Archive of ‘Middle East’ category

The Arab Media Response to the Wikileaks

I joked today on Twitter that I believe the world will probably deal with this the same way regular people deal with post-one-night-stand-hook-up awkwardness: Everyone had their fun but seen each other naked and now they just wanna do their walk of shame and pretend it never happened.I have been monitoring media websites the entire day waiting to see how the different arab medias will cover the subject , betting that they will either ignore it completely or focus on what was said in the name of the leaders of the other arab countries instead of their own. It seems that the media honchos decided that they couldn't ignore the news completely, so they went with option #2. Here is the breakdown:

In Egypt I focused on two "independent" media outlets, Masrway and shorouk news . Here is what they said respectively:

Masrawy mainly focused on two aspects: The awkwardness that has befallen the US gulf allies from the leak , and everything that had to do with Iran on them, fromthe US closely inspecting Iranian diplomats who went to Iraq, to the report that Iran used the Red Crescent to send weapons to Hezbollah during the Lebanon war, to how the wikileaks won't affect Iran's diplomatic relations with its neighbours . There was one mention about how Turkey's Erdogan simply hates Israel. No mention of Egypt at all.

Shorouk , on the other hand, went all over the place with their coverage, from focusing on Qhathafi's suspect relationship with his nurse , to Burlesconi's jovial reaction to what was written , and ending it with an article on how Israel sees great benefit in the Iran wikileaks and how Erdogan doesn't believe the website to be credible . No mention of Egypt, plus subtley making it look like it was all an israeli plot. Bravo Shorouk, you get bonus points for a job well done.

AlJazeera:

As expected, AlJazeera ignored everything said about Qatar, and instead had one article about how the arabs (sans qatar, duhh) have tired to goad the US to attack Iran , and then two articles on how wikileaks embaresses US foriegn policy and whether or not those documents should be published in the first place.

And finally, we have Alarabiya:

Saudi owned AlArabiya went with the weirdest option of them all. They published one article , titled how Saudi and Iran asked the US to be firmer on the US (mentioned in passing in one paragraph) and then went into lengthy detail on how Qatar said they lie to the Iranians who lie back, Israeli diplomacy and the role of Egypt in the 2009 Ghaza War.That is all.

So, in conclusion, the arab media oultlets are sticking to their guns, ignoring or glossing over news that deal with their leaders, and focusing instead of the regional enemies or making the whole thing look like a farce. Given how very few options they actually have (god forbid they actually cover the news accurately), I think they did a very fine Job in reporting on this, without looking the bottom-feeding biased hacks that they are.

God bless you Julian Assenge. We wouldn't be having so much fun if it wasn't for your geeky ass.

Qhaddafi the libertarian

The man is brilliant.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi urged a sweeping reform of government
on Sunday, saying most of the cabinet system should be dismantled as it
had failed to manage the north Africa's country's windfall oil earnings.

Gaddafi told the General People's Congress or parliament that big
projects were behind schedule and so ordinary people should themselves
devise a new way of sharing out oil revenues.

"All citizens have the right to benefit from the oil funds. They
should take the money and do whatever they want with it," he said in a
speech in his home town of Sirte.

His call for the dismantling of most cabinet committees, key cogs
in Libya's unique Jamahiriyah or "state of the masses" system, is
expected to be debated by parliament in coming days.

What would the middle-east be like without him? Seriously.. 

