Arab world’s reactions to the CIA torture scandal

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The Arab world has reacted to the CIA torture scandal in two ways: 1) the regimes were completely silent. Neither the Syrian regime (the only regime that now stands in opposition to the Saudi-US regional order) nor the members of the Saudi-led coalition reacted to the scandal. The Iranian Supreme leader issued a strong denunciation of the US government while the new Afghan president disingenuously feigned “shock” as if he never heard inside of his country of the various war crimes committed by US troops and contractors. 2) At the popular level, there was close attention paid on social media and many circulated the various links to the full text of the report as well as to the analysis of the scandal from American and European media.

The Arab people and their governments now live in two distinct media worlds: young Arabs know where to find alternative news either on satellite channels or on social media to avoid the rigid agenda of the various regime. This does not mean that young (and older) Arabs don’t consume the programs of the Saudi-owned media: they do, but they only go there for sleaze, sports, and family entertainment. There are no other purposes. Al Jazeera is now nicknamed Al-Khanzirah (the pig) by young Arabs, while Al-Arabiya is nicknamed Al-Ibriyyah (the Hebrew one).

The silence of Arab regimes and their media toward the scandal is quite understandable. All those regimes – and that includes the Syrian regime – are complicit in the US global torture industry. Most of them, if not all of them, provided valuable services either for the capture or the torture and/or the transfer (back and forth) of various Arab and Muslim detainees. It is quite stunning that Arab regimes were mostly silent about a scandal where most of the victims are either Arab or Muslims. The guardian of the two holy sites in Riyadh has more important matters to guard: the interests of the US and Israel. That, by far, supersedes all this empty talk about Muslim welfare.

There is also another reason for the silence of Arab regimes. What are they going to say in the face of this scandal regarding torture and the denigration of human dignity? They all still employ torture and they won’t feel the pressure from some elements in their placable rubber-stamp parliaments. They don’t like the subject of torture to be even brought up. It is a chilling reminder of the political conditions of the Arab world.

There is yet another reason why Arab regimes and their media outlets were silent. The American propaganda office in Dubai is quite active in monitoring and directing the Saudi and Qatari media. They now have the power to decide what should be and what should not be covered by these media outlets. The old Al Jazeera channel had more power to defy the will of the US but now, especially in the wake of the Qatari surrender to the Saudi royal family, Al Jazeera is a replica of Al-Arabiya in terms of avoidance of any content that may annoy the US government. There is no question that Arab regime media were adhering to rigid orders from higher-ups to avoid covering the scandal for fear of antagonizing the US, or of building more popular resentment against the US. The US was invoking the fear of popular reactions in the Middle East as a reason to prevent the release of the CIA report and it must have pressured the Arab government to keep the matter uncovered. Saudi media has also been busy with more important news: the travels of Kim Kardashian are now more important than the Palestinian cause.

However, the CIA torture scandal will have a huge impact. Arabs are now fully aware of how the US government and its intelligence service treat Arabs and Muslims in their custody. They know that American intelligence service treats Arabs and Muslims in the same manner as they are treated by Arab intelligence services (and most of those Arab intelligence services have been sponsored or funded or trained or equipped by the US government). The ideals of the US – the ideals that the US government throws in the face of Arabs and Muslims whenever they complain about US bombs or the bombs of Israel – are clearly for public consumption in the “homeland.” There is no attempt to link those ideals to the practices of US empire overseas.

There is a new generation of Arabs and Muslims who have been educated on Wikileaks, Snowden-leaks, and the CIA report. This generation has not known a single day without US or Israel bombs falling somewhere on the heads of Arabs or Muslims somewhere around the world. It is likely that the next generation of “angry Arabs” will be angrier than this generation. America is planting the seeds of its own hate and detestation. But when something happens, Americans will chant in unison: why do they hate us?

Dr. As’ad AbuKhalil is a Professor of Political Science at California State University, Stanislaus, a lecturer and the author of The Angry Arab News Service. He tweets @asadabukhalil

Comments

As'ad AbuKhalil on Israel/Palestine Conflict: Youtube 5:30 minutes.
you say
* "foolish & insensitive if we do not begin with antisemitism"
* "a haven for Jewish people suffering antisemitism"
* "antisemitism is the origin of this conflict"

First; I would like to say that if YOU were to speak - & others like you - more often - for the cause - & have it ALL up on youtube - the whole world could watch & learn.
Like this no one knows you exist -"who knew, who knew"

Second; ANTISEMITISM is just the TOOL invented & utilized by opportunist Zionism & their partners in crime.

I am originally form the former Yugoslavia, Postonjia, Slovenia, to be exact. I was brought to Australia when I was 3 years old & I will be 64 on 1/1/2015
It was told to me, & from childhood, by adults from over there, that DISCRIMINATION was ramped in Europe -
antisemitism was practiced by ROTHSCHILD & the like - the Jewish communities looked to their betters for assistance & they were not forthcoming. It was the Jewish betters that practiced & indeed utilized antisemitism to great effect & success in pushing their own cause - including the pretext of a homeland for the Jewish people that is today ISRAEL -
FREE LAND & OIL FIELDS & A FOOTHOLD IN THE MIDDLE EAST - THE LUCRATIVE MIDDLE EAST.

