Schoolgirls and doctors beaten and tortured in Bahrain raids, ‘They beat and slapped me and called me whore and dirty Shia’

Israel/Palestine

Schoolgirls ‘beaten’ in Bahrain raids
In a secretly filmed interview, 16-year-old tells how she was severely beaten as Gulf kingdom cracked down on protests.

And more of the latest news from the Arab uprisings:

Bahrain
Doctor – ‘They beat and slapped me and called me whore and dirty Shia’
Emailed testimony of a consultant and family physician detained during Bahrain’s crackdown on medical professionals. State security forces have routinely commandeered health centres to search, investigate, and arrest medics.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/they-beat-and-slapped-me-and-called-me-whore-and-dirty-shia-2281617.html

Another Bahraini rights activist detained
Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have arrested another rights activist as the Manama regime continues its brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters. Mahdi A’aya was arrested in the northern village of Barber on Monday, a week after regime thugs set his house ablaze.
http://jnoubiyeh.com/2011/05/another-bahraini-rights-activist.html

Bahrain: Activist Bears Signs of Abuse
(Washington, DC) – A prominent rights activist who was active in Bahrain’s pro-democracy street protests appeared before a special military court on May 8, 2011, bearing visible signs of ill-treatment and perhaps torture, Human Rights Watch said today.
http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/05/10/bahrain-activist-bears-signs-abuse

Bahrain should set up torture investigation body -HRW
DUBAI, May 11 (Reuters) – Bahrain should suspend prosecution of civilians in military courts and set up an impartial commission to look into allegations of torture during a clampdown on those involved in street protests, a U.S-based rights group said.

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/bahrain-should-set-up-torture-investigation-body–hrw

Bahrain expels Reuters correspondent (Reuters)
Reuters – Bahrain said on Tuesday that it was expelling the Reuters correspondent in the Gulf kingdom.

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110510/wl_nm/us_bahrain_reuters

Bahrain fires 300 workers, rights group says detainee tortured (Reuters)
Reuters – Bahrain’s state oil company fired nearly 300 employees for taking part in a recent pro-democracy strike and a U.S.-based human rights group said a prominent activist appeared to have been tortured in detention.

http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/mideast/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110511/wl_nm/us_bahrain

In Bahrain, a candlelight vigil can land you in jail
SITRA, Bahrain — In the back alleys and streets of this Shiite Muslim town, a police crackdown looms at any hour of the day, but never more so than at nightfall, when even innocuous civil disobedience can lead to jail and perhaps torture.
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/05/10/113997/in-bahrain-a-candlelight-vigil.html?storylink=addthis#ixzz1Lzc4PsTF

AFL-CIO, “Terminate the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement”
On January 11, 2006, the United States signed into law the U.S.-Bahrain Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which entered into force between the United States and Bahrain on August 1, 2006. In light of the ongoing brutal repression of peaceful protest carried out by the police and armed forces of Bahrain and the Gulf Cooperation Council (the latter at the invitation of former), the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) urgently calls on the United States government (USG) to serve notice of its withdrawal from the FTA upon the government of Bahrain (GoB), pursuant to Article 21.5.2. The U.S. simply should not provide preferential trade treatment to a country that has and continues to engage in well-documented widespread and serious violations of human rights, including labor rights, of its citizens and residents. In the interim, the USG must immediately enter into consultations with the GoB under Article 15.6 of the FTA and insist that it end its ongoing campaign to punish trade union activity and to cease all forms of discrimination against trade unions and union activists. To date, several trade union leaders have been arbitrarily detained and investigated, and hundreds of rank and file union members and workers have been fired for participating in strikes and pro-democracy demonstrations. Indeed, a recent high-level delegation by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) warned that “the government has clearly decided to try and destroy [the trade unions],” which “have been at the forefront of the movement for dialogue, peace and reconciliation.” Failure to intervene now to support workers and their democratic institutions would make a mockery of the labor protections included in the FTA.
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/aflcio100511.html

Bahrain Crackdown Ignored By West
The fate of Bahrain’s protest movement is a stark reminder of how Western and regional power politics can trump reformist yearnings, even in an Arab world convulsed by popular uprisings against entrenched autocrats. Bahrain is not Libya or Syria, but Western tolerance of the Sunni monarchy’s crackdown suggests that interests such as the U.S. naval base in Manama, ties to oil giant Saudi Arabia and the need to contain neighboring Iran outweigh any sympathy with pro-democracy demonstrators mostly from the Shi’ite majority.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/09/bahrain-protests-news_n_859393.html

Bahrain topples its own people,  Pepe Escobar
March 14, 2011, will go down in history as the infamous day when the House of Saud launched – with full United States backing – a vicious counter-revolution designed to smash the Gulf chapter of the great 2011 Arab revolt. (See Exposed: The US/Saudi Libya deal Asia Times Online, April 2, 2011).
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ME11Ak01.html

Egypt
Amr Moussa’s vision for Egypt
WEYMOUTH: Officials in Washington are concerned about the change in Egypt’s relationship with Iran.
AMR MOUSSA: Iran is not the natural enemy of Arabs, and it shouldn’t be. We have a lot to gain by peaceful relations — or less tense relations — with Iran.
WEYMOUTH: The U.S. is focused on the nuclear issue.
AMR MOUSSA: The nuclear issue in the Middle East means Israel and then Iran.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/amr-moussas-vision-for-egypt/2011/05/09/AF36AxbG_story.html

