Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Great Bargain?

My weekly article for Al-Akhbar: "Trump of Arabis: The Great Bargain or the Great Disappointments"?

Not to defend Erdogan but...

Regarding the clash between Erdogan's thugs and protesters in Washington, DC: I looked at the footage and I was stuck at how close protesters were allowed to get to Erdogan by Secret Service.  Can you imagine porters being allowed that close to Netanyahu?  Netanyahu's armed thugs would have shot at them without even a warning, and US media and Congress would have applauded.  

Friday, May 26, 2017

What are those Saudis doing?

Saudi regime sold this spectacle to Trump as part of the Center for combating extremism in the Kingdom.  In reality, this is part of the Ministry of Interior's program of surveillance to spot and punish anyone who disagrees with the regime.

PS Some observed that most the employees are watching porn on their screens.  

Saudi-Israeli alliance: Al-Arabiyya refers to Israeli occupation as "capture"--the same term favored by American Zionists


Moroccan Minister called being a Christian or a Shi`ite a "virus"

The Awqaf Minister in Morocco called being Christian or Shi`ite a "virus".  Notice that Arab regime bigoted rhetoric against Christians, Shi`ites, and Alawites don't get cover in Western media and don't result in Congressional hearings.  

US Travel Ban and Muslim despots

This is the opinion of a largely conservative court: "U.S. Chief Circuit Judge Roger Gregory wrote that the text of Trump’s executive order, which was challenged in courts across the country for targeting members of a particular faith, “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”"  Yet, just last week, in the wake of Trump's visit, the secretary-general of the Muslim League said that all statements and decisions by Trump were not directed against Islam or Muslims but against extremists.  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Things have reached a point where reconciliation becomes difficult

Saudi propagandists have been circulating this letter alleging a split in the Qatari royal family.

Saudi youth have been circulating this video about Saudi financial giving to US


What is interesting is that some Saudis have been voicing sympathy with Qatar on social media

Many of the intellectuals who have been sympathetic to Turkey, Qatar, and or Ikhwan, have been voicing criticisms of Saudi media's attacks on Qatar.  This fellow is the head of the Saudi association of political science. He says below: "It really distresses us that today's Saudi newspapers are not like yesterday's newspapers.  And the TV channels attributed to Saudi Arabia have no restraints and lacks objectivity, credibility, and professional ethics."

د. سرحان العتيبي (@sirhanalotaibi)
‏يؤسفنا جدا أن الصحف السعودية اليوم ليست صحف الأمس، والقنوات المنسوبة للسعودية ليس لها ضابط وتفتقد إلى الموضوعية والمصداقية والأخلاق المهنية.

Would you not agree that Elliott Abrams can be quite philosophical?

He says: "Dictators don’t last forever".  As opposed to democratic leaders, who do last forever?

Please don't attack Trump: the director of the official Saudi lobby in DC gets very offended

Salman Al-Ansari (@Salansar1)
Are these polls the same as the ones that said his chances of winning the elections is 1 to 10 !? twitter.com/brooks_rosa/st…

Nostalgia for the Soviet Union among Russians

"According to a 2014 poll by the Levada Center, 57% of Russians regretted the collapse of the Soviet Union."

Slaughtering Yemeni civilians will create jobs, jobs, jobs

" “Trump Says Arms Deal He Signed With Saudi Arabia Will Create Jobs,” was the NPR headline (5/20/17). “Trump Says Saudi Arabia Deal Will Create ‘Jobs, Jobs, Jobs,’” CBS Miami (5/20/17) reported. Neither of these reports used the words “Yemen” or “bombing” or “famine.” "

Not that Obama was different from Trump here

"There can be absolutely no coincidence at all that this latest repressive action follows the trip of the US president to the Gulf. The public show of support to Saudi Arabia extends to its neighbour Bahrain, whose ruling elite is nothing more than an extension of Riyadh. To witness such violence immediately following the visit of the president sends one very clear message: Trump backs the repression of democracy in the Gulf."

The real aim of Israeli-Saudi alliance

"The warming ties between Israel and US-aligned Arab regimes has come at the expense of solidarity with Palestinians." "According to The New York Times, Netanyahu’s flirtation with the Saudis and other regional governments is aimed at “subordinating the Palestinian dispute as a secondary issue.” " (thanks Amir)

Justin Trudeau

This man is all gimmicks and photo ops and no substance.  Enough of liberal fascination with him.

Is this a new Western message to Muslim veiled women?

Is the message here that Muslim veiled women would be tolerated in the West if they are willing to kiss a Jewish man in public?

Qatari-Saudi/UAE feud

Thus far, this is clear: Qatar does not want to escalate and it weirdly focusing ints attacks (rather mildly) on the media of UAE and Saudi regime as if those media are independent and acting on their own.  They also are using the American theme of "false news" and rumors.  But the behavior of the Qatari regime media on that night reveals something else: as if there are divisions on top, and lack of a coordinated message.  The Saudi and and UAE media have been preparing for this: it was clear that things have been simmering.  Qatari regime media have been mocking and needling Saudi Arabia and UAE for a while now.  The funny part is this: Saudi regime media focus their attack on Qatari regime on the charge that it is too close to Israel and Iran, and that it hosts US military base.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Saudi regime and Qatari regime journalists engaging in bitter verbal feuds


The director of official Saudi lobby in DC threatens to finish off Qatar

It says "Whoever quibbles with Al-Riyadh, the capital of the Arab and Islamic world, and the capital of combating terrorism at the global level, and capital of the economic changes in the region, will collide with a wall which will finish off his existence".  I see a diplomatic offensive underway.