Gaza lessons and facts

  1. Rules of modern Invasion: In order to effectively invade a country (what do you call the blowing up of borders and the forced entry of hundreds of thousands of foreigners if not an invasion), what you need to do is put the women and children in the front. This way, the people on the border you are trying to get over would be forced to shoot at women and children in order to stop you. And if you are Egyptian considering this as some sort of exaggeration of the situation, one has to wonder what your reaction would've been if the people blowing up our borders and storming in were Israelis: would it still be ok in your books? There is a silver-lining to all of this though: it gives us the blueprint to do what we want and get away with murder. I say we should gather up all of Egypt's poor and march them towards the Saudi borders, cause, u know, they are our arab borthers and their living conditions are better than ours. We will send women and children first, and have them swim over, which the media will give some fancy name for, some Red Sea-Moses-let-my-people-go analogy, "crossing the divide" or " Channeling People Power" or some bullshit like that, and then we can effectively take over Saudi, or at least Jeddah. Yeah, that should work. LIBERATE MECCA!
  2. This was all premeditated: Hamas has been cutting the wall for a month now, preparing for it to come down on the eve of the Palestinian factions conference hosted by Hamas in Syria. This was done in order to maximize the media attention to Khaled Mesh3el and his gang of Syrian-Iranian-backed cronies, thus giving them more of the spotlight than they would've ever received. This is a PR stunt, a Hamas PR stunt to be exact, and as always, the Palestinian people are being used as props and tools, but not only them. The Egyptian Left was used as well. The Muslim Brotherhood had arranged far too quickly a demonstration in downtown Cairo, which they of course invited the leftists over, because, you know, Islamists and socialist Marxists are like two peas in the same ideological pod, right? Right. The MB knew about this, and they were very quick to support Hamas, not because the Palestinians are suffering, but because they really want the Hamas project to work out, you know, them being the first Muslim Brotherhood government in the region. Good on you leftists, you are being used, once again, for the advancements of the goals of the Muslim Brotherhood. Were you always such stupid political whores, or is this just the case of really wanting to matter once again? I am curious. Let me know.
  3. The Palestinians are the Gods of the PR game: No one, and I mean no one, have the ability to manipulate the media like the Palestinian authorities. I mean seriously, mucho respect to y'all. I mean, did you see that picture of Haneiyah having a cabinet meeting lit by candle-light? Or the way the women and children looked like, as they crossed the border as the wall fell down? Or the "People Power" branding they gave the entire thing? Yes, cause I am sure the Palestinian government did not store enough fuel for itself in cases of emergency, or that the fact that the words "People Power" showed up in every fuckin
    blog post and news item covering this debacle was merely a telepathic coincidence amongst all the writers the world over. I love it. Gives me the warm fuzzies all over, you know?
  4. The people aren't as hungry or suffering as you all claim: A Palestinian-american friend of mine just came back from visiting his grandparents in Gaza ( just jumped over the fence and back he said, no one is controlling the borders apparently), and he was telling me how the entire "they are hungry people looking for food" headline story is a crock of shit. He laughingly told me that they are buying motorcycles, mattresses and TV's and other such basic survival needs (the media is confirming it if you think I am lying you big morons), and how some of his family members after going to Al Areesh-on the first day of the "people power" event-for vacation mind you, were like "This is Areesh? This sucks! Gaza is better!" and then went back the next day. He also told me that the price of the AK 47 in Gaza has now dropped to a measly 400 JD's. There is apparently too much supply to the demand. Yay for Open Borders!
  5. Israel's plan is now clear: The Israelis want to throw Gaza on Egypt, and Hamas is playing into their hand. The moment Mubarak, in order to save face of not being able to secure the country's borders, said that he is letting people in cause "they are hungry" (wink wink, nudge nudge), the Israelis were like "well, if you are gonna do that, you get to keep them. They are your responsibility now" and then probably danced in glee. Not gonna happen cousins, they are not yours to give or ours to keep. This is your and their's problem, not ours, and they are still your responsibility. Sorry kids, but we are not going back to the days of Pre-1967. You took over those areas, you can't give them back to us 40 years later after its run by Iranian-backed- Muslim Brotherhood Islamists who are armed to the teeth. Pottery Barn rules apply here too Israelis: You broke it, you are just gonna have to buy it.
  6. The world is still filled with useful idiots: Nothing makes my heart warmer than American leftist hippies chanting slogans in 4X4 beat or declaring Support for Hamas. Yes, yes, Viva Viva Intifada, indeed.
  7. Egypt is planning its own disengagement: File this under fantastic unconfirmed rumors my friend. A good source of mine informed me that he was just in a meeting where an agreement for a second Sinai canal was made, one that would separate Sinai from Asia (and thus Gaza) permanently. The proposed Canal will benefit both Egypt, Jordan and Israel financially, and will provide a water replenishing source for the Jordanian Dead Sea, which ahs been losing water for quite some time now. It's initial phase will cost 15 Billion US dollars, and according to the source 12 Billion of which are coming from Qatar. This should give Gaza a second beach and a second port away from the Israeli navy, which should enable them to get all the goods they ever need through ships and not resort to blowing walls. I do propose giving the Palestinians a piece of the action though, cause otherwise they will start shooting at commerce ships passing through until they do get some money out of it. Their apologist then will claim such actions as being done "out of the desperation caused by the humanitarian crisis", so I am sure y'all would understand.

Yesterday

I was at a Christmas party yesterday, hosted by a muslim friend of mine. The party's invitees were mostly christians, a couple of which are Christmas orphans (foreigners studying in egypt with nowhere to go on christmas eve), and we had a tree to decorate and everything. The boss of one of our christian female friends and attendees apparently just got back from Hajj, and got her a gift: a full islamic Abayah and head covering (hint hint). So our friend came over, wearing the abayah, the hijab, and big ass cross on her chest, clearly visible. Everybody thought it was hilarious and they started to take pictures of her and asking her to pose for them, going all " But make the cross visible. Can you make it more visible? Can you hold it? Can I take another picture?" for a good five minutes. Me and the other muslim friend are just sitting there next to each other, watching all of this taking place. Then, without even looking at him, I say:

"You ever get the feeling that we are hanging out with a persecuted minority?"

"Uh-hum", he smilingly replies, nodding his head. 

I take a sip of my glass of wine and say: "Yeah, me too!" 

Merry Christmas everybody!

The Teddy Bear Lady charged in Sudan

For inciting religious hatred. See, I told you , you can't name a cuddly toy after our Prophet without us getting mad at you. But what's really amusing is the school's response:

Several Sudanese newspapers ran a statement Tuesday reportedly from the
school, saying the administration "offers an official apology to the
students and their families and all Muslims for what came from an
individual initiative." It said Gibbons had been "removed from her work
at the school."

While despicable, I believe the school's action is understandable: They don't want to get killed, especially not over a freaking Teddy Bear, and in Sudan, especially in this case, that's actually a possibility. Would you wanna lose your life because of a Teddy Bear political crisis? 

And of course, no such crisis could take place without someone screaming the words "conspiracy" or "plot", right? Well, let's scan the news report, yada yada yada, ohh, there we go:

Although Khartoum officials played down the case and said it was an
isolated incident, Sudan's top clerics said in a statement Wednesday
that the full measure of the law should be applied against Gibbons,
calling the incident part of a broader Western "plot" against Islam.

HA. TOLD YOU SO. Allright. Ok. On Familiar grounds once again.

The Sudanese clerics said this was blasphemy and believed it was intentional.

"What has happened was not haphazard or carried out of ignorance, but
rather a calculated action and another ring in the circles of plotting
against Islam," the Sudanese Assembly of the Ulemas said the statement.

"It is part of the campaign of the so-called war against terrorism and the intense media campaign against Islam," they said.

So, naming a Teddy Bear Mohamed in a classroom for 7 year old's is part of the war on terror? It's connected to the Media campaign against Islam? Really? Well, if it's a plot and it involved the media and Islam, then the Jooz must also be behind it. Those damn Joooz.

Seriously though, I think someone is suffering from a heatstroke over there!

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