Arab League chief: Hamas not a terror group
Amr Moussa tells Washington Post, ‘The view that Hamas is a terrorist organization is a view that pertains to a minority of countries, not a majority’.
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4066728,00.html

‘Egypt should seek end to Gaza siege’
Egypt’s presidential candidate Amr Moussa says the country should put pressure on Israel to lift the crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip.
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/179203.html

The new Egypt: tell the Zionists to keep weeping for Mubarak

“On 15 May, the annual commemoration of the creation of the state of Israel and the expulsion of Palestinians, known as Nakba, Egyptians plan to march to Palestine under the slogan “Cairo’s liberation will not be complete without the liberation of Al-Quds [Jerusalem].”   Following Egypt’s January 25 Revolution, Egyptians are pushing for some of the country’s foreign relations policies to change, especially those related to Israel and Palestine. Aid or protest convoys to Gaza were frequently stopped or arrested during the Mubarak era by the ousted president’s regime, and now for the first time since the revolution thousands of activists are planning to march to the Rafah border town.”
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/new-egypt-tell-zionists-to-keep-weeping.html

Egyptians to mark Nakba with a march to Palestine
This article first appeared on Gaza TV: On 15 May, the annual commemoration of the creation of the state of Israel and the expulsion of Palestinians, known as Nakba, Egyptians plan to march to Palestine under the slogan “Cairo’s liberation will not be complete without the liberation of Al-Quds [Jerusalem].”
http://pulsemedia.org/2011/05/11/egyptians-to-mark-nakba-with-a-march-to-palestine/

Meshaal: Every Arab has a duty to stand by Egypt until it recovers
The leader of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, met on Monday, May 9th, with representatives of Egypt’s Coordinating Committee of the Revolution; The Free Egypt Coalition, The Coalition of the Revolution’s Youth, and The Revolution’s Board of Guardians. During the two hour meeting, Meshaal expressed happiness to meet with the revolution’s leaders. He was accompanied by several members of Hamas’ Political Bureau.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/2330-meshaal-every-arab-has-a-duty-to-stand-by-egypt-until-it-recovers

Egypt extends Mubarak’s detention
Ousted president’s detention extended by 15 days as ex-tourism minister is jailed for graft for five years.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2011/05/201151013737898368.html

Egypt jails second former cabinet minister
Zoheir Garranah sentenced for squandering public funds days after ex-interior minister got 12 years for graft.
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/05/20115109584640242.html

Egypt detains ‘mastermind’ behind Cairo sectarian clashes
Egyptian authorities have arrested the “mastermind” behind the sectarian violence in Cairo that killed 12 people, the cabinet said.
http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/05/10/148578.html

Egypt Copts demand justice following violence
Egyptian authorities have already arrested more than 200 people in connection with Sunday’s sectarian violence that left 12 people dead. And they say they have caught the man who sparked it. Ali Yassin Mohamed will face a military court. Al Jazeera’s Jamal Es-Shayel reports on how the clashes are resonating throughout the capital, Cairo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMUto61Yq6I&feature=youtube_gdata

Inside Story: Egypt’s clash of religions
Inside Story, discusses with Michael Mounir, a Coptic activist and lobbyist; Sharif Abdel Kouddous, a correspondent at Democracy Now!; and Rabab El-Mahdi, professor of political science at the American University in Cairo.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLRalq0COnA&feature=youtube_gdata

Salafis in Egypt
“In recent decades, the term “Salafi” has been used to label groups that advocate a literal reading of Islam and seek to revive the lifestyle of the Salafor early Muslims. In Egypt, Salafism is more a school of thought, rather than an organization with a hierarchy. The roots of the school can be found in Saudi Wahhabism, which first emerged in the 18th century in the Arabian Peninsula. Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has been spreading such fundamentalist ideas in Egypt by exporting radical books and financing certain Salafi activities. Egyptians working in the Gulf and then returning to Egypt have also helped to spread such views.  Under Mubarak, Salafis generally kept a low profile and remained out of politics, although they were used by the former regime to counter the Muslim Brotherhood.   During the 25 January revolution, Salafi scholars denounced protests as un-Islamic and warned Muslim youths against engaging in the uprising, but the hard-line Muslims became visible once Mubarak and his security apparatus fell. They were emboldened to stage more protests along sectarian lines. Some went further, announcing the formation of political parties to compete in the parliamentary elections slated for September.  Some observers allege that the sudden emergence of Salafis is orchestrated by Saudi Arabia, which seeks to abort the Egyptian revolution for fear that the same revolutionary model would be reproduced on its soil.  Younis expects that after the Imbaba incident, the army will deal a blow to such radical groups. However, he voiced fears that giving the military a free hand in uprooting Salafis might threaten the prospects for a transition to civil democratic rule.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/salafis-in-egypt.html

Tantawi
Are you kidding me? You can’t have it both ways.  You want a revolution in Egypt? You can’t have one with Tantawi as the leader. An Egyptian revolution would require the removal of the Egyptian military council which serves by order of the US/Israel.  You want to remove all appointees of Mubarak?  Don’t start with the Ministry of Agriculture.  You will get there later. Start with the Military Council. 
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/tantawi.html

Israel’s (dirty) role in Egypt

This is a very widely read article by a widely read writers in Al-Masri Al-Yawm.  It talks about suspicion in Israel’s dirty hands in Egypt to sabotage the the Egyptian uprising.  Welcome to the new Egypt.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/israels-dirty-role-in-egypt.html

