A massacre committed by another “close friend and ally” of the United States

on 70 Comments

Bahrain on Friday (warning graphic videos):

The protesters are chanting “Peacefully, peacefully, peacefully”

The same march from a different angle.

More of the latest headlines from the protests around the region:

Fresh rally in key Bahrain square
Thousands of jubilant protesters in Bahrain enter Pearl Square in Manama after police pull out, having earlier fired tear gas and shotgun cartridges at them.

Bahrain army pulls out of Manama
Armoured vehicles sealing off a central square in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, withdraw on the orders of the royal family after days of unrest.

Bahrain opposition rejects talks
Bahrain’s main Shia opposition group rejects the king’s offer of dialogue after days of protests.

Bahrain’s crown prince calls for national mourning
DUBAI, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Bahrain’s crown prince on Saturday called for a national day of mourning “for the sons we have lost”, the state news agency reported.  Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Force, called for calm, asking citizens to unite and cooperate with all political forces in the country.

Bahrain trade union calls strike from Sunday
MANAMA, Feb 19 (Reuters) – The main trade union in Bahrain, rocked by anti-government unrest this week, has called for a strike from Sunday, a member of an airline trade union said.

Bahrain: Army, Police Fire on Protesters
(Manama) – At least 38 people were wounded when Bahraini security forces opened fire on protesters coming to pray near the Pearl Roundabout in Manama on February 18, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today.

Bahrain forces fire on protesters
Soldiers opened fire Friday on thousands of protesters defying a government ban and streaming toward the landmark square that had been the symbolic center of the uprising to break the political grip of the Gulf nation’s leaders.

Bahraini protesters fired upon
Bahraini security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters gathered in the capital, Manama, on Friday. Hundreds of mourners were marching towards Pearl Roundabout when government forces fired live rounds and tear gas at them. The wounded were taken to the city’s Salmaniya Hospital, where protesters have gathered to offer blood and support. On Friday evening, Bahrain’s king asked his crown prince to begin a “national dialogue” with all parties over the continuing unrest in the country. Al Jazeera’s correspondent, who we cannot name for security reasons, in Manama has more.

Funeral chants call for Bahraini revolution
The funeral procession for Ali Ahmed Al-Muamin included strong calls for more than mere political reform. The leader repeated: “Bahraini revolution until we get freedom.”

Bahraini doctor pleads for help
Bahraini troops shot at protesters near Pearl Roundabout and wounded many, a doctor of Salmaniya hospital said, a day after police forcibly cleared a protest camp from the traffic circle in Manama. Dr. Ghassan said: “There are many casualties with head wounds.” The demonstrators made for Pearl Roundabout, where army troops who took it over after the police raid on Thursday opened fire.

Shia chants about deceased Bahraini
Funeral procession in the Sitra area of Manama for Ali Ahmed Al-Muamin on February 18. The crowd repeats: “Oh mother, remember me.”

Sitra funeral procession on Friday
Abdul Amir leads the funeral procession toward the cemetery, chanting anti-government slogans and celebrating the life of the deceased, Ali Ahmed Al-Muamin.

Bahrain turmoil: King seeks talks
King Hamad of Bahrain asks his son, Crown Prince Salman, to start a national dialogue after bloody clashes in the capital Manama.

Joining forces
Sunni and Shia united in call for democracy in Bahrain

‘They didn’t run away. They faced the bullets head-on’
“Massacre – it’s a massacre,” the doctors were shouting. Three dead. Four dead. One man was carried past me on a stretcher in the emergency room, blood spurting on to the floor from a massive bullet wound in his thigh.

Gulf may use military force in support of Bahrain’s regime
DUBAI: Gulf states could go as far as using military intervention to prevent a regime change in Bahrain to block the tide of protests there from reaching their countries, analysts say. A spread of the Shiite protests in Bahrain into the rest of the energy-rich Persian Gulf states would be a major strategic victory for neighboring Shiite Iran, they said Thursday.

Crackdown on arms exports to Bahrain
The government bowed to intense pressure last night and revoked a host of licences for arms exports to Bahrain and Libya, after Foreign Secretary William Hague said there was “no evidence” that security forces in the Gulf state had used British tear gas to suppress pro-democracy demonstrators. The French government has banned all arms exports to Bahrain and Libya.

Unrest continues in Bahrain; dozens are wounded
Security forces in Manama, Bahrain, continued their attack on anti-government protesters around  Pearl Square. At least 50 people were wounded as funerals were held for several protesters killed on Thursday.  Los Angeles Times photographer Rick Loomis is in Bahrain, covering the conflict, along with Times reporter Ned Parker, who filed this story.

US balancing act on Bahrain
Barack Obama, the US president, has called on Bahrain to exercise restraint following a violent government crackdown on protests. However, with the US Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain, Obama is having to balance calls for democracy with his countrty’s strategic interests in the region. Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett reports from Washington.

House of Khalifah hearts Shi`ites
Thus spoke Saqr Al-Khalifah:  ”I have to announce that we have always lived peacefully with our Shia brothers. I have nothing against them. I love my Shia friends.”  This reminds me of Ribbentrop (he preferred to be addressed as Von Ribbentrop).  During the Nuremberg trial, he insisted that his best friends were Jewish.

The Saudi “leadership vacuum” is clouding the decision making on Bahrain?
U.S. efforts to stabilize Bahrain, another key Arab ally roiled in popular uprising, is being threatened on several fronts—including apparent splits in Bahrain’s royal family and a sense of disengagement by Saudi Arabia, the region’s biggest power. Whether the U.S. can halt the unrest in Bahrain is viewed as critical to stabilizing the Persian Gulf and checking Iran’s influence. But there is growing uncertainty in Washington over who in the tiny Middle East sheikdom’s royal family ordered the use of increasing force against unarmed protesters, according to officials briefed on the diplomacy…

Middle East Protests: Facts About Bahrain (PHOTOS)
Witnesses say Bahrain security forces have opened fire on anti-government protesters as the violence in Manama continues as part of a bold attempt to copy Egypt’s uprising and to force high-level changes in its government.

Inside Story – Bahrain on the brink
Events in Tunisia and Egypt have left Arab governments worried and Bahrain’s royal family is no exception. Days of protests came to a violent head on Thursday when a police crackdown left several people dead and scores injured. Pro-democracy street agitation is not a stranger to Bahrain – there have been protests gping as far back as the early 1990s with opposition forces demanding that the monarchy make room for a more constitutional framework and a much more democratic polity. Can the monarchy survive this latest round of unrest and what does it all mean for the region? Inside Story discusses.

George Galloway on Bahrain Revolution

Britain condemns “horrifying” violence in Libya
LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Libya on Saturday to stop using force against protesters and asked governments in the Middle East to respond to the “legitimate aspirations” of their people.

84 Dead In Libya Protests In 3 Days: Human Rights Watch
Disturbing new details are coming out of the Libya protests. Government security forces have killed 84 people in three days, Human Rights Watch said in a news release on Friday night. Even though people were protesting peacefully, according to HRW, security forces killed 20 people in Benghazi, 23 in Baida, three in Ajdabiya, and three in Derna in a matter of days. In addition, 35 people were killed in Benghazi on Friday, nearly all with live ammunition. HRW said that telephone interviews with hospital staffers and witnesses led to the estimates. It added in a statement: “The Libyan authorities should immediately end attacks on peaceful protesters and protect them from assault by pro-government armed groups.”

