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.

Connect the dots

You know, I've read Mohamed's post on Israeli-Egyptian relations after 30 years, and…meh…not because his stuff doesn't make sense or is well-thought, because it is..but generally because when it comes to middle-east politics (from Israeli-Palestinian relations to AlBashir in Sudan), it's always best to ignore what people say, and focus on what they do instead. Some people claim that Israel and Egypt don't have a good relationship, some of them even leave coments here, and they rail about the bullshit peace and blah blah blah… I view things slightly differently: Not only does Egypt and Israel have a very functional and healthy relationship, I would go further and state that I believe them to be the diplomatic equivalent of a couple that knows one another so well, that they no longer have to speak to communicate their desires, nor do they get mad at each other when one of them says something stupid. The facade and drama non-withstanding, they make things work, in a very silent and efficient way.

A good example to cite such silent and spiritual understanding happened during the latest session of Israeli military masturbation and ejaculation all over Ghaza's face, when The King of Kings sent trucks carrying electrical generators through Egypt to aid the resistance in Ghaza. Some people wondered if Egypt would let the generators pass, out of
fear that it might upset Israel, but I wasn't worried and neither was
the leadership of Egypt, because of the silent understanding between
the two countries: Egypt will let the generators in, knowing that
Israel won't be mad at them because they will bomb the shit out of them
the moment they get into Ghaza, and Israel knows that Egypt won't be
mad, because Egypt got to save face with the arab world over letting
their aid in. Everybody wins, everybody's happy, no one loses face.
It's beautiful.

Now, while I think that some of you will not share my perspective on this, I decided to leave you with a little exercise. I will present you a number of stories, and you are free to connect the dots as you please:

March 25th: The Sundanese President visits the Egyptian President in order to discuss the ICC's indictment of him, but no one knows exactly what they actually talked about. After the meeting, the Egyptian Foreign Minister during the visit states that Egypt's hands are tied when it comes to arresting Omar, because the Security council has not supported the ICC's indictment.

March 26th: Israeli jets carried out a long-range bombing mission against a convoy in
Sudan
that was suspected of bringing arms from Iran to Hamas in the Gaza
Strip.

March 27th: Egypt has been sending forces to its border with
Sudan
in an effort to prevent smuggling into the Gaza Strip, due to
intensive international pressure following Israel's offensive on the
Hamas-ruled coastal territory earlier this year.

March 30th: The Sudanese President attends the Arab Summit in Doha. The Egyptian President doesn't attend. Neither the Egyptian Foreign Minister. Everybdygets distracted due to Qhaddafi's antics.

And the beat goes on…

And the winner of the Ghaza conflict is..

Hosny Mubarak. I know, I know, I am shocked too. But check this out: 1) He managed to sideline Qatar and Syria and the Iranian allies in the region, despite the huge pressure they put on him, and made Egypt the most important player in the palestinian Israeli conflict again (ironically, thanks in part to that same pressure), 2) His popularity in Egypt grew because of his position on the Ghaza offensive and the "Blame Egypt" global hysteria that followed, amazingly even amidst people who have always opposed him, and 3) He managed to get Hamas to accept the egyptian truce intiative yesterday, which is not a victory for Hamas by Israeli admission, and also ,which- if Israel agrees to- would end the conflict and makes the proposed emergency session of the arab league that Qatar wants so badly -in order to have another PR victory- purposeless.

Weird, huh?

It all hinges on Israel agreeing to the Egyptian intiative now. If they do, this whole thing would be finally over.

Egypt, the new Superpower!

Ahh, at last, the day of my dreams has finally arrived. The day that set my egyptian patriotic heart aflutter with joy. The day when Egypt- under the wise direction and leadership of our dear leader Hosny Mubarak- has finally ascended to its rightful place and joined the ranks of the World's Super Power club is here, and I am happier than Andrew Sullivan with a bag full of dicks. How do I know that we have reached that monumentous plateau amongst the world's elite? Well, ladies and gentlemen, the signs are all around us. We are getting blamed for all the world's ills, just the like the americans, russians and chinese, we are having our business interests portested against, just like the americans and the brits, we are having our Embassies attacked and our Flags burned, just like the americans and the Israelis, and now, today, I am happy to announce that we have cemented our membership in the super powers club by reaching the final landmark: The posters of our President depicted dead, with open calls for his assissantion, in Iran. 

