Rebels isolate Aleppo

I don't read in the Western press that Syrian rebels cut off electric supply to Aleppo to punish the civilian population.

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

Anne Barnard’s love affair with Syrian rebel car bombs

"State news media and government opponents reported that a car bomb killed numerous people on Friday outside a mosque in an area called March 8 Square near a government checkpoint."  Look at the sentence. She always manages to slip in a phrase or a word to justify the deed.

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

So who kidnapped and who freed French journalists in Syria?

Notice how all Western dispatches about the case left the identity of the kidnappers unknown.  You would think that ghosts were behind the abduction.  The freed hostages of course said that they were rebels.

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

We were all wrong: it is not Zahran Allush or the various Jihadi Emirs who lead the Syrian "revolution"

"When I visited Cairo in 2011 I met and became friends with Razan Ghazzawi, the fierce feminist and Pasionaria of the resistance, who in a short time taught me a great deal about the revolution’s dreams."  We finally found out who actually lead the Syrian rebels.

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

NATO brings peace to Libya

"Earlier this month a hairdresser’s shop and a café were bombed. There has been a spate of assassinations. Recent victims have included not just members of the security forces, who are often targeted, but Egyptian labourers, a French engineer and a much-loved local poet famous for publicly reciting his work during the revolution. A Turkish manager is pulling out his staff. “They are terrified,” he says. “It is not worth the risk.”"

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

The Economist reports on the bright side of Libya under NATO militia rule

"Yet Benghazians have a good story to tell, too. Their economy has bounced back. Neglected under Muammar Qaddafi’s 42-year rule, businesses and buildings are springing up. A new shopping mall is packed with families buying clothes and cosmetics from shops with European franchises. People sip cappuccinos in trendy cafés. A once-drab road known as Venice Street hosts scores of ebullient retailers selling international brands. Cranes dot the city’s skyline."

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

"On all sides, Bethlehem is also being surrounded by settler bypass roads and by concrete walls higher than those that divided Berlin in the cold war"

"For the people of Bethlehem up the road, Beit Skaria is a bleak example of what might yet happen to them. On all sides, Bethlehem is also being surrounded by settler bypass roads and by concrete walls higher than those that divided Berlin in the cold war. Earlier this month, Israel’s defence ministry confiscated the largest chunk of private Palestinian land in years on Bethlehem’s southern fringe to let smaller settlements, previously unauthorised by the Israeli government, expand. The population of Beitar Illit, an ultra-Orthodox settlement to the west of Bethlehem, in the Gush Etzion bloc, is set to grow from around 45,000 to 100,000 in the next six years."

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad



MI6 and Western correspondents

"When a politician reignited the “third man” controversy in 1955, Elliott organised Philby’s defence. Years later he even brought him back on the MI6 payroll, this time as an agent in Lebanon, where he reported for The Economist."

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

Look how the Economist phrased this sentence about Russian defense expenditure

"Russia spends more on its armed forces than any other country save China and America".  This is like saying: Lebanon's army is the most powerful in the region save Israel, Syria, and Jordan. 

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

Saudi princes in the King’s private jet

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

what if Arabs and Iranians started to do this to US interests???

"According to a court document filed in New York on Thursday, the Department of Justice agreed to distribute proceeds from the sale of the Fifth Avenue high-rise to families affected by alleged Iranian-aided attacks, including the 1983 bombing of the US marine barracks in Beirut. "  Now the US has caused death and destruction in Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan among other places.  Does that US give victims of US bombs the right to confiscate US interests in the Middle East and sell them as compensation?  The logic is the same. 

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

The Guardian newspaper wants war: more war

Look at this editorial in the Guardian. I never recall that it called for arming the Palestinian people.

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

life for Syrian refugees

"Nadine was worried about taking the job. "Gulf men have a bad reputation and I would be there alone," she says. "But I had to think of my family and my future; there are no opportunities in Syria." After a few weeks Nadine's boss began to sexually assault her, culminating in rape. In response to her protest he threatened to cancel her visa. She says he told her: "If you don't like it, go back to the war." "

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

The State Department provided $2.8 million to a team of American hackers

"The State Department provided $2.8 million to a team of American hackers, community activists and software geeks to develop the system, called a mesh network, as a way for dissidents abroad to communicate more freely and securely than they can on the open Internet. One target that is sure to start debate is Cuba; the United States Agency for International Development [USAID] has pledged $4.3 million to create mesh networks there."

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad



two different sets of laws

"Israeli and Palestinian minors accused of crimes in the West Bank are subject to two different sets of laws."