Eyewitness reports protester deaths in Benghazi
Mohamed el-Berqawy, an engineer in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, told Al Jazeera by phone that mourners have been shot and killed on Friday. He appealed to US president Barack Obama and Arab League chief Amr Moussa for help.

Night protest in Benghazi, Libya
We cannot confirm when exactly, this footage was taken, but it appears to be either outside a court building or a police station, guarded by security forces. The protesters are yelling “Oh, Benghazi, where are you! Come see the oppressed people”, and ” Shame on you, you lied to us”

Libya Internet Shut Down Amid Protests, Per Multiple Reports
Reports have emerged late Friday that Libya appears to have shut down its Internet due to widespread protests, less than a month after Egypt did the same. The Los Angeles Times was among the first news outlets to report Libya’s Internet outage, citing “multiple reports.” TechCrunch also posted about Libya’s Internet issues.

Libya Videos

Rising death toll in Libya unrest
Reports from Libya suggest a mounting death toll from clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces.

Libya protests: massacres reported as Gaddafi imposes news blackout
Opposition says 61 killed as diplomats report use of heavy weapons in Benghazi and rumours sweep the country

Libyan Fury Challenges Gadhafi
CAIRO – The movement for change sweeping across the Middle East has now rocked Libya. Thousands of people have taken to the streets across many cities to demand an end to the 41-year autocratic rule of maverick leader Muammar Al- Gadhafi.

The Libyan People
They may have suffered more than other Arab people for the simple reason that they were forced to “study” the trash that Qadhdhafi wrote as “the Green Book.”  You saw the footage today of Libyan youth destroying a statue of the Green Book.  Do you know how many Arab intellectuals were paid to write on and discuss the Green Book in numerous conferences? 

Attacks against Jordanian Protesters

Jordan protest turns violent
Anti-government protests become routine on Fridays in Jordan since popular uprisings swept Egypt and Tunisia.

Jordan: Anti-regime demonstrators beaten by thugs
Thugs wielding batons turned on anti-government marchers in Amman yesterday as the country’s political protests turned violent.

Other Mideast Protests
Anti-government protester killed in clash in Yemen
SANAA/ADEN, Feb 19 (Reuters) – An anti-government protester was killed and seven injured in clashes with supporters of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on Saturday, a day after five people died in protests against his 32-year rule.

Algerian police break up crowd at pro-reform rally‎
Riot police in Algeria have broken up a crowd at the second pro-democracy rally in a week. Security forces stepped in after clashes broke out between pro- and anti-government supporters. Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan has the latest.

Saudi Shi’ites hold small eastern province protest
RIYADH, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Saudi Shi’ites have held a small protest in the kingdom’s oil-producing eastern province, close to Gulf Arab neighbour Bahrain where unrest has cost six lives, local Shi’ite sources said on Saturday. They said a group of Shi’ites staged a protest on Thursday in the town of Awwamiya, near the Saudi Shi’ite centre of Qatif on the Gulf coast, to demand the release of fellow Shi’ites held in prison without trial.

“The Arab Revolt Spreads to Kuwait” (Videos)
Stateless Arabs in Kuwait held protests today, demanding citizenship. The protests reportedly took place in Taima’ and Sulaibiya, Jahra Governorate, and Ahmadi, Ahmadi Governorate.

Protests set to test Morocco Saturday
Facebook groups are calling the country’s youth on to the streets of Morocco tomorrow to demand constitutional reforms and proper democracy.

Syria Speeding Up, Robin Yassin-Kassab
Three weeks ago I wrote that Syria was not about to experience a popular revolution. Although I’m no longer sure of anything after the events in Tunisia and Egypt (and Libya, Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and Bahrain) – and although it’s made me unpopular in certain quarters – I’m sticking to my original judgement.

To Jerusalem we are going, martyrs in millions’

Request to Egypt to open the Rafah crossing
The International Solidarity Movement has received a request from Palestinians in Gaza that concerned people contact the Egyptian embassies to ask them to reopen the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza. They have prepared a statement which you can sign and fax to your embassy in order to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis caused by the closing of the crossing. Below is the email correspondence, and a link to a document containing the statement.

Report: Egypt has approved Iran warships to use Suez Canal
This would be first time since Iran’s 1979 Islamic revolution that Iranian ships have used Suez; U.S. says they are monitoring the ships and criticize Iran’s ‘track record’ in the region.

‘Peace treaty with Israel is up to the Egyptian people’
Spokesman for Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood responds to U.S. National Intelligence director, who said he assumed Brotherhood was not in favor of maintaining peace treaty with Israel.

Jubilant scenes in Tahrir Square
A huge celebration continues into the night in central Cairo, the site of 18 days of protests that brought down longtime president Hosni Mubarak. Elsewhere in the city, where it is still not completely safe for Al Jazeera to report, rallies express regret for the peoples’ “disrespectful” treatment of Mubarak.

Egyptians pack Tahrir, reveling in victory – and bringing new demands
At a huge rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square Friday Egyptians said they aren’t going to ease up ‘until all our demands are met.’

Friday of Victory

Egyptian Revolution 2011- The Most Dramatic Footage From the 18-day Revolution
A compilation of the most dramatic footage from Egyptian Revolution, in an attempt to show the world what the Egyptian people have endured over the last 18 days to earn their freedom.  Special thanks to all the news agencies and videographers who put their lives on the line to get this footage, Al-Jazeera, Daily News, Russia Today, Reuters, Democracy Now & to Tamer El-Sahhar creator of the “Egypt Tomorrow” video. I apologize if I’ve missed anyone.

Egyptians savor arrests of regime’s privileged
Images of a former Cabinet minister and a steel magnate walking into prison have sent a shiver of disgust across Egypt as prosecutors widen probes into the inner circle of ex-President Hosni Mubarak. Images of a former Cabinet minister and a steel magnate walking into prison have sent a shiver of disgust across much of Egypt as prosecutors widen investigations of the corrupt inner circle of former President Hosni Mubarak.

Bring Back our Money Now !!
The Swiss authorities have founded funds belong to the the Mubarak clan at Swiss banks and despite they have not specified yet the amount of money they found , this is considered the first trace of our stolen fortune abroad. The first traces of these 70 or 45 billion dollars have been spotted my follow Egyptians.   Another good news that gives us hope is that the EU has agreed on principle of freezing the former president Mubarak’s inner circle’s assets.The West will return back our money if we want so officially , so it is the turn of the Egyptian government or to be accurate our military junta to demand these assets now.

Egyptian Military Under Mubarak’s Shadow
CAIRO – Egypt’s armed forces, the de facto rulers of the country since last week’s ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, have already met several longstanding demands of the opposition, including the suspension of the constitution and dissolution of parliament.

After the carrot, Egypt military shows the stick
CAIRO, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Egypt’s military, after promising to deliver civilian rule in six months, warned workers using their new freedom to protest over pay that strikes must stop, in a move businessmen said on Saturday could have come sooner.  The military council, under pressure from activists to speed up the pace of reform, has adopted a softly-softly approach since taking power after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, but said late on Friday that labour unrest threatened national security.