New Board for Egypt’s TV and Radio
I was reading the names of the new board for Egyptian TV and Radio services.  Amazing what a radical shift from the old regime.  The new names are almost all fierce anti-Zionist.  On another note, Zionists are still weeping over the fall of Mubarak.  Oh, weep some more and more.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/new-board-for-egypts-tv-and-radio.html

`Ala’ Al-Aswani
This Egyptian novelist writes about the sectarian crisis in Egypt.  He also writes about the Israeli sabotaging role in the new Egypt.  It has been a delight as of late to read the Egyptian press.  They write about how Israeli leaders would get whatever they wanted from Egypt (in terms of policies and actions) simply by making a phone call to their puppet Mubarak.  It is great for us hopeful for a progress in the Egyptian uprising that Mubarak was a puppet for Israel/US/Saudi Arabia.  The new state will have to break with those policies or it will be confused with the old regime.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/ala-al-aswani.html

A very special birthday indeed
Last May 4th was former / Ousted President Hosni Mubarak’s 83 birthday and for sure it was a special birthday not only for him but for the rest of the country this year. For the first time since decades we are president’s/ruler’s birthday free and it feels good. We were not enforced to celebrate our presidents’ birthdays in their early presidential terms , their birthdays came when they were turned in to idolized pharaohs by their entourages. In the early days of Mubarak , in early 1980s he promised that he would not be like Nasser or Sadat and  that his wife would not make us get sick from the first lady’s role “Egyptians complained from the role of Jihan Sadat”. In late 1980s Gamal Mubarak stood in the line to get his passport checked in his way to London like any other Egyptian citizen.
http://egyptianchronicles.blogspot.com/2011/05/very-special-birthday-indeed.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+EgyptianChronicles+%28Egyptian+chronicles%29

Egypt tries to erase Hosni Mubarak’s name
A judge rules that the ousted president’s name be removed from all public institutions. But when the letters are removed, a mark often remains, just as his imprint lingers in the words of those tortured by his police and in allegations of corruption. They say he dyes his hair no more, jet-black sheen turning white. He lies in a hospital bed. Out of view so long that he seems to have become invisible. But it is his name they want to erase, as if it had never been painted on signs, chiseled into marble, whispered in fear.
http://feeds.latimes.com/%7Er/latimes/middleeast/%7E3/GeKG6K35GOA/la-fg-erasing-mubarak-20110511,0,4134470.story

Cairobserver: cool new blog
Cairobserver focuses on the modern architectural heritage of Cairo. Check it out for a discussion of why the current renovation of the Cairo train station is a disaster. I also completely agree with the suggestion that the NDP building’s burnt outer shell be saved and incorporated into future plans for the building, as a striking reminder of the revolution (and the people’s anger). 
http://www.arabist.net/blog/2011/5/11/cairobserver-cool-new-blog.html

New Hope on the Nile
A new, post-Mubarak Egypt has given both Egyptians and other Arabs alike, hope that Egypt can once again reclaim its role as the focal point from which Arab culture and politics emanate. The opening up of the Rafah border crossing into Gaza and the active promotion of a unity government in the Palestinian Territories are both indications that this is slowly happening. However, Egypt’s regional affiliation is not only with the Middle East, but extends towards its riparian partners along the Nile as well. And on that front, events in the immediate months after the fall of Mubarak indicated that an Egypt in transition, unable to take firm political positions, could be taken advantage of by upstream Nile riparian countries that have for years tried to gain the rights to greater use of the Nile’s water flows. On February 28th, 2011, Burundi became the sixth country to sign the Nile Basin Cooperative Framework Agreement (NBCFA; which was initially signed by four countries On May 14, 2010, and a fifth on May 19) giving the signees the majority needed to ratify it and overturn the existing Agreements of 1929 and 1959 that were agreed upon between Egypt and Sudan.
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/1556/new-hope-on-the-nile

Libya
Libya rebels ‘take key airport’
Libyan rebels capture the airport in the besieged city of Misrata, driving back troops loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi, reports say.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/world-africa-13363782

Libya says NATO hit children commission building
TRIPOLI, May 10 (Reuters) – Libyan officials took foreign journalists on Tuesday to see what they said was the result of a second NATO strike in just over a week on a government building housing the high commission for children. The old colonial building, situated in Tripoli’s Dahmani neighbourhood, was completely destroyed but there were no immediate reports of casualties. The officials said the NATO strike occurred on Monday night and involved a missile.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/libya-says-nato-hit-children-commission-building

Rebels say fighting in Tripoli, govt denies it
TUNIS, May 9 (Reuters) – A Libyan opposition newspaper said on Monday rebels were leading an uprising in the suburbs of Tripoli after being supplied with light weapons by defecting security service officers; the government denied the report.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/rebels-say-fighting-in-tripoli-govt-denies-it

Libya rebels ‘push back troops’
Rebels in the besieged Libyan city of Misrata say they have pushed pro-Gaddafi troops back from its outskirts towards the capital, Tripoli.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/world-africa-13341143

Gaddafi’s cousin denies house arrest report
CAIRO, May 10 (Reuters) – A cousin of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi denied on Tuesday a report that the Egyptian authorities had placed him under house arrest in Cairo. On Sunday, the rebel Brnieq website, citing a reliable source, said Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam Benghazi was in the Cairo district of Nasr City and the authorities planned to seize his funds and property and deport him to Benghazi. “Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam denied what was mentioned in Brnieq, published in Benghazi, that he was under forced detention in his office,” Gaddaf al-Dam said a faxed statement.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/gaddafis-cousin-denies-house-arrest-report