Ohh yes. The Persian plague has decided that they can not tolerate Egypt's place as the leading regional power any longer, claiming that we are always outshining them and making them look fat, and have set their eyes on taking out the man responsible for our exemplery progress and power: El Presidente Mubarak. Today, in Iran, Forooz Rejaii, the secretary general of the organization titled "Rewarding The Martyrs of the World of Islam" has announced a bounty of one million dollars to whomever assassinates Hosny Mubarak for being just too cool and awesome for them to bear, and also for the whole closing the Rafah crossing thing. And if that is not proof enough for you, checking the picture below out of another protest that took place in Indonesia yesterday should be:

Our very own Mubarak mask. Right next to Olmert and Barak Obama's. HELL YEAH! That's how prominent we have become. We have masks of our leaders made and worn by smelly inhabitants of third world countries. Die from envy, jealous Bitches of the world. Egypt has arrived.

However, we need to be careful, because anyone can become a hated worldly Super Power once, and get its busniesses protested against, embassies stormed and flags burned. Just ask Denmark. They used to matter back in 2006, and now, nobody even rememebrs to hate them anymore. No, we can't be a One-Hate wonder. We can't allow that to happen to us, espeically after we waited so long for it. So, I propose that we start threathening the world to never open the Rafah crossing ever again, and start blackmailing them to do so, and see what we can get out of them for it. That crossing now is a startegic advantage, just the like hormuz crossing is to the jealous fat hairy Iranians, and we should totally capitalize on it to maintain our strategic importance. Let the Haters eat their hearts out.

30 thousand egyptians turn out for Officer’s funeral

The funeral of the killed assassinated dead egyptian border officer was attended by 30,000 of his countrymen, who according to al masry alyoum, turned the event into an anti-Hamas rally, shouting anti-Hamas slogans, and rightly stating that his blood is on Hamas' hands. Not that Hamas gives a fuck or anything, or any of its apologists either. Even Zeinobia, whom I usualy disagree with on almost everything except her obvious and admireable egyptian patriotism, is unhappy with the turnout, claiming that the government is using his death as anti-Hamas propaganda, while forgetting that -if that's true- it's only possible because Hamas killed the man in cold blood, while he was protecting the country. She raised the point that the egyptian soldiers killed by a mortar accidently shot by the IDF 2 years ago didn't get similar treatment, while forgetting that those ones were killed accidently, while the one who died just a few days ago was shot with the intent to kill, and is only the latest victim of Hamas routinely attacking our border and the people tasked with defending it when they try to do their jobs. Had Israel pulled even half of this shit, I would be the first person calling for some gold old fashioned egyptian-Israeli war, because then they would be clearly our enemies. Whether we like it or not, Hamas is acting like our enemy, and it's time we treat it as one!

Egyptian Embassy in Yemen stormed by angry mob

The Egyptian Embassy in Yemen was stormed today by angry Ghaza-supporting portestors, who detsoyed its furntiture, set the egyptian flag on fire and then erected the palestinian flag on top of it. This is the second attack on an egyptian embassy within 3 days, with lebanese protestors throwing rocks at the egyptian embassy in Beirut on Sunday. Despite that both attacks do constitute acts of war, we urge you not to blame the protestors, and to please Blame Egypt instead! 

Egyptian Border officer was shot in his office

Oh yeah, rememebr that Egyptian Officer that got killed by Hamas gunmen on the border the other day? It seems that it didn't take place on some sort of a border skrimish, but rather, according to Wael Abbas, was killed in his office, when he refused to give up his post. I would like to take that chance to remind you not to blame the Hamas gunmen, because they were forced to kill him in coldblood. Blame Egypt instead!

My head hurts

First Hamas refuses to let Egypt receive the wounded through the Rafah crossing, saying that Egypt has to open the entire crossing for the million and a half Ghazan, or else they won't get to treat their wounded.. Think about this one for a minute. Let it simmer. When it makes sense to you, let me know.

Then Israeli pundits say that while the air strike is successful, they might need to do a ground incursion, thus proving that Israel is a nation suffering from an Alzheimer epidemic and doesn't remember anything about the last war with Lebanon.  

And then the Palestinians in Ghaza break through the Rafah crossing, and kill an egyptian officer in the process, and nobody minds, of course.. 

And then Nasrallah gets on TV, calls on the egyptian people to revolt by the millions and open up the  by-now-open Rafah crossing by force, and on the egyptian military to take a stand against the political leadership and  "join the resistance".

And finally, in Iraq, and I wish I was kidding, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the middle of a Pro-Palestinian demonstration.

You figure it out!