Strikers at giant Egypt factory continue to push for reforms, pay rises
AL-MAHALLAH AL-KUBRA, Egypt: With the old regime out of the way after mass protests in which they played a role, strikers at a giant factory in Egypt are now pushing for reforms closer to home such as pay rises. A strike organizer said Friday that workers have held talks on reforms with the military, which has ruled Egypt since the Feb. 11 ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

Egypt women stand for equality in the square
CAIRO – Women think as differently as they dress here, but they have emerged from the barricades agreeing on one thing: This is their moment in history, and they cannot afford to lose it.

Veteran Egypt activist sees revolution as ongoing
CAIRO – He organized his first demonstration while still a student in 1998, then got arrested and tortured by Egyptian police two years later at age 23. Now he has seen the fall of the president he spent his adult life struggling against.  For 33-year-old activist Hossam el-Hamalawy, though, Egypt’s three-week youth revolution is by no means over — there remains a repressive state to be dismantled and workers who need to get their rights.

Egyptians in America Ponder a Return
Some express fear of giving up the freedoms they’d like to help cultivate in their home country.

Frost Over the World – Mohamed ElBaradei
A week after the resignation of Hosni Mubarak, Sir David is joined by Nobel Laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, the man many are touting to be the next president of Egypt. Plus, Jeffrey Ghannam on the role of social media in the protests that are sweeping the Middle East.

Anatomy of Egypt’s Revolution (Part Two), ESAM AL-AMIN
Historians and political scientists study revolutions and analyze their impact, not only on their societies, where the political, economic, and social order is fundamentally transformed, but also on neighboring countries and beyond. The Egyptian revolution, though still in its infancy, promises to be such a phenomenon. Admitting its historic nature was none other than the U.S. President, Barack Obama, who lauded the Egyptians as having “inspired us,” and praised their revolution, which he said represented a “moral force that bent the arc of history toward justice.”

For Egyptians, revolt is a reaction to an oppression overdose / Amira Hass
18 Feb – Egyptians explain how their country got the nerve to face down a violent police force, and describe the moment when they knew there was no turning back.

Why Egypt worries Israel
By Monday Ephraim Sneh had heard quite enough talk about democracy in Egypt. “I am not interested in democracy in this region,” the former Israeli deputy minister of defence told a conference room full of dignitaries at the annual security conference in Herzliya, a Mediterranean Sea resort north of Tel Aviv. “Personally I prefer to have stability.” Sentiments like Sneh’s are easy to find in Israel these days, although the wiry 66-year-old expressed them more bluntly than most. Just look around, he said. Everywhere Israel’s neighbours get the vote, things get worse. Take Gaza, or as Sneh called it, “Hamastan,” after the ruling Hamas party’s 2006 election victory. “Based on a democratic, free election, we are facing now some of the worst terrorists.”

Egyptian dignity in the face of death | Nawara Najem
It was only when we protesters risked being shot that revolution in Egypt truly took hold. I am from a generation that has known no Egyptian leader beside the ousted president, Hosni Mubarak. When Anwar Sadat was killed, I was seven. I do not remember much about him other than he had a habit of screaming during speeches that lasted for hours. I also remember the regular periodic detention of both my mother and father for undisclosed reasons.

Other Mideast Revolution/Uprising News
Journalists targeted in Bahrain, Yemen, and Libya
New York, February 18, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists called on authorities today in Bahrain, Yemen, Libya to cease their attempts to prevent media from reporting on anti-government demonstrations. Bahraini authorities used live ammunition–including fire from a helicopter–against peaceful protesters and journalists, according to news reports. Pro-government thugs attacked at least two journalists in Yemen, and the Libyan government appeared to be shutting down Facebook, Twitter, and Al-Jazeera’s website as a means of silencing reporting on protests.

Report: Israel army preps for Egypt-style demos
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israel’s army is concerned by the prospect of Palestinians replicating Egypt-style mass demonstrations with dozens of simultaneous marches and protests in the West Bank, an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.  The military is beginning to build rapid-response forces and to identify vantage points throughout the territories that could be used to contain such protests, The Jerusalem Post reported.

In pictures
Images from around the Middle East as protests continue.

Mideast unrest puts US military access in jeopardy (AFP)
AFP – Popular unrest sweeping the Middle East highlights the US military’s reliance on Arab regimes that offer privileged access to airfields and ports from Cairo to Qatar.

Al Jazeera says signal jammed, website blocked
DUBAI (Reuters) – The Qatar-based news channel Al Jazeera said on Friday its signal was being jammed on several frequencies and its website had been blocked in Libya.  Al Jazeera, whose coverage of the political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa is widely watched in the Arab world, reported the jamming on its website where it offered alternative frequencies on the Arabsat, Nilesat and Hot Bird satellites.

Aljazeera Arabic and Al-Arabiyyah
Aljazeera is now airing a documentary on R.Kennedy and Al-Arabiyyah TV (news station of King Fahd’s brother-in-law) is a report on PlayStation.  GCC met and decided that all is well in Bahrain.  Aljazeera Arabic–to its eternal shame–succumbed.  PS I am told that Aljazeera English is doing an excellent job in covering Bahrain.  Maybe they can do that because Qatari royal family watches the Arabic Aljazeera.

Challenges Facing Countries Across North Africa and the Middle East
In the wake of the overthrow of the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt, here is a look at challenges facing countries across the region.

From Libya to Bahrain, Mideast autocracy under fire
After Egypt set Arab imaginations alight, autocrats from Qaddafi to the Khalifa dynasty face an assault unparalleled since the post-World War II revolutions that brought independence.

How Britain taught Arab police forces all they know
There was growing anger last night over the enmeshed relationship between authoritarian Gulf governments and the British military and police after weeks of democracy protests across the Arab world that met with violent state repression.

Game’s dynamics have changed
For decades, the Arab world has often been referred to as a “region of turmoil,” but what is taking place today makes the turmoil of yesterday look quite tame in comparison. Groundswells of widescale and fierce protests against ruling regimes have spread like wildfire, affecting Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, Iraq, Jordan, Yemen, Djibouti and Iran in the Middle East alone.

Winter of Arab rage
The revolution in Egypt continued to send tremors through the region Friday as protests erupted in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Syria and Djibouti, and authorities violently cracked down on the largely peaceful demonstrations.

Will Mideast revolts force U.S. to talk to Islamists?, Alex Kane
Since at least the Clinton administration, U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East has propped up dictatorial regimes that were favorable to U.S. and Israeli interests while refusing to engage with the forces of political Islam.  Could the current wave of uprisings shaking the Middle East and North Africa force the U.S. to deal with Islamist movements that are integral parts of these societies?  That’s what journalist and author Mark Perry argued in a recent Palestine Center panel discussion–a development that would have far-reaching implications for Palestine, among other countries.

The Middle East Is Changing, Ramzy Baroud
Now that the Egyptian people have finally wrestled their freedom from the hands of a very stubborn regime, accolades to the revolution are pouring in from all directions. Even those who initially sided with Hosni Mubarak’s regime, or favored a neutral position, have now changed their tune.

70 Responses

  1. Taxi
    February 19, 2011, 11:03 am

    No way the murderous monarchy fat cats will survive this.

    All the mideast deposts who are murdering or oppressing their people need to all pitch in and buy a safe-haven island somewhere far far far far away. And cold.