A spade is a spade & we must call it what it is or we are ignoring &/or hiding the truth & the problem therefore, cannot be solved.
Here - the Palestinian people are the victims but so are the Jewish people, who have been used by their unscrupulous betters & to their detriment.

Put yourself up on youtube & tell the world - utilize the facilities man !

Hi you write who "knew/knows" and put it up on you tube.
this is what U tube does

http://www.jimstonefreelance.com/
Hostage videos despicably fake
The entire Sydney scene was an obvious drill with the main actor not matching the guy he was supposed to, Store surveillance videos showing producers with cue cards and incredibly despicably fake videos released via Twitter, wiped by Youtube (the only conceivable reason is because they were such obvious hoaxes) only to survive on Live Leak as "Wikileaks releases". However, Wikileaks failed to call B.S. on them and released them as real. I watched all of them on liveleak and #3 is the only one clear enough to show what is going on.

In video 3, you can hear a girl off to the side telling the girl in the video what to say. Behind all 3 girls (one in each video) an Islamic banner is held up by hand in a way which completely conceals whoever is holding it. In surveillance video you can see a clean cut ......................................................
"You can see these videos HERE and I have one thing to say - Youtube may claim they are only censoring these videos to not be accomplices with "terrorists" but after watching these it should be obvious that Youtube is in fact censoring these videos because they are so obviously staged and they do not want it widely known."
==========================================
U tube is goggle ie nsa censorship
Sir you can help - diffuse the report WIDELY
internet gives us the opportunity to right the wrong

As'ad AbuKhalil, you are brilliant "Journalist"
- one of the best, few still around
Compliment, sir!

by the way, the brit fart, fisky, in his last waste of words was praising his friend Rami G. Khouri re: an article on the same matter and we put the jerk straight

we wrote to Rami G. Khouri asking him why he SOLD QUEST FOR JUSTICE

nothing nada niente, guess when you sell your self respect there is nothing more to say -
they twinned with international herald tribune
toilet paper not worthy of wrapping fish waste/dog excrement

Of course you do realize that "the media" that you refer to - main stream media - is being dramatically downsized. If you scan the individual establishments, "the news" is all "beamed" which means - not from one established news media conglomerate to another but from computer screen to computer screen.
The $6 million Question is this :-
How many compadres - who were once employees of the media - but also TV - establishments are now on the dole cues & struggling to earn an extra buck ... (?)
I suggest the the staff across the board = technological etc... the staff has been halved at least.
This is a lot of disgruntled former employees with an axe to grind ...
SO:- the dynamics of the clout of main stream media has changed somewhat against the oligarchs & in the favor of the common man.
I already fee that the ship of opinions is changing course.
You see the media is not what they put up on the screen or print in the papers but the "slant" that it is presented in by the journalist.
Stay cool prof: meet you in the casaba after lunch man !

59% of the American public view this torture as legitimate!

As I have heard, social media made a strong focus in this whole event. but the Arab regimes silence on this is of great concern.

By making its methods of torture public, and having an opened conversation around it, the US places itself in a better light than the Arab regimes that do not care about their own people as evident by their silence, which was ordered by the US government itself.
In this case, two massages are conveyed: 1. We-the US-are allowed to talk about how we tortured you but you who were tortured by us or your leaders are not allowed to talk about it! It is our business that we tortured you and not yours. This is a higher level of oppression! 2. We-the US-tortured you, but we still care about you more than your own leaders, as we are trying to review our actions and to take responsibility over them even without being asked to do so! This helps us to continue with torturing you again and again without publishing a new report about it!

Torture is as "American" as apple pie. But, of course, USA liberals like to pretend otherwise. Prof. Cole of "Libya is not Somalia" (in)fame argued that "Founding Fathers" had prohibited torture. He "forgot" that they were mostly slavers, and, anyway, to torture a slave does not count, right?
On the same hand, Zionists are even more eager torturers than their USA buddies. After all, to subjugate colonized people torture is must (as shown in "Battle for Algeria"- Col Mathieu explains to journalists why torture is necessary to win the war, noting that they want the colonial war to be won as well)

lidia great to read and can we to "know you"!
the writer of the comment had a correspondence with the "so called expert of Shia Islam" many moons ago"
glad to know that you know the "cheerleader of brabarity" so well

he is a thug who uses the title "prof" to cheerlead naTo insane barbarity against the Muslims but than the usans "medical doctors" had no qualms abusing their medical Hippocratic Oath, either
what a sick insane mind they have

How can anyone be shocked, surprised, or be moved again after "Abu Ghreib"?

CIA ran the Abu Ghreib gulag, like it ran this program. So, dear Senate, tell us something we don't know!

Oh.. Americans are surprised? Well, if they forgot about Abu Ghreib, we did not. Neither do we forgive. Because the spite did not change, and the program is still on. Code-name: "extraordinary rendition".

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