Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The modesty and austerity of the Netanyahu's


Godard on Spielberg:

"Yes. Most of the time there is no mystery at all, and no beauty—just makeup. Schindler’s List is a good example of making up reality. It’s Max Factor. It’s color stock described in black and white, because labs can’t afford to make real black and white. Spielberg thinks black and white is more serious than color. Of course you can do a movie in black and white today, but it’s difficult, and black and white is more expensive than color. So he keeps faithful to his system—it’s phony thinking. To him it’s not phony, I think he’s honest to himself, but he’s not very intelligent, so it’s a phony result. I saw a documentary, not a good one, but at least you get the real facts about Schindler. [Spielberg] used this man and this story and all the Jewish tragedy as if it were a big orchestra, to make a stereophonic sound from a simple story."

Monday, January 15, 2018

Spielberg

The HBO documentary on Steven Spielberg is really a dishonest hagiography. It was particularly bothersome that they cited praise for Spielberg by famous New Yorker movie critic, Pauline Kael, when Kael later harshly criticized Spielberg and said: ""he's become, I think, a very bad director.... And I'm a little ashamed for him, because I loved his early work". That never made it into the documentary.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

11-year-old Muslim girl terrified after man cuts her hijab as she walked to school

"Toronto police are investigating an attack on an 11-year-old girl whose hijab was repeatedly cut on her way to school, heightening pressure on Canadian governments to take further action against attacks on Muslims. An assailant, in two attempts within 10 minutes, cut the girl’s hijab using scissors while she was walking to school with her brother on Friday, a Toronto police spokeswoman said." "The attack comes as Canada approaches the first anniversary of a deadly shooting in a Quebec City mosque that killed six people at prayer."

Spielberg

Forget about the destruction of art and creativity in film which Spielberg is responsible for, as Jan-Luc Goddard said years ago.  He donated $1 million to the Israeli state in reward for its war on Lebanon in 2016.  So naturally the Arab League banned Spielberg and put him on the boycott list, although the boycott is not observed by the normalizing potentates of the region.  Can you imagine the US allowing a film directed by someone who donated 1$ million to Bin Laden? I would be the first to protest that director.  But please: be ware that Lebanese journalists who work for Saudi princes are very upset because they believe Lebanon should have the full freedoms enjoyed by people in the Saudi democracy.   Do you know that Spielberg's favorite "artist" is Norman Rockwell? Enough said, as far as I am concerned.

This in the US--not in Shithole countries

"These shocking viral videos show a woman left at a Baltimore bus stop on a cold night in just a hospital gown after being discharged from hospital and dropped off by four security guards. The videos show the woman, who may have mental health issues, in a state of distress struggling to stand or speak. She was wearing a hospital gown with no underwear, and just socks with no shoes. Her belongings, including a pair of trainers, were dumped in two plastic bags at the bus stop." (thanks Amir)

Iranian people are telling Fox news that they want tighter US sanctions and they want Israel to bomb them at once

Read all about it.

The headline says: "Iran Violated Yemen Arms Embargo, U.N. Experts Say - The New York Times"

And the story includes this sentence in passing: "The United Nations panel’s report did not say Iran had supplied missiles to the Houthis."  Who cares about evidence really.

Before Trump

Before Trump the US was widely admired and loved around the world, so argues the Times.

It dumbs you down to respond to Thomas Friedman but...

Regarding this silly column here: 1) he acts like Saudi Arabia was a secular democracy until 1979 and the revolt in the Grand mosque. He times that as the beginning of his stint as a Middle East correspondent.  Unbeknownst to this guy who does not read what he does not witness that Saudi Arabia was leading a reactionary fanatic camp against Arab progressive and communist forces for much of the Cold War.  2) He basically says that the progressive movement in Iran is led by the people while the progressive movement in Saudi Arabia is led by the...Prince.  3) he cites people he talks to among the entourage of the MbS as if modern and reform-minded Saudis necessary share the vision of the Crown Prince.  But then again: this is Thomas Friedman.  

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The role and personality of Trump

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "The Role and Personality of the American President: Fire and Smoke".