Libyan Migrants’ Boat Sinks: Witnesses Say Ship With 600 Aboard Sunk Near Tripoli
MILAN — An overcrowded ship carrying up to 600 people trying to flee Libya sank just outside the port of Tripoli, the U.N. refugee agency said Monday, citing witness accounts. Aid officials were still trying to confirm the fate of those people after the vessel broke apart Friday in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, UNHCR spokeswoman Laura Boldrini said.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/09/libya-boat-sinks-migrants_n_859440.html

EU to open Benghazi office to back Libya rebels
The European Union plans to open an office in the rebel-held Libyan city of Benghazi to facilitate assistance to the rebel council based there, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said today.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/eu-to-open-benghazi-office-to-back-libya-rebels-2282270.html

Injured fighters can’t wait to get back to the hell of the front line
Abdulfatah Albusefi can’t walk but he insists that he can fight. A sniper’s bullet shattered the 27-year-old’s pelvis less than three weeks ago during the siege of Misrata. He had to be helped on to the fishing boat in Benghazi that will take him back to the fighting.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/injured-fighters-cant-wait-to-get-back-to-the-hell-of-the-front-line-2281623.html

Libyan rebels caught in an uneasy lull
Rumors of renewed fighting with Kadafi’s troops abound in Ajdabiya. The stalemate born of NATO’s airstrike aid continues with no end in sight. Rumors of renewed fighting circulate in the mostly abandoned city of Ajdabiya in eastern Libya, even without any recent pitched battles between rebels and forces loyal to longtime leader Moammar Kadafi.
http://feeds.latimes.com/%7Er/latimes/middleeast/%7E3/rfU8ZInOwWs/la-fg-libya-deadlock-20110510,0,4293128.story

Syria
Syria ‘deports reporter to Iran’
Broadcaster al-Jazeera says journalist Dorothy Parvaz has been deported from Syria to Iran, raising fresh concerns for her safety.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/world-middle-east-13366036

Wikileaks: Embassy/Damascus: ‘Focus on Shiaa’/Sunni divide to “destroy Assad’s image”
Without crossing the sectarian redlines, the Embassy strongly urges more focus on Syria’s strong relationship with Iran and Hezbollah, while focusing on the Shiites attacks on the Arab world. We believe that it should emphasize the financial support provided by the Iranian government to Hezbollah’s violent attacks on the Arabs. The message that “Syria simply carried out the wishes of the Shiites in Iran” should destroy Bashar’s local & regional image and complicate his attempts to present himself as a ‘Sunni’ Arab leader… Syria’s refusal to participate constructively in the Arab League mission in Lebanon (though Syria is the honorary president of the League this year) also provides a point of weakness for exploitation of public diplomacy. These atmospherics will strengthen the messages of Egypt and Saudi Arabia …”
http://friday-lunch-club.blogspot.com/2011/05/wikileaks-embassydamascus-focus-on.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+friday-lunch-club+%28%22friday-lunch-club%22%29

Syrian forces release 300 people in Banias-group
AMMAN, May 10 (Reuters) – Syrian forces released on Tuesday 300 people who had been arrested in Banias since tanks stormed residential areas in the coastal city last week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Water, telecommunications and electricity have been restored, but tanks remain deployed in major streets, the Observatory said. Another 200 people, among them pro-democracy protest leaders, remained in jail, the group said.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/syrian-forces-release-300-people-in-banias-group

‘House-to-house raids’ in Syrian cities
Protest organisers and participants targeted in overnight raids, activists say, as gunfire reported near Damascus.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2011/05/201159103011741192.html

Syrian forces arrest writer during protest-rights group
AMMAN, May 9 (Reuters) – Syrian security forces dispersed a small pro-democracy demonstration in the centre of Damascus on Monday, arresting an opposition writer and several students, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Ammar Mashour Dayoub, a writer who had called for political reform in Syria, was among 150 people who assembled in Arnous Square in Damascus in a night rally demanding the lifting of military sieges on Syrian cities that had defied the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, the Observatory said in a statement.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/syrian-forces-arrest-writer-during-protest-rights-group

Assad’s brother tops Syria sanctions list
EU names 13 Syrian officials on sanctions list, including a brother and influential cousin of president Bashar al-Assad.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2011/05/201151083236550487.html

‘Kuwait to replace Syria’ for UN body bid
Western diplomats say Kuwait will replace Syria as a candidate for a seat on the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.
http://english.aljazeera.net//news/middleeast/2011/05/2011510171246332265.html

“Makhlouf Says Syria Will Fight Protests Till ‘the End’”
Rami Makhlouf and the arrogance of power. Buthaina Shaaban, in yesterday’s interview with Shadid, managed to evoke a bit of humility while explaining that the Syrian regime was winning in the struggle with the opposition. Rami Makhlouf cannot conceal the puffery of power. He threatens Israel and the region. Syria’s enemies will make hey out of this. It is true that if Syria collapses into civil war the entire region will suffer, but to use it as a threat against the very same people from whom you are asking indulgence and understanding is not a wise psychological tactic.
http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=9686&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Syriacomment+%28Syria+Comment%29