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

Western Chrstian groups have been funding and supporting those "good guys"

""Rebels in South Sudan massacred “hundreds” of civilians in ethnic killings when they captured the oil town of Bentiu last week, the UN said on Monday. In the main mosque alone, “more than 200 civilians were reportedly killed and over 400 wounded,” the UN mission in the country said, as cited by AFP. There were also massacres at a church, hospital and an abandoned UN World Food Program (WFP) compound."" (thanks Krim)

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

Dexter Filkins: all that he knows about the Middle East he learned from serving in the US Marines

from a western journalist in Turkey:  "another bad article on the Middle East by Dexter Filkins:


 Filkins falsely claims the Americans rejected Adib and chose Maliki. In fact the Americans did not even know who Maliki was and he was chosen by Iraqis, as Nir Rosen explained in his book Aftermath:
"U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw went to Baghdad and told Jaafari that he did not have anybody’s support and could not form a government, implying that he should give up. But Jaafari was still insisting he had support. The decision to remove him came from within his own political bloc in the government, particularly the Dawa Party...Despite the calls for Jaafari’s removal, he would not leave until the marajiya, or hawza leadership in Najaf, withdrew its support for him. There was an air of desperation among members of the Shiite parties, who felt they were being outmaneuvered by the Americans and their Iraqi rivals. A Dawa insider who was present in senior Dawa leadership circles told me, “In the last days of Jaa- fari, a number of people convinced the Supreme Council that he would agree to withdraw his candidacy if the premiership stayed with Dawa. His condition was that Adil [Abdel Mahdi of the Supreme Council] would not become prime minister.”
Ali al-Adib was the Dawa Party candidate most likely to replace Jaafari. The American and British ambassadors went to see Adib to confirm that they were not opposed to him, and he was, in fact, prime minister for one day. But in a Dawa Party gathering to confirm Adib’s nomination, Nuri al-Maliki confronted him with the issue of his father, known as Zandi, who was an Iranian immigrant to Iraq. Maliki asked Adib if he would be able to withstand scrutiny and people saying that Iran was taking over. Not being confrontational, Adib lost heart, and Maliki pounced. This putsch had been organized by Adnan al-Kadhimi, Jaafari’s senior adviser, who ran his office and worked in the party’s political bureau. Jaafari felt betrayed by Kadhimi and still expected to call the shots within the party and the government. Maliki then turned on Kadhimi. “Maliki is a very vindictive man, and has a dangerous streak,” the Dawa insider explained. Kadhimi knew too much. Maliki arrested him on trumped-up charges of theft, and allowed his prearranged escape...The United States hardly knew anything about Maliki. The CIA did not have a biography of Maliki prepared when he was chosen to be Prime Minister, but their leadership analysts had many. The White House and National Security Council were surprised when his name came up, but Kurdish President Jalal Talabani, Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, and other Iraqis said they could work with him, so American concerns about the unknown Maliki were allayed.
While the Americans didn’t select Maliki, they didn’t reject him either— which they could have done." 
How strange to make the useless Khalilzad seem like the grand architect. Filkins (typically) ignores that massive crime that was the American occupation and the sectarian war the Americans caused and the sectarian, corrupt system the Americans helped established and yet manages to make Americans seem much smarter and competent than they actually were.  
Filkins says: "In 1967, Israel humiliated the combined armies of the Arab world in the Six-Day War—a defeat that prompted many young Arabs to turn to political Islam. It was around this time that Maliki joined Dawa (the Call), a secret organization dedicated to building an Islamic state in Iraq."
As'ad you know more about this than I do but it is my understanding that Dawa was more a reaction to Shiites joining the Communist party and had little to do with the 1967 war (the six day war is of course the Zionist name for it).
"Moqtada al-Sadr, the Iranian-backed guerrilla commander"
This is a very simplistic and misleading description of Muqtada al Sadr.

As usual Filkins exaggerates the role of Iran and accepts a Sunni sectarian/Baathi (Iraqi) conspiratorial view of Iran in Iraq.
And somehow the Americans come across as well meaning victims.

"A decade after the occupation, Iraq’s Kurdish-speaking area is peaceful, largely democratic, secular, and pro-Western. Indeed, the region, though nominally still part of Iraq, functions as an independent state."

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

Please don’t tell anyone: about Israel’s nuclear weapons

"At that session Carl Duckett, then-CIA deputy director for science and technology, told the NRC group the CIA believed the missing highly enriched uranium ended up in Israel. The newly released documents also expose government efforts, notably during the Carter administration, to keep the NUMEC story under wraps, an ironic twist in view of Jimmy Carter's identification with opposition to nuclear proliferation." "Brzezinski also passed off the FBI's findings as amounting to no more than confirmation that the president of NUMEC, Zalman Shapiro, had frequent contacts with Israeli officials, including a science attaché "thought to be an intelligence officer," and received unexplained VIP treatment in Israel."

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

Paper Dome: the wonder of military technology

"Seven rockets fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel"

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad

NATO contributions

"more and more people, and especially children, were being killed, not by landmines left over by the Soviets or the Taliban but by undetonated explosives, like grenades and mortar shells, left behind by departing foreign troops with NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)." (thanks Amir)

Posted on April 22, 2014 by As'ad