    Like the North Pole.

    And NO they can’t take their entourage of slaves with them either!!

    • Walid
      February 19, 2011, 11:35 am

      The Arab leaders are really worried now and want to meet to discuss things. Get ready for another impressive get-together with all the flowing robes and brightly coloured fluttering flags and absolutely nothing resolved. I’m wondering if Gadaffi would again prefer to sleep in his tent during the meeting and who would be offering to help the Arab leaders. The meeting is for March 29th; how many of the current leaders will still be around then?

      From Reuters:

      Arab League sees grave situation and wants summit
      CAIRO | Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:36pm GMT

      CAIRO (Reuters) – The Arab League said on Saturday it was important that a March summit goes ahead in Baghdad due to what it described as “the grave, fateful developments” in the Arab world.

      Libya, which holds the rotating presidency of the Arab leaders’ summit, said this week that the Baghdad meeting would be postponed because of the situation in the region, where protests are challenging leaders from Bahrain to Algeria.

      The presidents of Egypt and Tunisia have been toppled by mass protests this year.

      A statement issued from the Arab League headquarters in Cairo said a formal request for the postponement of the summit had yet to be received by the body’s general secretariat.

      The summit is set for March 29.

      “The general secretariat stresses the importance of the holding of the coming Arab summit on schedule,” the League statement said.

      Current circumstances required “the greatest degree of coordination and discussion to deal with the grave, fateful developments which the Arab region is going through,” it said

      • Seham
        February 19, 2011, 12:15 pm

        Walid, in the spirit of Arab unity I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to you for any comments I have made in the past to you that were offensive, hurtful or annoying to you, I am sorry.

        I am really excited for the new Arab summit, these are things that I never pay attention to because they are worthless, but it sure will be great to watch it this year without Ben Ali, Mubarak and hopefully Gaddafi. I wonder what they will talk about.

      • Walid
        February 19, 2011, 1:46 pm

        Seham, I should be the one apologizing for having come at you on the first or second day I started posting here and I must have sounded like a Zionist Arab-hater that was using an Arab name. I’m very much an Arab and a Canadian and proud of being both but I’m not averse to criticizing either of them when I see them in the wrong on some things. I should have levelled with you at the start of the argument as we were really of the same opinion but looking at things from different perspectives. So it’s really for me to apologize to you.

        About those summits, I’m not a fan; I think there are folkloric, clownish and an embarrassment. In their 60-year history, they have not resolved a single dispute between members, territorial or other. They can’t even agree at helping the Palestinians and some members were actually helping Israel in what it’s doing to them. Most of them are tripping over each other to get into some business with Israel. Maybe this will now change with the things that are happening around us.

      • Saleema
        February 19, 2011, 3:10 pm

        I love this unity and the love! :)

    • Seham
      February 19, 2011, 12:17 pm

      They might survive it, Taxi. I am sensing some fear from them now though. These uprisings may or may not result in a new regime in each country (though in Libya, I feel it is certain because I don’t see how you can go back to normal with crazy Gaddafi after this) but we may say other regimes completely cave-in to the will of the people in some of the GCC countries. I don’t know, I would be happy with regime change in every Arab country though.

      • Taxi
        February 19, 2011, 3:06 pm

        Seham, I reckon non of them will make it in the short to medium run. Of course places like Saudi are more of a gordian knot that needs cleaving into two. USA and House of Saud are desperate for Bahrain not to set a precedent for this to happen.

        Most of the mideast population is young oh so very young and they ain’t having it no more – not even the kids in saudi. So the future does actually look bright because WE KNOW WHAT THE YOUTH WANT and it ain’t Wahabism, its modernism.

        We should all be singing Ten Green Bottles eh.

  2. fuster
    February 19, 2011, 11:50 am

    Wonderful headline to the post. Any massacre committed is not the fault of anyone other than an ally of the United States.

    America’s BFF Gaddafi is mowing down the protesters of his lunacy as well.

    • yonira
      February 19, 2011, 12:10 pm

      fuster, this is the spin zone. it is all about deflecting blame from those who are really responsible.

      i am honestly surprised israel wasn’t worked into the headline.

    • Seham
      February 19, 2011, 12:23 pm

      And just to be clear, I am not laying the blame entirely on the U.S. of course it is as much the fault of the Arab dictators and “monarchs” (sorry I can’t refer to these people as royalty without the quotes) but these dictators wouldn’t have the power and means to slaughter people so wantonly if not for the money that the West gives to them. It’s nothing new though, the chemical weapons that Saddam used to slaughter the Kurds were manufactured in Rochester, NY. The U.S. always wants to claim that they just didn’t know these undemocratic lunatics will turn these weapons against their own. I don’t think that defense would stand in a court of law. It’s amazing, though that in this country it is a crime and you will go to jail for broadcasting Al Manar news but you can sell Arab and Israeli criminals the weapons they need to kill and quash any Arabs that dare to rise up for their rights and get away with it under the “we didn’t know our buddies are capable of this” excuse. And to be even more clear, I am not voting for Obama even if Satan himself decides to run against him–I won’t be complicit in the killing of my people anymore.

      • fuster
        February 19, 2011, 12:46 pm

        Seham, glad to hear that, but the money doesn’t all come from the west. Much has come, does come, and increasingly will come from the far east.
        As well, many of the weapons used to come from the Soviets and their satellites.
        We all know that Middle Eastern despots, like other despots around the world, turn their weapons on their own people, but despots always have done so and started doing so long before gunpowder was employed.

      • Don
        February 19, 2011, 1:33 pm

        Fuster, just out of curiosity…why do you take this so personally? As for despots turning guns on their own people…you bet!

        And some democracies, USA and Israel among many, are also willing, when it suits their purpose, to turn guns on their own people (and absolutely delighted to turn them on unarmed people who happen not be be their own citizens).

        As you point out, the phenomenon has a long history. Or as Will Durant wrote in his “History of Civilization”, “…the exploitation of the weak by the strong has a glorious history, and a most promising future”.

        You seem able to see this abuse of power with “crystal clarity” in Arab countries…but seem unable or unwilling to see it in Israeli behavior.

      • fuster
        February 19, 2011, 7:22 pm


        You seem able to see this abuse of power with “crystal clarity” in Arab countries…but seem unable or unwilling to see it in Israeli behavior.—–

        I don’t know why you would think that. I’m ready, willing and able.

      • Hostage
        February 20, 2011, 5:51 am

        On March 30, 2007 Barak Obama said “I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution.”

        The fifth amendment to the US Constitution prevents individuals from being deprived of life, liberty, or property without “due process of law.”

        The Obama administration has publicly claimed the authority to carry out targeted killings of civilians, including U.S. citizens, outside the context of armed conflict. For example,

        in February 2010, then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, in response to a question by a member of Congress about the targeted killing of U.S. citizens, stated that the United States takes “direct action” against suspected terrorists and that “if we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that.” — Alaulaqi v Obama

        So, the government can kill you if it suspects you of being suspicious. No one is accountable for explaining how or when your name got added to the kill list. That might reveal sensitive [and faulty] classified intelligence sources and methods like the highly publicized errors found in the TSA no-fly list.

    • Walid
      February 19, 2011, 1:04 pm

      fuster, of those countries in turmoil, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen, which of these is not an ally of the US?

