Category Archives: Arab Media

About that Arab Water: al-Assad Longevity, Saudi Longevity, Prince Forever……..

 

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Syria’s official Tishreen newspaper has launched an attack against the Saudi clan. It is actually a counterattack, since the Saudis have been attacking the Syrian regime for some time now, especially this past year. Their target is life-long foreign minister Prince Saudi al-Faisal.

For some years, Saudi official and semi-official media and their Gulf surrogates have been attacking the Syrian regime, mostly for being an ally of Iran and aiding Hezbollah. That has shifted in past few months, the vast Saudi media have been attacking the Syrian regime for various things, one of them for being undemocratic and oppressive and repressive. They have also started to use the favorite weapon of the Saudi regime: sectarianism. Nobody in the Arab world, Islamic world, or the whole wide world can use the poison of sectarian divisiveness better than the al-Saud and their huge media and their Salafi surrogates. The Syrians have mostly held their fire, for some odd reasons, maybe hoping for another reconciliation, for future financial reasons. Now, with the regime in deeper trouble, and the Saudi regime calling for Western intervention in Syria, the gloves are off, sort of. Here are excerpts of what Tishreen said today:

Prince Saud al-Faisal, nicknamed the forever foreign minister has been in office since 1975, like a life sentence. We call it 35 autumns since there is nothing that has to do with a “spring” in his ministry.

Now, in the autumn of his years, he has decided for his ministry to ride the wave of Arab Spring, but only in Syria…..

Saud al-Faisal has a face that does not inspire trust or safety. His looks are not easy to understand, until he starts talking in heavy Arabic that is not understood until his ministry issues its explanatory statements… This one is below the royal belt, and childish; worse than some of the stuff I blog here.

Saud al-Faisal, who lived for years with a sectarian face toward some regional neighbors as well as some regions in Saudi Arabia, has suddenly remembered his Arab nationalism and only in our country. He forgot it when his troops where shooting and killing Saudis in the Eastern Province, he forgot his nationalism when his country sent forces to suppress an uprising calling for justice and freedom in Bahrain…….

All this is still mild compared to the nasty job Saudi media is doing on Bashar al-Assad. They have their many palace shaikhs issuing fatwas every week sending Bashar al-Assad (and Asma al-Assad) to hell; you’d think the late King Fahd is the doorman, admissions officer, to heaven these days.
 
Also, in fairness: when they talk about longevity in office, the Syrians forget that the late Hafiz al-Assad ruled for nearly thirty years, as long as the Saudi kings. Or that Bashar never had any intention of leaving office voluntarily, just like any Saudi prince. It must be something in the Arab water that makes potentates and bureaucrats and minions cling to power. Till death do them part.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Funny RSF Watermelon Press Freedom Report: Saudi Arabia Richer and Freer than Egypt?…………..

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This new report for 2011-12 by Reporters without Borders has some odd results for the Arab States:

1- Finland           45- Comoros           47- United States of America    
78- Kuwait            93- Lebanon          112- United Arab Emirates          114- Qatar    
117- Oman            122- Algeria            128- Jordan            134- Tunisia     
138- Morocco        152- Iraq                       153- Palestinian Territories      154- Libya
158- Saudi Arabia   
   159- Djibouti         164- Somalia  

166- Egypt
        170- Sudan        171- Yemen    
173- Bahrain                176- Syria 

  • Saudi Arabia (158) is rated better than Egypt (166) for press freedom. So is Somalia. Can anyone fucking believe that (other than the Saudi princes)? In Egypt, even with SCAF military council, the media can criticize the politicians and the rulers more freely than most Arab states. In Saudi Arabia, any negative reference to the king and princes can get one fired and land them in prison. I submit that Saudi press (inside Saudi Arabia, not the offshore-based) is the least free in the Middle East, less free than Iran and Bahrain and Syria.
  • Then Jordan and the UAE are rated higher than Iraq: the media can and does criticize al-Maliki openly in Baghdad, but can they criticize the rulers of the UAE or the king of Jordan as freely?
  • The UAE (112) and Jordan (128) are listed as freer than India (131) and Tunisia (134). Now if you so much as look sideways at an al-Nahayan shaikh you’d be charged with terrorism in Abu Dhabi, yet it is rated higher than democratic India!
  • Frankly, no Arab country should be listed as freer than India (with the possible exception of Lebanon and Iraq and Tunisia).
  • I have had issues with the RSF reports in recent years. There is something fishy, they read like the kind of watermelon reports we have in the Gulf region.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Godfather of Unreliable Sources: Saudi Princes Claim Iran to Take Over Iraq Soon………..

