Angry Corner

Western standards of Palestinian resistance

Yet again another Israeli assault on an Arab country exposes the biases and racism of Western governments, media, and human rights organizations. Human rights organizations, particularly Human Rights Watch, have become the most culpable because they now serve as a media/propaganda arm of the Israeli terrorist army. We know how those things work, as soon as a Western NGO with a Middle East scope is formed, pro-Israeli groups (openly and not conspiratorially) rush in with their funds to control the agenda of the organization. Internal memos that I had revealed on my blog before show that the director of Human Rights Watch was mightily concerned about not offending pro-Israel sources of funding. Thus, think tanks, media groups, and human rights organization fall under the spell of pro-Israeli agendas and money.

What do Palestinians need to do to get Western media sympathy?

Basically we have learnt that for the Palestinians to attain Western media and human rights legitimacy and sympathy, they need to emulate Israeli tactics and methods according to those rules:

A return to “The Good Spy”: Mustafa Zein responds

I was able to track down Mustafa Zein, who is a major character in Kai Bird’s “The Good Spy” and was a major source on the relationship between CIA’s Bob Ames and PLO’s Ali - Abu Hassan - Salameh (he was close to both and introduced them to one another). I introduced myself to Zein in the email two weeks ago as someone from the Lebanese city of Tyre (he also is from Tyre) and assumed that he must have known my father as he grew up in the city (it turned out that he knew of my father although Zein left Tyre to study in Saida at age 10). I asked him if I can interview him by phone but he declined on security grounds, but said that he would be willing to answer my written questions. I sent him a dozen questions but he answered only some of them. We went back and forth until he said politely to me last week that he would no longer be available to communicate with me via email. I have collected below some of what I thought were the most relevant of his answers to me although I can’t vouch for the veracity or accuracy of the information contained.

American spies and the contemporary Middle East: Bob Ames and Abu Hassan Salameh

There seems to be an increase in the number of books by and about former (or current) US spies. The phenomenon raises questions about the motives and purpose of all those books and articles that all share a glorification of US spy agencies and their men (rarely are women in US intelligence agencies portrayed as heroes as men are). But we know that US intelligence agencies don’t permit former spies or analysts to publish books and articles without previous screening and editing and approval by a US government censor. The legal justification is that the government wants to make sure that no intended or unintended release of information from classified information occurs. But the lines are not clear-cut: the government can (and has) censor what it may deem to be politically damaging.

Fouad Ajami and his legacy

The news of Ajami’s death triggered a competition among American journalists: they all wanted to express how much they loved him and admired him. They all spoke about his “grace” and one Zionist publication called him the “genuine Arab hero.” The New York Times and Wall Street Journal were quick to publish glowing obituaries.

The US and the Iraq question: Let the blame fall on one man, provided he is not an American

It is rather stunning to watch pundits in the US analyze the situation in Iraq. Imperial hubris prevails in all the discourse by Democrats and Republicans alike. The answer to the problems of Iraq has been simple: Nouri al-Maliki is the villain, and once he is removed and replaced by the client of Saudi and Western intelligence, Iyad Allawi, the vision of Bush in Iraq could be fulfilled. Maliki was compared to Stalin and will soon be elevated to the status of “yet another Hitler” in the Middle East.

The Arab Predicament: the series

‘The Arab Predicament’ by Fouad Ajami triggered a phenomenon: he freed himself (and subsequently others) from the constraints of academic paradigms and even jargon to spew observations, generalizations, and reductions about the Arab world. His was the first, and it was written in a flowery language that academics and Middle East Studies students were not accustomed to. It worked in that regard. He brought journalism into academia and the focus was in sync with the Zionist establishment.

ICG’s report on Hezbollah: NowHariri propaganda masquerading as March 14 propaganda (or vice versa)

There is no question that the International Crisis Group’s (ICG) reports have become widely read among the community of journalists and academics. They tend to be carefully written and thoroughly researched, although they rarely deviate from the orientations of the foreign policies of Western governments. It is not clear whether the resignation of Bob Malley has had any impact on the Group’s Middle East work, but the new Middle East director operates out of Israel.

The end of Michel Suleiman’s presidency

The New York Times published a rather comical tribute to Michel Suleiman by its correspondent Ben Hubbard (who got the year of the civil war wrong by more than a decade and who got the year of the National Pact, which set the sectarian tags of all top posts of government, by several decades). Hubbard talked about Suleiman like he is an elder statesman who was widely respected by the Lebanese people. Of course, what made Suleiman popular with Western governments and their dutiful foreign correspondents (it is arguable that Western correspondents are not less loyal to the foreign policy goals of their governments than the Syrian or Saudi correspondents of official regime media) is that in the last two years — only — of his administration he became mildly — very mildly — critical of Hizbullah’s intervention in Syria.

Israel: The propaganda tour

A few months ago, PBS aired what it dubbed a documentary titled: “Israel: The Royal Tour.” It has been made available on DVD and is distributed around the country as an education tool for classrooms. When it comes to coverage of Israel in the US, you know what to expect but you never know the extent to which Israeli propaganda is going to be serviced in any particular project.

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