Alan Dershowitz and his services to the Qatari regime

This Gulf conflict has become a competition in Zionism between the lousy ruling dynasties.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Saudi regime making progress in Yemen

Look at the byline of this author.

Documentation of Iran protests in the New York Times

"However, protests reportedly flared in the city of Ahvaz on Monday night, a resident said in a telephone interview"

These are the Palestinian children Israel killed in 2017

"In addition to those 14 shot and killed during 2017, a child died of wounds sustained in an Israeli drone strike years earlier. Another was killed by Israeli ordnance while grazing livestock. A baby living in temporary shelter, his family homeless as a result of Israeli bombing, died of cold exposure. Palestinian children also died because they were unable to secure permits to leave via the Israeli-controlled Erez checkpoint for medical treatment unavailable in the besieged Gaza Strip."

Western media and DC think tanks are not drooling over protests in Tunisia

Just compare DC media and pundits reactions to Iran protests versus their non-reaction to the Tunisia protests.  How stunningly different.  But then again: it is all about Israel.  Israel approves of the regime in Tunisia which UAE installed with Western support and excitement.  

Chris Rock slams police brutality in U.S. but 'loves' Israel

"In spite of all the information made available for Rock to reconsider the performance, he greeted his audience with “I’m loving this country. Israel, yeah!” News of his performance came days after comedian Jerry Seinfeld took his family to an “anti-terror” Israeli training camp, where tourists can be trained to kill what they call "terrorists"." (thanks Amir)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Israeli think-tank: US-Israel should arm terrorists against Iran

"The US, with the help of its allies, including Israel, must work 24/7 to provide – at the most opportune moment – arms and the knowhow to use them to the protesters against the regime." (thanks Amir)

Your King Husayn

"A CIA memo released Dec. 15 shows how the agency used private investigator Robert Maheu, a former FBI agent, to find “female companionship” for the 23-year-old King during his trip to Los Angeles in April 1959.
The document refers only to a “foreign head of state” but the timeline included in the memo corresponds to the times Hussein was in the United States. A March 28, 1959, New York Times story laid out Hussein’s itinerary and plans to increase U.S. aid to his nation.
"The foreign official was especially desirous of female companionship during his Los Angeles visit and it was requested that appropriate arrangements be made through a controlled source of the [CIA's] Office [of Security] in order to assure a satisfied visit," said the anonymously written memo. "

The Qur'an, put to music

During the progressive secular era of Nasser, many taboos of religious dogmas were violated.  Both Muhammad `Abdul-Wahab and Riad Sunbati sang the Qur'an to musical composition.  But those recordings were never released because the rise of Sadat ushered in an era of religious conservatism and social-moral puritanism.  

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Liberal media ignores catastrophic US-backed war in Yemen

"The message conveyed is clear: to the leading liberal US cable news network, Yemen is relevant when it is Americans who die—not when thousands of Yemenis are killed, bombed daily by Saudi Arabia, with US weapons, fuel and intelligence; not when millions of Yemenis are on the verge of starving to death while the US/Saudi coalition uses hunger as a weapon."

Long history of Islamophobia in the U.S.

"This was a time when Muslims were singled out for legal discrimination—a law from 1790 curtailed the number of Muslims who could come into the United States, and a century later the U.S. Supreme Court described the “intense hostility of the people of Moslem faith to all other sects, and particularly to Christians.” "

Oprah supported the Iraq war

"Like Hillary Clinton and many other right-wing Democrats, Oprah supported the unjustified Iraq War that was supported by, among others, George W. Bush" (thanks Amir)

According to Donna Abu-Nasr there are 18 million Lebanese around the world--kid you not

"With at least three times as many Lebanese living abroad than in Lebanon".