The Syrian Ruling Mafia
The with Rami Makhluf by Anthony Shadid in the New York Times is repugnant.  It reveals the Syrian ruling group as a mafia.  First, this is a man who speaks on behalf of a government that he is not–in theory–a member of.  A cousin of the president is his only “official post”.  Like all Arab leaders, he offered Israel the notion that “apres mois le deluge” for Israel.   He did not even hide that.  The other implication of this notion that a fall of the regime presents Israel with insecurity, is an admission that the preservation of the regime in Israel’s interest.   US/Israel view on Syria (and this is based on information and not analysis on my part) is that preservation of the regime with Bashshar severely weakened is the preferred option. 
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/syrian-ruling-mafia.html

SyriaNow, “Syria: To Amend Article 8 of the Constitution, But Not to Allow the Establishment of Religious Parties”
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Bana’a reports that, according to sources close to the decision-making circles in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad will soon announce the amendment of Article 8 of the Constitution, which limits the country’s leadership to the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party, so as to include all parties affiliated with the Progressive National Front in the leadership, and the opening of this front to include new parties, broadening participation in the leadership of the country. However, the sources stressed the commitment of all the fundamental forces, beginning with President Assad himself, to not allow the establishment of religious parties in Syria, and to preserve the constitutional clause which requires all political forces and parties to be secular, in order to prevent the exploitation of religion and the use of it in the political game and the tearing up of the fabric of national unity of Syria.
http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/syria090511.html

‘Surge’ in weapons sales to Syria
Arms exports to Syria from neighbouring states are reportedly on the rise since the unrest in the country began in March. Lebanon and Syria share an often porous border and some experts say that not all the arms being smuggled across it are for self-defence. Al Jazeera’s Zeina Khodr reports from Beirut where various weapons are available on the black market.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=in1w_RuDxUg&feature=youtube_gdata

Young protest leader sees civil war emerging in Syria
A Syrian schoolteacher who has become a protest leader in the town of Tel Kalakh, near the Lebanon border, tells the Monitor in a rare interview that he expects civil war in Syria.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/3l_TknePNxA/Young-protest-leader-sees-civil-war-emerging-in-Syria

Jordanian solidarity with Syrian people
I read that a few hundreds of Jordanians have been demonstrating in support of the Syrian people.  I am suspicious of this crowd and fear that Jordanian mukhabarat may be involved.  If this crowd is truly in favor of solidarity with the Syrian people they would be protesting against their own lousy monarchist regime.  This is like Saudi propagandists who write in support of protests in Syria.  Who are you fooling??
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/jordanian-solidarity-with-syrian-people.html

sorry
“… The presenter of ‘News at Eight’ in the French television channel’ bulletin on Sunday night said that “The images of the protests in Syria have caused confusion & controversy, and that Reuters “apologized to France2 because it provided it Saturday evening with “images that were from Reuters’ Lebanon’s old  archive with captions indicating they were from Syria …”
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/sorry.html

In Brief: Violence hurting Palestinians in Syria
NAIROBI 11 May 2011 (IRIN) – Continuing violence in Syria has affected the delivery of aid to Palestinian refugees, raising concerns about the impact on 30,000 people in Dera’a and surrounding areas, including 120 patients who receive insulin, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) said.
http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?ReportId=92683

Yemen
Yemen forces fire on Sanaa march
Yemeni security forces open fire on protesters marching against President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the capital, Sanaa, killing at least one person, medics say.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/int/news/-/news/world-middle-east-13365828

Yemen jets bomb anti-Saleh tribal areas -tribesmen
SANAA, May 10 (Reuters) – Yemeni air force planes on Tuesday bombed rural areas where tribesmen demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh live, the tribesmen said, a sign that violence gripping the fractious state may be escalating.
http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/yemen-jets-bomb-anti-saleh-tribal-areas–tribesmen

What is happening in Yemen?
Live coverage on Aljazeera Arabic.   It seems that troops shot at protesters approaching the prime ministerial headquarters.  Now there are news that protesters are advancing towards the prime ministerial headquarters and the radio building.  Yemenis are rejecting the GCC initiative with their blood. 
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/what-is-happening-in-yemen.html

Osama
Osama Bin Laden Mission Agreed In Secret 10 Years Ago By U.S. And Pakistan
The US and Pakistan struck a secret deal almost a decade ago permitting a US operation against Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil similar to last week’s raid that killed the al-Qaida leader, the Guardian has learned.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/09/osama-bin-laden-mission-us-pakistan_n_859574.html

Bargining over Osama’s wives
It has been just over a week since US special forces killed al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden inside Pakistan. Pakistan may allow American investigators to question his three widows, arrested by Pakistani forces shortly after the unilateral US raid. After days of hard talk coming from both sides, the US and Pakistan have signalled a willingness to co-operate. Al Jazeera’s Imtiyaz Tyab reports.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FbzfoxodFM&feature=youtube_gdata

Bin Laden son calls burial at sea ‘humiliating’
Bin Laden son: Bin Laden’s swift burial at sea, in what his son called a violation of Islamic custom, has stirred anger.
http://rss.csmonitor.com/%7Er/feeds/world/%7E3/Yj4eiiTQsTM/Bin-Laden-son-calls-burial-at-sea-humiliating

