I wrote about my take on Abdel Bari Atwan’s latests book on al-Qaida and discuss some of its themes:
The horrific doctrine and practices of bin Laden and his followers ensures that the popular appeal of al-Qaeda in the Middle East is always going to be limited at best. Add to that the defeat that al-Qaeda “central” (bin Laden and his small group did not originally name themselves “al-Qaeda,” but soon adopted the western-invented moniker when it because a byword for fear after September 2001) suffered in 2001 when America and its military allies invaded and bombed Afghanistan, destroying its bases, toppling its Taliban allies and forcing its leadership to flee to Pakistan.
Read the whole column over at MEMO.
The Dahlan-Abbas war of words:
Palestinian Authority “President” Mahmoud Abbas (whose elected term expired years ago) is currently at war with rival Muhammad Dahlan. It is a war of words for the most part, although money, influence and trading insults in the media is also a big part. Dahlan has been exiled from the West Bank since 2010, along with some of his closest goons.
I read Cameron’s speech to the Israeli parliament so you didn’t have to:
Cameron spends large portions of the speech trying to prove his Zionist credentials. Just how much more will I do for thee, Israel? He changed the law to make it easier for Israeli war criminals to visit Britain without fear of prosecution under universal jurisdiction laws. His country is investing in Israel more than ever. And so on.
Yarosh replied: “No, absolutely not. In the last days, I have met the Israeli ambassador and we started a friendly relationship.” Yarosh reportedly now sits on the current government’s security council as Deputy Secretary of National Security. His allies in Svoboda, a fascist political party, now control the defence ministry, and several other government seats – all the way up to deputy prime minister. With such a massive share of power in the emerging “new” Ukraine, it is no surprise, therefore, that the Israelis should want to meet with an odious fascist like Yarosh.
On why the ongoing Israeli conspiracy to divide and conquer will not win in the long term:
Any talk of “benefits” given to Palestinian Christians by Israel are empty promises at best – beyond the handful of collaborators that Israel has managed to bribe or blackmail into its service (of all religions and political groups it should be noted).
On the precedent of Libya for Syria:
Local ceasefires appear to be the only way forward that does not involve a seemingly perpetual civil war.
With the possibility that talks of “intervention” could make a comeback sometime in the next month, it is worth reviewing what such NATO “intervention” has meant for Libya.
Al-Jazeera English‘s programme Fault Lines revisited the country long after most of the western journalists lost interest and left it.
Column on Kerry’s sham negotiations:
But the main reason why Kerry’s deal-making is unlikely to lead anywhere is Israeli intransigence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and even Lieberman (currently positioning himself as next prime minister) may be inclined to get behind the deal. But the same cannot be said for their coalition partners, Uri Ariel’s “Jewish Home” party.
On the BDS freak-out:
What Israel’s apologists still don’t get is that, much like the Palestinian cause itself, BDS is a popular, grass-roots and humanist campaign.
So here is some free advice for them: you can’t make the “BDS threat” go away by throwing money at the problem. Previously the Israeli government seems to have tried ignoring the problem, but that didn’t work, so now they are trying a different tack: freaking out about it.
Nora Barrows-Friedman and myself spent much of January working on this major investigative piece, after we at The Electronic Intifada obtained secret documents of The Amcha Initiative and the Investigative Taskforce on Campus Antisemitism. Not long after we approached them for comment, ITCA responded by effectively shutting down its website (it now demands a user name and password). You can get an idea of what the site used to look like using the Internet Archive.
We’ve published the main document at the end of the report itself, as well as several other of the files mentioned in the article in an accompanying blog post.
A right-wing Zionist group in California infiltrated a student trip to Palestine in 2012, a raft of secret documents obtained by The Electronic Intifada shows.
The documents confirm long-held activist suspicions that anti-Palestinian political groups are spying on student activists.
The files give a rare insight into the murky world of pro-Israel groups’ surveillance of students and other activists in campuses across the United States.
On Iraq, and Blair’s war crimes:
Blair’s propaganda line often goes that the death toll is not his responsibility, because it was the consequence of the sectarian civil war that followed the invasion. This is a total lie.
In fact, by now, we know that the sectarian civil war was instigated by the American occupiers of Iraq as a matter of early policy.
On rumours of an Egyptian “invasion” of Gaza:
After the Muslim Brotherhood, the spectre of Hamas has been been another primary boogie man for the generals. Pro-regime media outlets have relentlessly harped on with one farcical conspiracy theory after the next about Hamas – including the ridiculous claim that Morsi wanted to hand the Sinai over to Hamas.
With the Brotherhood dealt with, these latest Egyptian army threats do not come as a surprise.
On Egypt’s recent election:
Buoyed by a newly invigorated cult of personality centred around Sisi, the military dictatorship decided to shore up its power by staging an election to usher in a new constitution. It will free the army, police and intelligence services from civilian control, giving the coup a legalistic veneer.
Once, Saddam Hussein used to to claim 99 percent of Iraqis had voted for him. The dictator Mubarak and his party “won” rigged elections with 80-88 percent. Sisi decided to out do him.