Egyptian intelligence and the control of the messages by talk show hosts

Regarding this report: despite denials from Cairo, I believe it.  But this stuck me: the Cairo bureau chief of the Times, who does not know Arabic--naturally, it is now a job requirement for the Times--never have heard of one of the most Egyptian actresses (who I detest, personally and I don't think that she is talented but has been promoted by the Mubarak regime due to her loyalty). The New York Times correspondent wrote this: "The fourth call was with an Egyptian singer and actress known as Yousra".  Singer?  She taped some songs but no one would call her singer.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

Breitbart gets its news from Saudi regime media

Nasrallah said in an interview with AlMayadin that he receives a salary of $1400 from Hizbullah.  Al-Arabiyyah--not unusually--changed what he said and published a story that he actually said that he receives his salary from Iran (which he never said).  Breitbart copied that.

Media turn to pro-Israel think-tanks for Iran protest commentary

"Leading the pack in the “do something” insta-consensus was the right-wing pro-Israel think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), which has overwhelmed the narrative. In the past five days, FDD has had op-eds in influential US outlets like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New York Post and Politico, and has been quoted in a dozen more."

Chart: The fastest-growing & shrinking economies in 2018

“Once again, the biggest contributor will be China. The world’s second-biggest economy is projected to grow by 5.8% this year, representing roughly a third of the total global expansion.” “And the economy of Puerto Rico, technically an overseas territory of the United States, is forecast to shrink by 8%, in the wake of a devastating hurricane that has left much of the island without electricity.” (thanks Amir)

Fire and Fury

Finished reading it last night.  I may write a review in Arabic.  What it reveals is the inner working of the Trump operation, which does not deviate form other writings on the matter.  There is no politics or ideology as there is PR of the one man on top.  It is all about PR.  Whatever further the man on top, based on the estimation of advisors, will be supported.  Foreign policy is also part of that conception. It is also remarkable that foreign policy also falls into that category.  But who are "the Israeli crooks" which Donald Trump accuses his son-in-law of having links to? That is what I want to know.

Saturday, January 06, 2018

NYT whitewashes 70 years of U.S. crimes

"The second dubious assertion is the idea that the US is “viewed” as being (or, by implication, objectively is) concerned with “liberal, rules-based international order.” Perhaps Landler missed the part where the US runs offshore penal colonies for untried political prisoners, and a decade-long drone war that’s killed thousands—both entirely outside the scope of international law. Or the time the US invaded and destroyed Iraq without any international authorization, killing hundreds of thousands."

Ken Roth can't read the "Down with Israel" signs or see Khamenei's photos

Ken Roth sharing image of “anti-regime protesters” in Iran, when in fact the picture is from a pro-government rally. They are carrying photos of Khamenei!

Biological warfare against Ireland

"The organisation claimed the MI5 plot was aimed at destroying the “Eire economy”. It said British intelligence planned to provide it with a spoon of “Anthras” (sic), “Foort and Mouth Disease”, “Fowl Pest, Swine Fever and Jaagsikpi” to be released in Ireland."

How Britain secretly controlled the opium trade

"Britain, which once made a fortune by supplying the Chinese market with tons of opium from India, ended the practice in 1907."

The headline of this article says that there protests in Iran but the article says--in passing:

"The protests, meanwhile, seemed to be winding down, though there is no sure way to tell."

American in Zimbabwe

I don't know about this case but I wonder: what would happen to an Iranian student in the US if he/she were to post against the US government?

Corruption charges against Netanyahu

From Eyal:

"Both the current and the previous attorneys general (*) in Israel are personal Netanyahu picks - Yehuda Weinstein had represented Netanyahu as a defense attorney, and Dr. Avichai Mandelblit was cabinet secretary (who is not a minister, i.e. not in the government himself). There are wide-spread public allegations that Mandelblit is dragging his feet w.r.t. the Netanyahu corruption charges (**). In fact, for about a year now there have been demonstrations close to Attorney General 
Mandelblit's home in Petach Tiqva demanding he get on with the indictments. They refer to Mandelblit is "Mister 'But it is Shabat today, but it is Passover today'" - a.k.a. Mister Procrastination.

The Israeli right-wing is accusing the demonstrators - some of which are associated with the Israeli labor party - of not caring about corruption and merely hoping to achieve by legal means what they have failed to achieve electorally - a defeat of Netanyahu and supposedly a change of government.