      Yonira, the US did not father the leaders of these countries but it sure went a long way in catering to their oppressive policies because the ultimate objective was to get them in bed with Israel and through various inducements, it succeeded to do so with most of them. Some may refer to it as pimping for Israel. How would you describe yesterday’s veto?

      • Seham
        February 19, 2011, 1:24 pm

        fuster, of those countries in turmoil, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Jordan, Bahrain, Yemen, which of these is not an ally of the US?

        Need help? The answer is all of them. And you want to know why we arm them? For Israel and for oil that’s all the West cares about: Israel and oil.

      • Kathleen
        February 19, 2011, 2:33 pm

        I do think oil comes first then Israel.

        What do we keep hearing from people in that part of the world as well as former CIA head of the Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer, former CIA analyst Ray Mcgovern, Kathleen and Bill Christison, journalist Seymour Hersh, former President Jimmy Carter, Queen Noor, and others about why so many people in that part of the world are righteously pissed off at us.

        1. US support for dictators in that part of the world
        2. US support for Israel no matter what they do
        3. US military bases on their lands to protect our access to oil

        Hate us for our foreign policy in that part of the world

        We keep hearing this over and over again

      • RoHa
        February 19, 2011, 8:05 pm

        Don’t you mean “none of them”, since the question was “which is not an ally”?

      • Seham
        February 19, 2011, 9:56 pm

        Yes, Roha you are right.

      • RoHa
        February 21, 2011, 1:24 am

        [Edited out for being even more pointless and irritating than usual]

      • yonira
        February 19, 2011, 1:24 pm


        When you put it that way, sure sounds like there is some foreign influences at play fomenting revolution against the allies of the US.

        My money is on the Iran/Syrian/Lebanese intelligence.

      • Walid
        February 19, 2011, 2:52 pm

        Yonira, Iran and Syrian intelligence are good only for the domestic stuff and the Lebanese have their hands full nabbing spies for Israel that are all over the place like a cockroach infestation.

        Could it be simply that the natives have had enough and don’t want to take it anymore? Don’t forget in your tally of US wins and losses that Lebanon too had a change to the country’s pro-US government that was defeated a few weeks ago and that it was done democratically.

      • Seham
        February 19, 2011, 1:55 pm

        I know you’re asking Yonira but I have so much to say about yesterday’s veto, where do I begin.

        -Did anyone catch Rice v.2 squirming on Al Jazeera as she rudely and aggressively tried to defend the U.S. vote in the most nonsensical terms that I have heard thus far? Amazing how people in the U.S. talk about Obama as a great intellectual yet the people that speak on his behalf (Crowley, Rice and Gibbs) can’t answer basic questions about foreign policy with even a modicum of intelligence. I blame Obama for that. If he even wanted to pretend like he gave a crap about Arab human rights he would have hired people that could make the lies look prettier.

        -I am ever so grateful to Obama for vetoing that resolution, it’s the only thing his administration has ever done on behalf of the Palestinian people. I look forward to more arrogance and intransigence from Americans/Israelis so that even the Palestinian cowards/traitors that are representing them today will be forced to abandon ship on this sordid relationship. Though, I don’t think we will be seeing this decrepit Palestinian leadership for much longer. And I am really hopeful and optimistic about the new generation of Palestinian and Arab leaders who have seen what accountability looks like. And at it doesn’t matter what the U.S. and Israel want or think because Arabs don’t need them and now they know that. I think Palestinians should adopt the mentality of Jews, the idea of “never again” and they should apply it to who they seek help from in the future. Never again seek assistance from the people trying to eliminate you.

        -What we are seeing from Obama is nothing short of what we have seen from the Arab dictators that we saw fall in the last month. The remarks from Washington are becoming more and more similar to those of Hosni Mubarak. First the lukewarm response to the protests while they bided their time in hopes that the Egyptian dictator would stamp out the protests. Followed by yesterdays bellicose veto at the UN which looked more like one of Sulieman’s arrogant and aggressive statements.

        Obama and Netanyahu (who still can’t see the writing on the wall is still stealing more and more Palestinian land yesterday and today and throughout the last month–hey they never miss a good opportunity to cleanse more Palestinians off their land) are still in shock. Obama and Netanyahu cannot believe that what they have brutally and disgustingly supported for so long is slipping between their fingers.

        But Obama will hold on to his rigid, criminal and immoral position on Palestine for longer than those Arab dictatorss did, because congress/senate and AIPAC will make sure he doesn’t fold as easily Mubarak did. But it’s still the same arrogant thug mentality that is present in the three of them, Americans are just way better at PR.

        I voted for him because I thought it would be truly historic to have an African-American President, I can’t believe how ignorant I was. Never again, going forward I will only vote for the people that ensure the survival of my people… I live in the U.S., I will likely never vote again.

      • Kathleen
        February 19, 2011, 2:28 pm

        “-What we are seeing from Obama is nothing short of what we have seen from the Arab dictators that we saw fall in the last month. The remarks from Washington are becoming more and more similar to those of Hosni Mubarak. First the lukewarm response to the protests while they bided their time in hopes that the Egyptian dictator would stamp out the protests. Followed by yesterdays bellicose veto at the UN which looked more like one of Sulieman’s arrogant and aggressive statements. ”

        Thank you for cutting through the bull.
        What do you think we can do?

      • Walid
        February 19, 2011, 3:10 pm

        Seham, for me the turning point with Obama happened when he accepted the Nobel. I know the clowns in Oslo are in the habit of awarding the prize to undeserving people like former terrorists turned statesmen like Rabin, Peres and Arafat or to people simply for reporting on the job for which they were paid like Anan but like you, I had very high hopes for Obama and they suddenly fizzed out when he did not decline the undeserved prize. From that point on, I stopped expecting anything good to come from him.

      • Taxi
        February 19, 2011, 3:45 pm

        I’m with you on that point Walid. Glaring vanity for Obama to have accepted – I too was left a little disconcerted by his acceptance. He really would have won immeasurable kudos if he’d turned it down.

    • Shingo
      February 19, 2011, 11:58 pm

      Poor Fuster. The dozen or more murders in Bahrain have taken all the attention away from the one death in Iran that he wanted us to be focusing on

  3. Donald
    February 19, 2011, 12:21 pm

    “America’s BFF Gaddafi ”

    My understanding is that Gaddafi had moved back into the category of being our friend. The point you are trying to make in your trollish way is that not all human rights violators in the Mideast are American allies. That’s true, and there’s nothing in the headline that suggests otherwise.

    • fuster
      February 19, 2011, 12:49 pm

      No Donald, he’s not in the friend pile. He’s been removed from the enemies list is all.
      And in may trollish way, I’ll beg to differ and say that the headline most assuredly seeks to pin blame for the murders in Bahrain on the US.
      Ask the author.

      • Donald
        February 19, 2011, 1:08 pm

        I wasn’t disagreeing with Seham. The killings in Bahrain are partly our fault–we’ve been happy to prop up dictators there as we’ve been happy to prop them up many places. Your post said “Any massacre committed is not the fault of anyone other than an ally of the United States.” Seham’s headline doesn’t say that or imply it and you are trying to pretend you were saying something different now.

        I don’t think all of your posts are nonsense, but you have a tendency to pull this kind of crap. It’s trollish.