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“Don Corleone: Tattaglia’s a pimp. He never could’ve out fought Santino. But I didn’t know until this day that it was Barzini all along…….” The Godfather

Alarabiya network is a semi-official Saudi media outlet managed by a son of the late King Fahd on behalf of his uncles. Its English headlines are relatively more moderate and are targeted to appeal to Western readers (and maybe policy makers). The English headlines represent the front, the moderate cover for the ‘unique’ Arab headlines.
The Arabic headlines of Alarabiya are the most sectarian, divisive, distorting of any major Arab media, or any other media outside North Korea. This item here is typical of the unsubstantiated rubbish it headlines in Arabic, with the goal or stoking fears and sectarian hatreds, mainly in the Gulf region where most of its website readers are. Here the topic is headlined as “Ruling parties Preparing for an Iranian Takeover of Iraq”. The network claims it has received a ‘statement’ from “Iraqi parliamentarians” about a statement Alarabiya had originally claimed was made by chief of the al-Quds Brigade of the Iranian IRGC. There is no reference to such item anywhere in Iranian news agencies. It is probably part of preparing the Saudi people, and other gullible Gulfies, for choosing the right side, the Western-Israeli side, if and when war erupts in the Persian-American Gulf region.
This is the modus operandi: Alarabiya headlines in Arabic a fake news item it ascribes to “sources”, than it creates “news” threads based on that, with more fake news from more fake ‘sources’. Many people with a sectarian bent in the Gulf GCC countries tend to believe this openly crass propaganda, especially the Wahhabi faux-liberals who dominate the media and some academic institutions of the ruling potentates.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

GCC Breaking News: Plots in Bahrain, Plots in Kuwait, Hezbollah under Every Bed, Shi’as Occupying Mecca……….

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Breaking News: the government of Bahrain has not announced the discovery of any new Iranian or Hezbollah terrorist plots today. They have not identified any installations or individuals who may have been targets of today’s uncovered plot. This is an unusual development for Bahrain.The regime and its imported mercenarise are slowing down
On the other hand, the Kuwaiti-Saudi daily rag alseyassah is taking up the slack. (I find alseyassah entertaining, although not as humorous as, say, The Onion). It reports that Hezbollah has put its sources on alert around the region, and that there was in fact a terror plot in Bahrain and added an extra-credit bonus: that the latest Bahrain plotters got financing from some Kuwaitis, meaning Shi’as in Kuwait (apparently the Iranians and Hezbollah ran out of money!).
Alseyassah
, like a couple of other rags in my hometown, fits well into its Saudi patrons’ propaganda drive to divide the Gulf region along sectarian lines.
It also dropped a bombshell that only our overfed “faithful” would believe: it reported that Iranian and Syrian agents were plotting to assassinate three Gulf GCC foreign ministers, no less! Alseyassah has not yet report that Hezbollah and Iran are planning an invasion of Mecca to take over the Kaaba, after blowing up the Vatican. Not yet, but stay tuned.
Saudi media are not as dumb as their Gulf surrogates. They have become smarter, more subtle, with the exception of Alarabiya which is openly sectarian on its Arabic website.

Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Saudi Zeitgeist and Iranian Illuminati: Expanding Media Domination Beyond the Arab World………..

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THE wealthy Saudi Arabian investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was mulling acquiring a stake in Twitter. Prince Alwaleed, chairman of Kingdom Holding, reportedly held talks with at least one of Twitter’s co-founders about acquiring part of their shareholding in the microblogging site, Sky News reported overnight, citing sources. If a deal is confirmed, it would add Twitter to the portfolio of companies part-owned by one of the world’s wealthiest investors. A shareholding of between $US200 million and $US300 million was examined by Kingdom Holding, which after Twitter’s recent fundraising drive would equate to about three per cent of the company, according to the report. It was unclear whether Kingdom Holding already acquired Twitter shares or whether it simply was in discussions with Twitter’s co-founders, Biz Stone and Evan Williams. Twitter declined to comment on the matter, the report said. In August, Twitter said it was taking part in a fundraising bid to fuel its global expansion. It reportedly drew in $US800 million from some existing investors, such as the US mutual funds giant T. Rowe Price. Prince Alwaleed already holds a seven per cent stake in News Corporation, the parent company of the publisher of news.com.au, which is a major shareholder in BSkyB – the owner of Sky News – and owns NewsCore. Kingdom is also a big investor in companies such as Apple and Time Warner…………