Michael Slackman needs to be fired

How this man gets hired by the NYT to write about this crap about the middle east, well, that's just beyond me!

The Carrie Bradshaw effect on middle-east politics

Just read this!

UAE’s men have small penises

I am sorry, but between Burj Dubai and this , these men are seriously compensating for something!

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.. 

How the news sounds to me

This is brilliant!

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!

Tightening things up

Women of the world, stop your Keegel exercises. There is apparently a sudanese sauna-like tradition that tightens things up down there and drives sudanese men wild . Drima, so is the smell of Taali really all that? Let me know!

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!

Are they serious???

Does the Israeli media want war with Egypt?

I thought this was an anamoly, but it seems that it is part of a much wider campaign. Which begs the question: Does Israel really want to start a war with Egypt, or are they just using us as a diversion and a place for Israelis to focus their anger on? Cause I would hate to think that the Israeli military machine is so adamant to fix its broken ego from going to a war that they couldn't win last year against a militia with no military targets, that they are just looking for a country that does have viable targets to bomb. Like Syria. But the Syrians are Giant pussies and refused to act when attacked. So, is it Egypt's turn now?  Would it be wise to inflame a country with over 80 million people and 10 million in the armed forces alone?

I would like to know.

Also, the egyptian press hasn't caught wind of this yet. I wonder how their reaction will be once they hear about it. 

The View from Pakistan

Ok, so let's get this straight: Musharraf declares a state of emergency, and shuts down the media and deposes a Judge he doesn't like. The Judge urges people to protest , the people go nuts and European nations froze aid and Bush can't make up his mind on what is more important: The War on Terror, or Democracy. In the midst of all that, my Pakistani Friend M. Chaudrey just sent me this, which gives you the view of how it's like to be living in Pakistan at the moment: 

Its so frustrating. Absolutely nerve wracking. You sit at home, you
switch on the T.V and all you can watch is fashion T.V, music videos
and Hollywood and Bollywood movies.

No news. The screen is just
a black void when you switch to the channels where news spoke; where we
learned about what was going on in our country. Our nation.

And no one in the nation has any real idea about what is going on.

My
father calls and asks whether the rumors are true. The rumors that
Musharraf himself has been the victim of a coup. A coup on top of a
coup?

As my brother puts it, thats Coo-Coo.

But rumors
are abound and we get our news from the time delayed internet websites
and from people living in Dubai who are still able to watch Pakistani
news transmissions. Musharraf has denied allegations of a coup. He says
thats the most ludicrous "joke".

I can think of a better joke than that.

It is so unbelievably frustrating sitting in the dark. Not knowing what is going on.

But
we all have conspiracy theories. Because right now thats the only thing
keeping us alive. Letting us believe that we DO know what is going on.

Benazir
Bhutto landed on Saturday night from Dubai to Karachi. She rushed back
here to tell the world and our nation (I don't know how she planned to
do that since we get no news!) that this was the worst move Musharraf
could make.

So, whats new?

But people are talking. And rumors and conspiracies are spreading like wildfire. The following is the one that i think is true.

Benazir
landed with a big smile on her face, as seen by people living abroad on
their T.V screens. Why is she back? She could've given her press
conference from Dubai right?

But if Musharraf wants to save face
with the American government-and the American people- he will make
Benazir his prime minister. And himself as President. And Chief of Army
Staff.

He will not give up his uniform and will remain the dictator. And she will become the face of democracy.

How will the American/World media spin this?

Mushi
made a mistake by declaring emergency rule. He will remove it. Martial
law will remain in place. But he will say that since Benazir's party is
the biggest and most famous party in Pakistan, she should be PM.

And he will instate her as such.

She will graciously accept it.

And the world media will say, okay look the people loooove Benazir, she
is the PM, so TECHNICALLY, there is democracy in the country.

And
then Benazir will have Musharrafs illegitimate child but the child will
turn out to be the son of Benazir's brother and not Musharraf's and
Musharraf's wife will kill Benazir by throwing her off a cliff but
Benazir will not die. She will live and go skipping in the fields with
Musharraf's twin brother who is her "real" lover and they will go and
sing "oh baby pomp up the jam," a song from a bollywood movie.

For once, I agree with what Musharraf says.

This is a "joke of the highest order." (www.geo.tv)

But this is our state.

Until the T.V. flickers back on to the "real" news. News that will no
longer be free. It is now going to be government controlled and
censored under more than 20 new "media regulation" laws.

Here we are now, taking two steps back.

And yes, no news is drivng me crazy.