      • CK MacLeod
        February 19, 2011, 1:33 pm

        This tendency – hardly yours alone, Donald – to define as “trollish” posts that disagree with the predominating view comes across to me as “fanaticalish.”

      • Kathleen
        February 19, 2011, 2:35 pm

        Juan Cole coverage of the situation in Bahrain etc

        link to juancole.com

      • Donald
        February 19, 2011, 4:17 pm

        “This tendency – hardly yours alone, Donald – to define as “trollish” posts that disagree with the predominating view comes across to me as “fanaticalish.”’

        Maybe you should pay attention to what Seham said, how fuster misinterpreted her, how he then changed his claim about what he had said, and in general what the issue is.

        1. Seham’s headline said “Another massacre committed by another close friend and ally of the United States”

        2. Fuster replied with “Wonderful headline to the post. Any massacre committed is not the fault of anyone other than an ally of the United States.”

        That doesn’t follow from what Seham said. No one reading it in good faith would have jumped to the conclusion that fuster did. Apparently you are fine with this.

        3. I point this out.

        4. Fuster then replies that no, Seham does blame the US for the deaths in Bahrain. That’s true, but that’s not what he accused her of saying in the previous post.

        This kind of criticism which is shot from the hip, inflammatory, and inaccurate is what I’d call “trollish”.

        Apparently in your lexicon a “fanaticalish” person is one who objects to inaccurate and tendentious misreadings of articles. A “fanaticalish” person like myself also agrees with fuster that the US and Israel are not the only causes of injustice and human rights violations in the Middle East, not by a long shot. A “fanaticalish” person like myself happens to agree with some of what fuster says in other comments, including his harsh criticisms of the Iranian government. I guess that’s what “fanaticalish” must mean, since it’s not in the dictionary, you made it up, and you are using me as an example.

        I don’t have to coin a term to describe your post–I think it’s called “stupid”. But that tendency is hardly yours alone, CK.

      • annie
        February 19, 2011, 4:34 pm

        they’re professional’s donald. they display all the signs. they respond to what isn’t said and build cases on it. they incite and demean one minute and then make somewhat reasonable and informed comments the next. it’s a gradual positioning approach.

        plus have you noticed the juxtaposition of the 2 icons? the happy go lucky frog and the sinister authoritarian?

        it’s a mind game by professionals. they’re info warriors and this is their battlefield. it’s fascinating (in a way) following the psychological choices they come up with. and look at this upping the ante to “fanaticalish”

        funny.we’re being corralled. they work off eachother.

      • Donald
        February 19, 2011, 4:52 pm

        “they’re professional’s donald. they display all the signs. they respond to what isn’t said and build cases on it. they incite and demean one minute and then make somewhat reasonable and informed comments the next. it’s a gradual positioning approach.”

        Fuster and CK appear to be friends–at least when I visited CK’s blog Fuster’s name appeared there in the comments right at the top. So I doubt they are professionals–it’d be careless to show links like that. I take them to be ordinary people. But it’s common online to meet self-proclaimed “independent thinkers” who get really sloppy in demonstrating their intellectual independence. Take CK there–he couldn’t be bothered to pay any attention to the issue at hand. I’d criticized fuster and had to be put in my place.

        The rest of what you said is an accurate description. Fuster can make decent points and then he turns around and, as you say, responds to what wasn’t said and does so in a way that is demeaning. What’s that about? Well, I think I can guess–he wants every anti-Zionist at this site placed into the category of “fanatic with blinders on”. That’s a stance commonly taken by self-proclaimed “centrists” on all sorts of issues. Rather than argue with people, just paint them as fanatics and if they won’t cooperate, put words into their mouths. I haven’t read enough of CK to know if he’s like that, but this post suggests maybe he is.

      • CK MacLeod
        February 19, 2011, 4:54 pm

        So, people who don’t agree with you are “trolls” or “stupid”? If this is the kind of discussion you want to pursue, you can count me out, Donald.

      • CK MacLeod
        February 19, 2011, 5:00 pm

        Annie, I’ve known fuster for two or three years now. We frequently hang around the same blogs. I guess you find it shocking that people adopt avatars. You could have one, too, that would show up on this blog. Just go to gravatar.com and follow the simple sign-up. I’d recommend an image that somehow conveys belief that everyone who disagrees with you is part of a conspiracy. Maybe Julia Roberts from that movie with Mel Gibson wouldn’t be TOO obscure.

      • annie
        February 19, 2011, 5:04 pm

        it’d be careless to show links like that. I take them to be ordinary people.

        nah, operatives have blogs too. and they’re ‘ordinary people’ just like we are. have you checked out the hiring link over @ the israel project? they organize ordinary people over there.

        whatever. that’s my opinion. the day operatives start outting themselves is the day i’ll reconsider. max outted one on his blog the other day. it’s really worth a read. he wrote a post about one.

      • annie
        February 19, 2011, 5:06 pm

        If this is the kind of discussion you want to pursue, you can count me out, Donald.

        really? wow that was easy. don’t let the door slam on the way out mr “fanaticalish”.

      • Taxi
        February 19, 2011, 5:09 pm

        I’m sorry this is totally off topic here but annie: your really are sooo cute!

      • annie
        February 19, 2011, 5:13 pm

        i’m not shocked in the least ck. yours suits you perfectly.

      • Taxi
        February 19, 2011, 5:22 pm

        CK makes obscure ref etc….

        Muddled, befuddled, baffled, dried out of comebacks.

        That’s you CK.

        That’s israel too.

        Fresh out of new ideas.

      • Donald
        February 19, 2011, 5:24 pm

        “If this is the kind of discussion you want to pursue, you can count me out, Donald.” CK (who had just called me “fanaticalish”)

        Hey independent thinker, I typed several paragraphs explaining the issue you ignored, and my final paragraph was a deliberate imitation of the insult you leveled at me. But I guess the only way you thought you could preserve your dignity was to stick to your guns and continue to ignore the substance. I’m curious to know if you even read it, but I guess we’ll never know.

        “really? wow that was easy. don’t let the door slam on the way out mr “fanaticalish”.”–Annie

        Yeah, that was ridiculous. I actually expected better of him–maybe a rueful admission that he hadn’t paid attention to what I’d said and was only leaping to the defense of his pal fuster, who misread Seham in an obnoxious and tendentious way. But he responded like someone who didn’t have a case to make. Not surprising.

      • annie
        February 19, 2011, 5:26 pm

        why thank you taxi.


      • CK MacLeod
        February 19, 2011, 5:26 pm

        There are several people here whose views, or whose way of expressing them, strike me as fanatical, annie, but “fanaticalish” would be a lighter charge – of tending towards the fanatical, by, for instance, insisting on a uniformity of opinion by name-calling. Seeking offense at every opportunity and making vile accusations also fits within that pattern.

        Donald wasn’t the first to call fuster a “troll,” and, in Donald’s defense, he was in this instance picking up fuster’s own sarcastically self-effacing usage. Apparently because fuster utilizes sarcasm and because he goes against the grain of “more extreme than thou”-ism on the subjects of Zionism and American policy, there are those, including perhaps you, who would rather he disappeared. Maybe, if you have your way, you will someday have a busy blog in which you NEVER have to confront an opinion or argument you don’t already agree with, unless pre-treated by one of your ideologically pure allies.