Note that, on the other hand, Israeli authorities did not hesitate to charge Ahed Tamimi immediately, nor to quickly investigate the spokesperson of Breaking the Silence, Dean Yisacharof who had given 
public testimony about having physically abused a Palestinian during an darrest. The latter case, in fact, was hastily closed to allow the minister of justice to declare that Yisacharof had lied (and thus 
discredit Breaking the Silence). Unfortunately for the state, it was soon discovered that the state prosecution officers had completely mistaken which person it was that Yisacharof was referring to, and the Palestinian they questioned about Yisacharof did not even understand what the Hebrew document the investigators had made him sign. As this came to light thes state rushed to reopen the investigation.

So I guess all those theories about the relativity of time check out 
after all.

Eyal

(*) Actually it's not quite the attorney general. Israel has a prosecutor general, and an attorney above him/her which both serves the government, defending it in court, but also provides binding legal opinion regarding intended actions, so in a sense he is a legal supervisor for the government

(*) There are now at least four separate corruption cases:

Case 1000 - Gifts/bribes from Arnon Milchan and James Packer Case 2000 - Collusion with Yediot Aharonot publisher Noni Moses to get better coverage in exchange for reigning back Sheldon Adelson's freely-handed-out daily, Israel Hayom Case 3000 - Excessive submarine purchases involving high commission rates for Netanyahu's cousin, attorney David Shimron
Case 4000 - Collusion with the owner of Bezeq and the Walla news website, Shaul Allovich, to get better news and perhaps other kinds of support in exchange for consulting with Allovich befaure making regulatory changes, and perhaps the employ of Shlomo Filber, a man considered close to Allovich, as the general manager of the ministry of communications".

There is a new religo-political title for the Jordanian king

This has not been reported in the Western press.  Ever since the recent rift between the Jordanian regime and the Saudi regime, and in the wake of the Jerusalem matter, supporters of the Jordanian King has been using a new title for him. It reads (in translation) as "The servitor of the first Qiblah and the third holy sanctuary".  Kid you not.  

What is "simple sabotage"?

"The purpose of this paper is to characterize simple sabotage, to outline its possible effects, and to present suggestions for inciting and executing it."

Israeli suspected in organ trafficking arrested

"An Israeli citizen accused of involvement in a human organ trafficking scandal in Kosovo a decade ago has been arrested in Cyprus and the authorities in Pristina have requested his extradition to face trial, police said on Friday. Police accuse Israeli Moshe Harel of seeking out people in need of kidney transplants and of luring donors to Kosovo from Turkey and the ex-Soviet Union with the promise of up to 12,000 euros ($14,500) in payment. Recipients, mainly Israelis, paid between 80,000 and 100,000 euros for the organs. Some donors never received any money."

German neo-Nazi lawmaker charged with hate speech is big Israel fan

"Israeli leaders have habitually exploited violent attacks in Europe to further stoke Islamophobia and justify their own violence against Palestinians. Yet while many mainstream commentators in Germany can be expected to express horror at von Storch’s anti-Muslim incitement, few dare speak out in criticism of Israel – including its prominent role in fomenting xenophobia and hatred of Muslims as part of its effort to push Europe further into its far-right camp." (thanks Amir)

Trump's National Security Strategy

My weekly article in Al-Akhbar: "Trump's National Security Strategy: The US versus the World".

Friday, January 05, 2018

DC think tank pundits and media types

The lesson of the last week is this: DC think tank and media types can only get excited over protests if they occur in Syria and Iran only--basically only against regimes which are not aligned with the US.  Can you imagine them getting that excited over protests in Palestine?

Saudi lobby and DC punditry

Have you noticed? The various arms of the Saudi lobby in DC has been enthusiastically retweeting and praising the tweets of DC think tank pundits and media personalities over the past week because they all read like Saudi regime talking points?

How come Western media never reported that Louvre AbuDhabi covered up the genitals of all male statues and banned all female statues??


Thursday, January 04, 2018

Al-Hayat posted this picture on its front page about "protesters in the heart of Tehran" the other day

Al-Hayat, a mouthpiece of a Saudi prince, put this picture of what it said was "protesters in the middle of Tehran" on its front page.