Mosques Vandalized After Osama Bin Laden’s Death
Muslim-Americans in Louisiana’s Shreveport-Bossier City metropolitan area reported the defacement of a local mosque by a man in a blue pickup truck, the most recent incident in a string of possible hate crimes following the killing of Osama bin Laden. According to police reports, a white male was seen tampering with the doors of a local mosque on Monday, and raw pork was found hanging from the door handles after his departure. Adherents of Islam do not consume pork, which they consider unclean. Although members of the mosque will not press charges, police have said the incident could be classified as a hate crime.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/10/mosques-vandalized-osama-bin-laden-death_n_860307.html

Al Jazeera World: I knew bin Laden
Ahmad Zaidan, Al Jazeera’s Islamabad correspondent, speaks to people who knew Osama bin Laden.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaEZRraliTU&feature=youtube_gdata

Op-ed/Analysis
Noam Chomsky: “The U.S. and Its Allies Will Do Anything to Prevent Democracy in the Arab World”
Speaking at the 25th anniversary celebration of the national media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, world-renowned political dissident and linguist Noam Chomsky analyzes the U.S. response to the popular uprisings sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. “Across the [Middle East], an overwhelming majority of the population regards the United States as the main threat to their interests,” Chomsky says. “The reason is very simple… Plainly, the U.S. and its allies are not going to want governments which are responsive to the will of the people. If that happens, not only will the U.S. not control the region, but it will be thrown out.”
http://www.democracynow.org/2011/5/11/noam_chomsky_the_us_and_its

Arab Spring or Arabian Summer?
After over a decade-long search, the Obama administration is gloating over the murder of the Western world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, making him the third Reagan-supported criminal (after Saddam Hussein and Augusto Pinochet) to die since the turn of this century. As the United States celebrates the death of its staunchest enemy and steals the world media’s attention from the bloody protests in Syria and Yemen, the ‘Arab Spring’ perseveres into its fourth month.
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/1544/arab-spring-or-arabian-summer

Israeli general claims that Arab revolutions threaten security and stability
The people’s revolutions sweeping the Arab world “undermine stability and add possible threats” to the state of Israel, according to the Zionist state’s Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz. The stability of the wider region is also at risk, he claimed. Speaking during a Remembrance Day Ceremony on 8th May, General Gantz said that although “the events erupted out of repression and desperation and raise hope… the Israel Defence Forces must be ready to address a growing variety of challenges on every front and possibly all fronts”.
http://www.middleeastmonitor.org.uk/news/middle-east/2327-israeli-general-claims-that-arab-revolutions-threaten-security-and-stability

GCC consultative summit
I was watching the footage of the opening of the GCC consultative summit.  Saudi King looks pretty done by now: which makes me look forward to the era that will succeed him; an era full of chaos possibilities, as Prince Talal recently suggested.  House of Saud’s division will only deepen especially as King `Abdullah caused an irreparable damage to the Sudayri gang by naming its most despised and detested member, Prince Nayif, as third in line.
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/gcc-consultative-summit.html

GCC expands
This is quite amazing: that the GCC will now expand to include Morocco and Jordan.  It is clear: Saudi Arabia (and US) wants to draw a distinction between Arab monarchies (which it views as virtuous and in no need for reform) and the Arab republics (which it views as corrupt and in need of reform).   The expansion shows US and Jordanian nervousness (the King of Morocco is too out of it to know anything from anything).  It should be renamed: The Arab Monarchist Council, or the Arab Tyranny Council.

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/05/gcc-expands.html

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19 Responses

  1. lysias
    May 11, 2011, 3:35 pm

    I was surprised to learn from a book I’m reading now that Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was Shia.

    • seafoid
      May 11, 2011, 4:52 pm

      Jinnah had a house in Bombay , on Malabar Hill. A beautiful house.

  2. seafoid
    May 11, 2011, 5:18 pm

    I can’t wait for the day the Saudi regime falls and everyone wonders what to call the country .

  3. patm
    May 11, 2011, 7:30 pm

    Thanks for all these postings, Seham.

    It’s distressing to read of Israeli meddling in Egyptian affairs, using Saudi operatives. It’s not difficult to believe these allegations, and not hard to connect the dots back to US oil and military base interests.

    And the news from Bahrain and Syria! Ugh! I’ve just listened to a tv pundit say he doesn’t hold out any hope for success in either country because of sectarian divisions. That’s what makes the sudden appearance of the Salafis in Egypt so worrisome.

    • Avi
      May 12, 2011, 1:14 am

      And the news from Bahrain and Syria! Ugh! I’ve just listened to a tv pundit say he doesn’t hold out any hope for success in either country because of sectarian divisions. That’s what makes the sudden appearance of the Salafis in Egypt so worrisome.

      There aren’t really any sectarian divisions in Syria. What the US and Israel hope to achieve is the manufacturing of sectarian divisions in Syria in order to throw the country into chaos, scattering it to the four winds.

      It is no coincidence that these Salafi groups have started popping up like mushrooms in Syria, Egypt and Gaza in recent months. So far this year, it has been a documented fact that the US is supplying the so-called ‘opposition’ in Syria with money and weapons to bring down the Ba’thist regime; while it is an oppressive regime, that does not negate the fact that both Israel and the US are actively trying to create another Iraq-like disaster, leaving a country in ruins for decades.

      There was a study that was published by a think-tank at the University of Tel-Aviv sometime in the early 1980s. I wish I could find the booklet. The study identified several spheres of threats that Israel needed to ‘neutralize’ (i.e. render them ineffective in threatening Israel’s regional hegemony). The first sphere included nearby states like Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. The second and third spheres stretched outward as far as Pakistan and Libya.