      • annie
        February 19, 2011, 5:36 pm

        i thought you were leaving.

      • Taxi
        February 19, 2011, 5:39 pm


        What a bore.

      • CK MacLeod
        February 19, 2011, 6:18 pm

        Since you asked, Donald:

        Maybe you should pay attention to what Seham said, how fuster misinterpreted her, how he then changed his claim about what he had said, and in general what the issue is.

        1. Seham’s headline said “Another massacre committed by another close friend and ally of the United States”

        2. Fuster replied with “Wonderful headline to the post. Any massacre committed is not the fault of anyone other than an ally of the United States.”

        That doesn’t follow from what Seham said. No one reading it in good faith would have jumped to the conclusion that fuster did. Apparently you are fine with this.

        In my view, fuster was reacting to a tendency to over-simplify and exaggerate, and to set aside the ongoing depredations committed by avowed enemies of the U.S., as well as by more complicated cases like Qadafi’s Libya, for the sake of monotonous America-bashing.

        3. I point this out.

        4. Fuster then replies that no, Seham does blame the US for the deaths in Bahrain. That’s true, but that’s not what he accused her of saying in the previous post.

        This kind of criticism which is shot from the hip, inflammatory, and inaccurate is what I’d call “trollish”.

        You and fuster have a difference of opinion about interpretations of Seham’s intentions and fair readings of Seham’s headline. My impression is that fuster’s interpretation of Seham’s intentions is at a minimum arguable, based on the immediate context, the general context of events, and as further evidenced by other posts and commentaries of Seham’s.

        Seham did use quotes for “close friend and ally,” but I’m not sure what they’re supposed to mean. Is Seham referring to diplomatic language – Hillary’s perhaps? That would be one fair interpretation, especially given Seham’s anti-American tendencies. For another writer, the quotes might have indicated that Bahrain – or the Bahraini government – isn’t really a “close friend” – even less now that, contrary to the kind of policy we would prefer, the government is making what is really an alliance of convenience more difficult to sustain. (With allies like these…)

        Personally, I think the word “troll” should be reserved for people who don’t attempt to explain themselves, who never or rarely take responsibility for their own statements, and who are more interested in causing trouble, upsetting people, sidetracking discussion, etc., rather than in seeking the truth to the best of their ability.

        Occasionally throwing an elbow or writing clumsily or even “shooting from the hip” doesn’t in my opinion make a person or frog a troll, or even “trollish.” It makes that person or frog imperfect. I think the Wikipedia definition is serviceable:

        In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

        I don’t see fuster’s comment as being intended to provoke emotional or off-topic responses. It was totally on-topic. To call it “inflammatory” is, again, to suggest that disagreeing, or even just being wrong, equates with bad faith and intentions. That strikes me as an attitude typical of fanatics.

      • Donald
        February 19, 2011, 6:24 pm

        “in Donald’s defense, he was in this instance picking up fuster’s own sarcastically self-effacing usage. Apparently because fuster utilizes sarcasm and because he goes against the grain of “more extreme than thou”-ism on the subjects of Zionism and American policy, there are those, including perhaps you, who would rather he disappeared”

        Evidently you can’t admit that you’ve read my detailed explanation of why I was disgusted with fuster’s post, because then you might have to respond to the points I made. You attacked me to make a point, decided to use my post as an example, and in your plea for openmindedness couldn’t be bothered to pay the slightest bit of attention to the substance of what I was saying.

        On your broader point, the one you meant to make, I actually agree that sometimes the rhetoric goes too far here. The last day or two there have been threads where people seem to be advocating war between Israel and Egypt and/or Turkey. They might just be joking or I might have misread them–I hope so–but if they were serious this is a really bad idea. Another major war in the Mideast would be a catastrophe. What I hope (and I think most of us here think this way) is that the Arab people successfully bring democracy to their various countries and then put overwhelming peaceful pressure on Israel to treat the Palestinians like human beings.

        But people who portray themselves as the soul of reason between two irrational extremes often do exactly what you do here–you just lump everyone to your left (in this case) into one homogeneous undifferentiated mass, ignore the details of what we say, and then complain that there is a lack of respect for the views of others.

      • Seham
        February 19, 2011, 6:31 pm

        Hi guys,

        There really isn’t much to read into, I chose the title to paraphrase comments that Clinton made that were published yesterday about how Bahrain is indeed a close friend and ally. You can read her comments here: link to salon.com

        Just making sure that everyone knows what the undemocratically elected close friends and allies of the United States do to their own.

      • fuster
        February 19, 2011, 6:35 pm

        Donald, if you thought that I was serious in my very deliberate overstatement in response to what I see as Sahem’s attempt to assign blame inappropriately, then I’ve little problem with your response.
        I’ve not noticed you to be one to the people here committed to the irrational extreme.

        and yes,
        less lumping would be good.

      • CK MacLeod
        February 19, 2011, 6:41 pm

        Donald, I really do understand, I think, your suspicions abut my good faith, and maybe why you didn’t like being made an example of troll-seeking. I apologize for that – my criticism wasn’t really specifically aimed at you, and I see we are in basic agreement on other matters. I don’t know if my detailed reply to your detailed reply has made it through moderation yet, but, if I promise for now on to try to take a virtual breath, to give you the benefit of the doubt, to be slow to take offense, and to wait for you to dispose of other matters about which I may not be aware, how about you try and do some of that for me, in the future?

      • annie
        February 19, 2011, 6:57 pm

        close friend and ally was put in quotes because they are our puppets dictator regimes just like mubarak was a “close friend and ally ” as if we need close friend to carry out our renditions program. we don’t. we need people who follow orders.

        fuster was reacting to a tendency to over-simplify and exaggerate

        oh do not give me this bogus reaction bs based on some ‘tendency’ of seham’s. he was ratcheting up the discourse by claiming something was said that wasn’t. it’s completely common. rather than address what is said one lumps it into one of the common diversions as listed in the hasbara handbook identified as ‘point scoring’. just flip on thru to pg 21 and read about ‘errant equivalent’ (drawing on 2 different concepts yet exploiting/manipulating the reader to think they are the same). then on to pg 22, 7 basic propaganda devices.

        the handbook is packed with techniques commonly used all the time by pro israel advocates. there was no over simplification in seham’s title. it was a troll action.

      • Donald
        February 19, 2011, 7:13 pm


        I thought your title was clear. In the future you might want to include a long footnote saying something like “I wish to make it clear that I do not think that every atrocity in the Middle East is the responsibility of Israel and the US.”


        I just saw your latest post and deleted what I had here. Okay, apology accepted.

        I do think it’s a bad bad idea to assume that someone on the far left is like, say, the Stalin supporters of the 30’s. Some of us did learn a lesson from that mistake.

      • Donald
        February 19, 2011, 7:28 pm

        I should add that the apology to me was accepted–I can’t speak for others. I think there was some unfairness to Seham and the vast majority of people here. I suppose one would have to take a poll, but I think the vast majority of people here would agree that Israel and the US are not the only major human rights violators in the Middle East. Most of us aren’t fans of Ahmadinejad , which is not to say that we support any of the drumbeat for war against Iran.