كل من يناكف(الرياض)عاصمة العالم العربي والإسلامي؛وعاصمة مكافحة الإرهاب عالميا؛وعاصمة التحولات الإقتصادية في المنطقة،سيصطدم بجدار ينهي وجوده.

Qatari news agency was not hacked

Al-Arabiyya makes a strong case that Qatari news agency site was not hacked.

A Saudi prince visits the battle front

Prince Jalwi bin `Abdul-`Aziz visited an "advanced" post on the border with Yemen.  They spread Persian rugs for him.

My podcast interview for Intercept on Trump's adventures in Arabia

Jeremy Scahill interviewed me for this podcast on The Intercept: Trump's adventures in Arabia.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Stupid Western media theories about the origins of the Saudi-Qatari rift

Of course, it will start now: that Iran will be blamed for hacking the Qatari News Agency website and starting the rift between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.  Only those who don't know a word of Arabic and who has not read or watched the media of the two regimes in the last 12 hours will believe this.  It was clear that Saudi regime was prepared for this in advance: the column already appeared in the morning papers against Qatar, and the guests were already lined up to voice criticisms of the Qatari regime and its Emir.  It makes more sense that the Saudi regime was behind the hacking if there was any hacking. The statements of the Emir sounded true to me, and they are in line with the previous stances of Qatar.  So either there was an inside sabotage within the Qatari regime or the Saudis were behind the hacking with the assistance of their friends the Israelis.  And if Iran was behind the hacking, why were the statements about Iran not far more favorable?  

This is what you see if you try to access Aljazeera from UAE


Is there a power struggle in Qatar?

I wonder. 

What is happening in Qatar?

Qatari foreign minister now says that his statements were misinterpreted and that he did not call for recall of Qatari ambassadors in GCC countries (except Oman) and Egypt.  

Trump of Arabia

All kidding aside, who can deny that Trump managed to unite the pro-US Arab regimes? Haha

Al-Arabiyya talks about "currents" in Qatar

Nothing bothers those regimes than to talk about "currents" inside the regime.  The Al-Arabiyya broadcaster just asked his guest: tell us about currents in Qatar, or words to that effect. 

Saudi regime bans Tayyar.org

Saudi regime today banned Tayyar.org (the official website of the `Awni movement in Lebanon) to punish them because Jubran Basil said that he was not consulted before the release of the Riyadh statement. Donald: what have you done?

I only wish for more feuds and conflicts between Arab regimes

I hate them united.  I want them divided and in conflict.  

Qatari Emir addressing the nation in two hours

According to the Qatar News Agency.  

What the f??

Al-Arabiyya is now airing tape of a phone conversation between the former Emir of Qatar and Qadhdhafi in which the overthrow of Saudi regime was discussed.  

Fruits of Trump trip

Well, the fruits of Trump's trip to Riyadh are quickly visible.  It split the GCC countries after one day of his visit.  

Qatar withdraws ambassadors from GCC countries

Qatar withdraws ambassadors from Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, and Kuwait.

Aljazeera is ignoring the Saudi-UAE campaign

For some reason, Aljazeera in its (lousy) news broadcast is ignoring the Saudi-UAE campaign against the Qatari regime.

This is hilarious: Aljazeera TV

I have not been watching Aljazeera at all in recent years. It is not watchable really.  Such crude and vulgar propaganda.  They are airing a report on the Iranian lobby in the US: and they invoiced Vali Nasr in that categorization.  The hilarious part: they invited an expert from WINEP to speak about the dangers of the Iranian lobby.  

Aljazeera TV

Aljazeera TV is broadcasting a "documentary" on the "Iranian lobby in the US".  I think that they want to prove to UAE-Saudi Arabia that they are still anti-Iranian.  

UAE joined the Saudi war on Qatar

UAE media now have joined Saudi regime in attacking Qatar.  UAE has just banned all application and sites of Al-Jazeera.  

Al-Arabiyya TV says that Qatari Emir has mental problems

Al-Arabiyya TV (see below) is hosting Egyptian Saudi propagandists to attack the Emir of Qatar. I am told that Qatari regime Al-Jazeera is responding in kind but I am watching Al-Arabiyya.  One guest said that the Emir is mentally ill.

Al-Arabiyya's attack on Qatari regime

Al-Arabiyya's attacks on Qatari regime (see below) center on two elements: 1) that Qatari regime is too reliant on the US; 2) that it is too close to Israel.  

Gulf enmity toward Israel

It is funny that Gulf regimes when they attack one another they still accuse the other of being close to Israel.  Of all the "false"? statements attributed to Emir of Qatar, the Al-Arabiyya TV attacks on Qatari regime (see post below) are headlined: Emir of Qatar says that we have good relations with Israel". 

ISIS claim of responsibility for the Manchester terrorist attack

I noticed that the speaker couldn't even pronounce the words Allahu Akbar in the statement.  Those criminals in Western capitals who are drawn to the kooky ideology and terrorism of ISIS don't even bother to learn two Arabic words?  

Qatari-Saudi feud out in the open

So what happened today: the Qatari News Agency was hacked and it posted statements by the Qatari Emir in which he criticized US policies and declared that Hamas and Hizbullah are resistance movement and had warm words about Iran.  Al-Arabiyya TV (owned by the deputy Crown Prince) went berserk:  it unleashed on the Qatari regime and hosted various guests to attack the Qatari regime even AFTER the Qatari regime issued a statement denying that the Emir made those statements.

PS Wow.  Al-Arabiyya can't stop.  They are still unleashing against the Qatari regime.  More fun in inter-Arab relations is ahead of us.

Gay parade in Lebanon

By the way, despite what you may read by advocates of Saudi and Qatari regime in English or Arabic, the cancelation was due to pressures from pro-Saudi Sunni clerics in Lebanon.