      • Walid
        May 12, 2011, 8:26 am

        “There was a study that was published by a think-tank at the University of Tel-Aviv sometime in the early 1980s. I wish I could find the booklet. The study identified several spheres of threats that Israel needed to ‘neutralize’ (i.e. render them ineffective in threatening Israel’s regional hegemony). The first sphere included nearby states like Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. The second and third spheres stretched outward as far as Pakistan and Libya.”

        Is it possible you are thinking of the manifesto on neutralizing Israel’s neighbours that was prepared for Netanyahu by the Jewish neocons that also produced the PNAC master plan for America to control the world by waging several wars simutaneously? If so, that document was in 1996 and it was titled “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm”

        link to iasps.org

      • Avi
        May 12, 2011, 9:46 am

        The study I’m referring to was published in the early 1980s by Tel-Aviv university in cooperation with the Dayan Center and the Shiloakh Institute (named after Re’uven Shiloakh, a prominent figure in the Israeli intelligence community).

        The study predates Neo-Con strategies by about 20 years.

    • Walid
      May 12, 2011, 7:55 am

      patm, don’t put too much into the video you’re seeing here, there’s a good chance it’s bogus and intended as a last minute face-saving gimmick by Jazeera in Bahrain’s revolution that’s fizzing out. The state of emergency is scheduled to be lifted on June 1st, so for all intents and purposes, the revolt is technically over.

      Jazeera went from a zero reporting stance that has lasted for almost 2 months to an instant report disparaging the Bahraini government in what appears as a far-fetched story of 3 girls being picked up from a school to be asked about their parents. This story never made the Arabic Jazeera where coverage is still zero. Wouldn’t it have been easier to pick up the parents to beat the truth out of them without this silly pretext that’s being payed in the video? Jazeera yesterday issued the Bahraini government’s denial:

      “… Officials in Bahrain have denied an Al Jazeera report that police carried out raids on girls’ schools, detaining them and beating them, during its crackdown against pro-democracy protesters, Bahrain news agency reported.

      “The allegations made by Al Jazeera English are totally baseless and without credibility”, the sources were quoted by the agency as saying.

      “Reports that police have targeted students or beat them or threatened them are a blatant and malicious fabrication,” they said.”

      Why after all these weeks of unrest did Jazeera decide to “sneak” one of its journalists into Bahrain? About a month back, CNN sent in a whole team to Bahrain which was wined and dined by the governement and CNN showed footage of the violence with people getting injured, but in this Jazeera video, all you see are a pair of hands.

      Anyone that still remembers the Hill and Knowlton campaign that preceded and triggered the Iraq I invasion by Bush Sr and the “babies put on the floor to steal the incubators” gimmick that was played in front of the Senate Committe would see a lot of similarities with the delivery of the stories by the 2 “young girls”, the one coached by Hill and Knowlton and the one in this video.

      Jazeera got some egg on its face because of its refusal to report on Bahrain and this video is meant to fix that. If Jazeera was able to “sneak” its journalist into Bahrain at this last and final stage of the revolt, why isn’t it sneaking one into Syria where it’s a thousand times easier to get someone in there?

      • patm
        May 12, 2011, 10:25 am

        Thanks for the info on the Bahrain video, Walid.

        I too have egg on my face. It was the Salafis in Egypt post I was responding to, and I should have included it in my comment.

        link to angryarab.blogspot.com

      • Seham
        May 12, 2011, 12:28 pm

        Walid,

        AJE responded to the response of the Bahraini government by saying that indeed their reporters were in the country and had been held up when trying to leave. Yes, AJE coverage has been pathetic as of late but I would still tend to believe them over any Bahraini govt spokesperson. Also, are you dismissing all the human rights report that have been documenting the targeted detentions of students and medics or just this one instance from AJE?

      • Walid
        May 14, 2011, 8:46 am

        Seham, my point was not about the Bahrainis getting clobbered by the regime, I have no doubt about that but about how Jazeera has been silent about them for 2 months and then all of a sudden just when the revolution is winding down, Jazeera wakes up and files this one and only report to save face. I have the same problem with its reporting about Syria where there too I don’t have any problems believing that the people are being clobbered by the regime and the point I’m making is that Jazeera is not showing both sides of the conflict as we have gotten used to seeing it do but using information and videos from unknown parties that Jazeera admits cannot be verified. Of the 800 civilians reportedly killed, we haven’t seen any videos of any burials and of the dozens of reports about tanks shelling buildings we haven’t seen a video or a picture of a single wall that has been hit by a tank shell. Combine that with the resignation of Ghassan Bin Jiddo and it makes you wonder what’s going on with this network that has always had an impeccable record of unbiased reporting.

  4. Avi
    May 11, 2011, 7:35 pm

    Let me guess, the benevolent West won’t be bombing Bahraini military positions to help those who seek freedom and dignity as was the case with Libya, eh?

    Did I guess right?

    • Theo
      May 12, 2011, 7:46 am

      Avi, absolutly right.

      We have many military advisers with the bahraini troops, so bombing them is out of questions.
      Besides, having that huge naval base on the island we cannot rock the boat or the king may ask us to go for a swim.
      The same applies to Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, etc. Democracy has it´s limits, it stops whereever our national interests come into question.

      Avi, if I am correct, you are an israeli. Hats off to your brave and honest comments, do you have Shin Bet bodyguards following you? Don´t forget, they are there to protect you!

