljazeera journalist, Ali Dhafiri resigns

The pressure on Saudis who work for Qatari companies is so strong that many forced to resign. The long time Aljazeera presenter, Ali Adh-Dhafiri, resigned yesterday and expressed loyalty to the Saudi regime.  The weird thing is that he never resigned even when Aljazeera was most vocal against the Saudi regime.  I knew Dhafiri and his resignation surprised me a great deal.

Smooth transition?

Of course, Saudi media are going out of their way to stress the smoothness of transition.  The Saudi regime media made the Acclamation Body (Hay'at Al-Ba`ah) sound like it is an elected representative body.  There is a clear danger for the regime: the base of power has never been narrower.  The coup of 1964 brought various brothers together.  Muhammad bin Salman, in contrast, has even excluded his half brothers who have had good reputation and attained real education (a rarity in that lousy family).  Furthermore, by becoming the sole ruler, he has to own by himself all the lousy decision of recent years.  He does not have someone else to blame for his blunders and adventures.  To be sure, there will be propagandists of the House of Saud (like the New York Times correspondent Ben Hubbard or Washington Post's David Ignatius) who will tell you how popular the new Crown Prince on social media--in a country where a mere retweet or tweet in disagreement with the government can land you a long jail sentence and where an expression of sympathy for Qatar can land you 15 years in jail in UAE.  Also, the scene of the meeting between Bin Nayif and bin Salman was a bit overdone and manufactured.  Muhammad bin Nayif was way too hurried to finish and was looking as comfortable as when the son of King Abdullah of SA realized that it was too late to change the succession line upon his father's death.  

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

House of Saudi: those who oppose them are cheering

No one has ever shaken the usually united Saudi Family like this Muhammad bin Salman.  Opponents of the regime are counting on him to bring the regime down.  March on.

Flash: Muhammad bin Salman made Crown Prince

Muhammad bin Salman is now Crown Prince.  He will be the next king--if he survives.  

For those who don't think that UK press is Islamophobic

Thus Spoke Fadlo

"“Mistakes were made and are being made, but people in the region did not lose faith in the American intellectual agenda.” " What is the American intellectual agenda which the Arabs still believe in, as he claims??

You know that repression in the UAE has been ratcheted up when...

When Sultan Al-Qassemi is made to disappear from social media, it is a sign of how rigid and and tight the repression in the UAE has become.  Is the Minister of Happiness still smiling? 

Syrian jihadists wouldn't have survived without Israel's assistance

" "Israel stood by our side in a heroic way," a spokesman for the rebel group Fursan al-Joulan, or Knights of the Golan, Moatasem al-Golani, told the Journal. "We wouldn’t have survived without Israel’s assistance." Abu Suhayb, a nom de guerre of the commander who leads the group, told the newspaper he receives approximately $5,000 a month from Israel. According to the report, the group made contact with Israel in 2013 after a raid on regime forces and turned to Israel for help with its wounded. The group said it was a turning point as Israel then began sending funds and aid, assistance soon extended to other groups." (thanks Amir)

The fight against ISIS

This has become clearly a pattern: Western media downplays and even conceal from their readers stories of fighting against ISIS by non-friends of the US (like Hizbullah, Hashd, Syrian regime and certainly Russians). Whether one supports the roles of those groups in Syria or not, their fighting against ISIS can't be disregarded and ignored except by propaganda outlets of the US, Saudi regime and Israel.  

Monday, June 19, 2017

How Israel can solve US political problems

"A number of former top Trump campaign officials and prominent Democrats say that their trip last week to Israel helped them dial down the bitter partisanship of current-day Washington." (thanks Basim)

I don't plan to read this book and...

I was never impressed with her journalism ever, and you should not judge a book before reading it but I have a feeling that I would really be annoyed by this book.

Look at this idiot: the King of Jordan carried a fire extinguisher for the cameras and...

The entire Jordanian regime and ints PR and intelligence service promoted stories on how the buffoonish king helped extinguish a fire in Amman.  Look at him.  Would you trust a country the size of your living room to this man? Not that he is running the country, of course.

Ambassador Ford on US early support for the militarization of the Syrian rebels

In his own words to his favorite media--Saudi regime media which sponsors people like him in GCC-funded DC think tanks.

From the occupation state which has the filthiest, nastiest, dirtiest, and smelliest airline:

Children living in poverty
Israel 36%
Turkey 32%
Spain 31%
US 29%
UK 20%
Germany 15%
Finland 11%
Denmark 9%

The not occupied occupied Gaza strip

From a reader:
"here's an interesting piece in the NYT by a friend of mine...About how the NYT controls use of language. His article was about the use of the word "Gay," but he doesn't even mention the most interesting part of the photo that is appended to the article:  That it was (and likely still is) actual NYT editorial policy to not describe the Gaza Strip as "Occupied," as of 05/03/1994...

I am a heretic. Come and save me.

I am kidding but was just making sure that you have fake tears on the ready.

Maybe this explains Western media love and affection for Syrian rebels

"Israel Gives Secret Aid to Syrian Rebels"

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What does it mean when stupid Western media refer to a non-believing Muslim(born) as "heretic"

How stupid is it for the Independent to refer to this woman as "heretic"? Heretic comes from a Christian or Jewish religious culture when actual authoritative religious rulings would be issued to declare someone as "heretic".  It has no meaning here.  If you are referring to the fact that she is non-believing, there are millions of people in the Arab world who are non-believing and no one refer to them as heretic.  It does not even have an Arabic counterpart here.  It is stupid and intended to promote the imagine of an all-powerful Islamic government which does not allow people to leave the faith.  I and many others in the region are explicitly atheist and no one ever declared us "heretic".  This is actually a schtick used by Muslim-born Arabs in the West who want to attract attention of Western media and who wish to go on Zionist-sponsored/Christian-sponsored  Islamophobic tours.  And why is she in hiding? Who knows of her? No one in the Arab and Muslim world ever heard of her. Even Muslims in the West don't know who she is.  I know she wants attention but come on. 

An Israeli accident victim in NYC featured in the New York Times only because he is Israeli

Eyal from occupied Palestine sent me this:

"And has the NYT mentioned yet another murder of an Israeli woman by her spouse this Tuesday? Henriette Qarra was stabbed to death on Tuesday. On Sunday, two days before, Maya Dagan was found dead in her apartment in Bat Yam and her life partner said he murdered her and was arrested. There were two other murders of women this week. The numerous murders have prompted several medium-size demonstrations  across the country today and in the past few months.

But what's that compared to an Israeli cyclist being hit... or to US police shooting up people like ducks in a range.  (By the way - this is murder of both Hebrew/Jewish and of Arab women)"

People who work for Saudi regime media are now required to make a contribution to the propaganda effort--no matter how silly

Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam)
Cows 🐮 in #Qatar impacted by crisis, "feeling exhausted" to make up for milk shortages…

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Israeli cyclist hit by bus in nyc, gets an article in the times.

From Jar: "Cyclists are killed nearly every week in New York City, with rarely a mention.  But, this one gets a story in the Times". 

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Project of Muhammad bin Zayid

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The Project of Muhammad bin Zayid: The Arabization of the Israeli Model".