        The focus of people here on Israel and the US is because as American citizens (true for most of us), the crimes of our government and Israel’s are partly our responsibility. I also think we bear a big portion of the blame for the general state of affairs in the Mideast — fortunately, the people there have decided to take matters into their own hands.

  4. lysias
    February 19, 2011, 12:50 pm

    Report that the government thugs have poisoned the water in Benghazi: Bengasi in guerra, 70 morti, avvelenata acqua rubinetti:

    – 1 di notte: Radio Bengasi conferma che l’acqua dei rubinetti è stata avvelenata.
    CONFIRMED: Water in #Benghazi #Libya IS poisoned. SPREAD THE WORD! DO NOT DRINK THE WATER

    • annie
      February 19, 2011, 1:02 pm

      from your link lysia

      – 1:40 FROM #LIBYA: 5 mercenaries captured and admitted to getting $1000/head 31 dead in Bayda & 450km btwn Bayda

      salt mentioned the poisoned water earlier but this is the first link i have seen. lot of prayers today. i am very afraid of what lengths will be taken across the region to contain tight grips on power.

      • Walid
        February 19, 2011, 1:17 pm

        Arab press saying $12,000 per Libyan kill for the mercenaries. America under pressure from Israel to do something, anything; there are US naval bases in Yemen (remember the hit on the USS Cole?) and Bahrain. America and Saudia have been misbehaving (drones)with the natives in Yemen for some time.

      • Shingo
        February 20, 2011, 12:07 am

        And Fuster can’t understand what this has to do with the US?

  5. CK MacLeod
    February 19, 2011, 1:36 pm

    Delirious Joy in Bahrain – Kristof today:

    perhaps on orders of the crown prince, the army troops had been withdrawn, and the police were more restrained today. Police fired many rounds of tear gas on the south side of the roundabout to keep protesters away, but that didn’t work and the police eventually fled. People began pouring into the roundabout from every direction, some even bringing their children and celebrating with an almost indescribable joy. It’s amazing to see a site of such tragedy a few days ago become a center of jubilation right now. It’s like a huge party. I asked one businessman, Yasser, how he was feeling, and he stretched out his arms and screamed: “GREAT!!!!”

    Many here tell me that this is a turning point, and that democracy will now come to Bahrain – in the form of a constitutional monarchy in which the king reigns but does not rule – and eventually to the rest of the Gulf and Arab world as well. But some people are still very, very wary and fear that the government will again send in troops to reclaim the roundabout. I just don’t know what will happen, and it’s certainly not over yet. But it does feel as if this just might be a milestone on the road to Arab democracy.


    We don’t know what exactly President Obama said to the king in his call last night, but we do know that the White House was talking about suspending military licensing to Bahrain. This may have been a case where American pressure helped avert a tragedy and aligned us with people power in a way that in the long run will be good for Bahrain and America alike.

    Americans will worry about what comes next, if people power does prevail, partly because Gulf rulers have been whispering warnings about Iranian-influence and Islamists taking over. Look, democracy is messy. But there’s no hint of anti-Americanism out there, and people treated American journalists as heroes because we reflect values of a free press that they aspire to achieve for their country.

  6. Kathleen
    February 19, 2011, 2:23 pm

    those dudes had their hands up in the air all ready. That was brutal. Cold blooded murder. Brave brave people going up against cold blooded murderers. Sickening..criminal

  7. Walid
    February 19, 2011, 2:25 pm

    CK, what was happening in Bahrain had more to do with what was happening in Saudi Arabia than from influence from Iran, as you read in the article. The treatment of the Shia in both countries at the hands of the Sunni rulers is close although contrary to Bahrain, those in Saudia are in minority. The 2 million Shia in SA, 20% of the total, cannot build their Shia Hussainia congregation halls or openly celebrate their holliest day of the year, the Feast of Ashura. The country’s state Imams have issued fatwas declaring the country’s Shia apostates and heretics.

    The people are being nice to the press in Bahrain because they want the news to get out, not because they love Americans. To the man in the street, there is no difference between an American and a Zionist, especially after yesterday’s veto. Next Friday’s demonstration by the Palestinians will be against the US for the veto.

    • Walid
      February 19, 2011, 4:13 pm

      Whoever is keepimg score here, you can add another Arab League member, Djibouti, to the list as it has also entered the demonstrations phase.

      • annie
        February 19, 2011, 4:23 pm

        jeez louise i’ve never even heard of Djibouti. here’s VOA

        Authorities in Djibouti have detained three top opposition leaders, a day after protesters demanded the departure of President Ismail Omar Guelleh.

        Djibouti’s chief prosecutor, Djama Souleiman, says Aden Robleh, Mohamed Daoud and Ismail Guedi were taken into custody Saturday.

        Souleiman told the French news agency (AFP) the three were detained in connection with violent clashes Friday between protesters and security forces.

      • fuster
        February 19, 2011, 4:42 pm

        annie February 19, 2011 at 4:23 pm

        jeez louise i’ve never even heard of Djibouti———-

        it must be because the USA didn’t want you to know……or somethin’

  8. ToivoS
    February 19, 2011, 10:37 pm

    Watching the bravery of those demonstrators walking towards that row of tanks, knowing full well they could be fired upon, is breath taking. And then seeing the outcome is so tragic. Then today they were back and again marched into the roundabout. I could not do this. They deserve our respect.

    If Obama’s phone call last night to the king was the reason the troops allowed today’s demonstration to proceed then kudos to Obama. These are dangerous times for US policy in the region — unchecked demonstrations could result in the fall of another US puppet.

    A democratic Bahrain would mean another Shiite led government. There is no way that this could be interpreted as a victory for US interests. I really thought this morning that we would let the Sunni King do what was needed to suppress the people. After all, his army is dominated by Sunnis so there would be little fear of a military revolt as happened in Egypt. In short these events are very confusing. Theory of US imperialism 101 is not providing a useful framework for making sense of any of this.

    • annie
      February 19, 2011, 11:34 pm

      I really thought this morning that we would let the Sunni King do what was needed to suppress the people. After all, his army is dominated by Sunnis

      they are dominated by foreigners toi why are you supportive of the people being suppressed?

      another Shiite led government. There is no way that this could be interpreted as a victory for US interests

      iraq comes to mind.

      • ToivoS
        February 20, 2011, 2:36 am

        Annie you miss my point. I do not support the suppression. I do not believe that US foreign policy in the ME as practiced over the last half century has been in the interests of either the American or Arab people. My attempt at analysis is from the perspective of “US interests” as defined by our actual foreign policy, misguided as it may be. From that perspective, Obama could be radically departing from our traditional practices. Below, CK links to more information showing Obama’s support for the people in the streets.

        As I said above In short these events are very confusing. Theory of US imperialism 101 is not providing a useful framework for making sense of any of this. Could this mean that Obama is actually placing higher priority on a democratic power transition at the expense of US imperial interests? To soon to say but this could get interesting.

      • ToivoS
        February 20, 2011, 4:59 am

        ps Robert Fisk is also confused about the meaning of the withdrawal of troops and police from the roundabout in Bahrain:

        link to independent.co.uk

        Fisk is probably the most knowledgeable Western journalist working the ME and if he is puzzled it means there is a puzzle.

    • CK MacLeod
      February 20, 2011, 12:23 am

      ToivoS: More on American intervention: link to google.com

Leave a Reply