  5. Chaos4700
    May 11, 2011, 8:44 pm

    You know, it’s bad enough that the US government tacitly supports the Bahrain government’s brutality even as they call on sanctions for Syria, Libya and Iran for behavior that is only slightly less atrocious. What really floors me is that the mainstream US news media is just as complicit in turning a blind eye to Bahrain.

    • Walid
      May 12, 2011, 5:50 am

      Yesterday I decided to leave Jazeera for a little while and see what was happening on CNN. After 10 minutes, I rushed back to Jazeera whose reporting was comparatively much more tame. CNN had the London anchor (Aisha)looking extremely distressed, questioning the Lebanese reporter (Rima) at the Lebanon-Syria border crouched as if to avoid low-flying missiles (she’s neither Peter Arnett nor Scud Stud) looking even more distressed trembling and shaking telling us in a breaking voice that this river crossing (the width of a little brook) to which she was pointing to, was the unmanned border crossing where “masses” of refugees were crossing into Lebanon and that so far 25 families, except the men of the families, had crossed over into a foreign land to find refuge among the local inhabitants. And then she suddenly stopped talking and looking behind her, asked if we had heard the gunshot behind her (which was on the Lebanese side of the border) and that it had been the first gunshot she had heard today. She added that she had interviewed several of the refugees that wanted to remain anonymous, that told her they had fled the shelling and the massacres in Syria. The anchor in London (Aisha) with watery eyes then told her in a very soft trembling voice, ” Take care of yourself, Rima, and stay safe.”

      That was the worst piece of acting I had seen since Gaddafi’s televised speech from his papal balcony. In actuality, the 50 to 75 “refugees” that had crossed into Lebanon from the small border village of Tell Kalakh were far from any troubles in Syria and their number was far from being the “masses” that was reported and those that did cross the brook were staying with Syrian relatives in the bordering village that’s made up of about 98% Syrians. The shot she heard on the Lebanese side of the border was from the (illegal) bird-hunting season that’s in progress.

      It was a relief to get back to Jazeera with its own softer anonymous “our sources” tells us unreliable information and amateur unverifiable videos sent over satellite phones to the Jazeera,BBC and Reuters studios that have yet to show a single wall destroyed by a tank shell.

      Apart from the melodramatic play acting by the various news networks and their simplistic bang bang reporting, this isn’t to say that things in Syria are all that rosy or all that bad. While the people enjoy much more freedoms than in neighbouring countries and they have a relatively good standard of living, of the Parliament’s 250 seats, 166 seats are reserved for the Baath party and another minority that the regime controls. It doesn’t draft laws but debates and modifies ones that are proposed by the President that rules under a constitutional rights-restrictive law in effect since 1963 because of the situation with Israel. It’s somewhat similar in Bahrain where the majority Shia are humoured by letting them elect Shia lower house members but makes this seemingly generous gesture to the Shia sort of redundant by the presence of an upper house comprised of a majority Sunni nominated by the regime. Improvements are needed everywhere but not those that are made to fit the agendas of other countries.

  6. yourstruly
    May 12, 2011, 12:22 am

    from the double standard that the u. s. government employs in deciding when and where to intervene militarily ; do it when empire has nothing to lose, don’t intervene when to do so might shake the region, such that, dominos, with the saudi monarchy the last tyranny to fall. Which certainly suggests that if any palestinians are thinking about putting on their version of those eighteen magical days in tahrir (liberation) square, best they forget it -

    right?

    wrong?

    based on?

    the mideast being a different place, post-tahrir square

    specifically,

    palestinians will have the support of the people of the mideast and beyond

    putting pressure on their governments

    enter the possibility of an oil embargo

    no matter, “Protest a tough sell to Palestinians” in today’s LA Times?

    before the miracle of the nile, had there been a poll which asked people what chance, a mostly peaceful uprising in toppling tyrant so & so, what would the results have shown?

    the same apathy, dissolusionment and distrust of their leaders that palestinians express today?

    yet when january 25 arrived

    miraculously

    egypt was ready

  7. lysias
    May 12, 2011, 3:49 pm

    Al Ahram: No more discriminatory laws against churches in Egypt: PM Sharaf: Essam Sharaf offers a momentous pledge to appease Copts protesting recent violent attacks against them as after 80 years of restrictions on church construction, a unified code for mosques and churches is on its way.

    Al Ahram: Report: Counter-revolution and religious discrimination to blame for Imbaba violence : Twelve Egyptians were killed for the sake of undermining the revolution and spreading fear of a chaos unleashed, says report commissioned by National Council for Human Rights:

    Remnants of the toppled Mubarak regime had a hand in Saturday’s fatal ‎sectarian violence ‎in the Giza neighbourhood of Imbaba. That is the conclusion of the fact-‎finding committee ‎tasked by the National Council for Human Rights ‎‎(NCHR) with ‎investigating the events. ‎
    ‎ ‎
    The committee’s report claims that the violence against Christians in Imbaba was part of ‎‎counter-‎revolutionary attempts to discredit the January 25 Revolution.‎

    The violence resulted in 12 deaths and at least 240 injuries as well as ‎‎leaving two churches on fire.‎

    According to the report, the masterminds of the attack wanted to convince people that ‎the ‎‎revolution, which resulted in the overthrow of former president Hosni ‎Mubarak, has ‎‎stirred up unrest across Egypt. ‎

    Well, that’s what I suspected. I wonder to what extent there was foreign involvement in this plot.

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