Saudi princes and their retainers are grabbing media outlets worldwide with the same hunger as Abu Dhabi potentates grab the world supply of weapons. Theirownership is continuously expanding, and already dominates Arab airwaves. The list is long and growing longer as I write:
Asharq Alawsat (headed by a son of Prince Salman but owned by the father), Al-Hayat (owned by Prince Khaled Bin Sultan), Alarabiya (headed by a son of King Fahd but owned by an in-law), MBC, LBC, Rotana, News Corp which owns Fox News and Sky and others (partly owned by Prince al-Waleed). The latter also owns a hefty share of Times Warner (Time, CNN, etc.). Prince al-Waleed is also starting his own rival news network to Alarabiya and Aljazeera. There are more, many more that I probably can’t even imagine, like the Pyongyang Herald, Qom Tribune, Drudge Report, and Granma. Anything is possible in this age of Saudi zeitgeist.

It is a race against time: can the Saudi princes control all the world’s media before the Iranian mullahs develop their bomb and control all of our planet Earth? Can they both beat the Illuminati? Would Wolf Blitzer show up one afternoon for his News Hour, his white beard trimmed to a Saudi-style goatee and dyed jet black (Kiwi shoe polish)? Would Jack Cafferty show up attired in a thobe and shmagh? Can we expect a Republican or Democratic Presidential Debate on moderated by Tareq al-Humayyed on Alarabiya by 2016. Yes we can, maybe (zeitgeist).
Cheers
mhg



m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Saudi Torquemada: Media Obsession with Jewish Roots……………

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You’d think Torquemada leads the royal Saudi media. Come to think of it the equivalents of Torquemada do run the media over there, and they run more than that. Thos obsession of the media, especially the semi-official Alarabiya TV which is almost official because it is managed by a royal prince although it is located offshore. Alarabiya is obsessed with the “Jewish” roots of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They report something on it every few months, sometimes every couple of weeks (I posted the last time they did it). They just did one today on their Arabic website (too clever to do it on the English version). I doubt that most people in Iran care either way what his “roots” are. I know the Al-Saud and their Anti-Semetic Wahhabi clergy care, as do their Anti-Semetic Salafi followers around the Gulf. Here they are allegedly quoting a website of the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) repeating allegations about these roots and that for the first time the IRGC is paying attention and giving some credence to them. You’d think Alarabiya would be busy, along with its sister semi-official Asharq Alawsat (also royal-owned), disseminating counter-revolutionary messages against the Arab uprisings (which also threaten the theocracy in Iran as much as they threaten the theocratic oligarchy in the Arabian Peninsula). Maybe they are trying to rouse the Salafi faithful during this holy month of Ramadan, but there is no need: the Salafi of the Gulf region are a fully-owned and paid up subsidiary of Riyadh.
It would be interesting if all Arab leaders including the Saudi royals, as well as Iranian leaders, submit samples of their DNA to one of these laboratories that tell what ethnic/racial background they are from (and let’s throw in Mr. Netanyahu and Shaikh Al Al-Shaikh). Now that should be fun, even though it would be as meaningless as the stuff the crazy American “birthers” spread these days. In fact Alarabiya sometimes sounds like an offshoot of the birthers.
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

What some Arabs Saw in the US Congress, Bibi….

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Some Arab media headlines after the Netanyahu speech to a joint session of the US Congress:

“Eulogy for a Hezbollah-controlled’ Lebanon”

“Netanyahu in Congress: America falls on her knee before Israel”

“US Congress looked like a third world parliament heaping accolades on the Great Leader”

“Netanyahu speech was a speech of fear” (Saudi Asharq Alawsat, one of the few that tried to put a somewhat positive face on it)

Some of my own (ArabiaDeserta) live tweets (the last are first):


“Shit! some of these guys are gushing, you’d think they’re shaking hands with John the Baptist hisself…” Me

“Okay, I know the Dome of the Capitol is covered with a thick layer of bull, a lil more than in a normal session…” Me

“There may be some health reasons for all these “standing” ovations (how do you spell r-e-l-i-e-f)..” Me

“Hmm.. Did he just lie? didn’t the Ottomans and British allow freedom of worship in Jerusalem?….” Me

“Now the ijits clapping for annexation of East Jerusalem…..” Me

“I think Congressmen who stood for the “Judea and Samaria” remark wanted to give their brains a rest from the weight…” Me

“Clever #Netanyahu, stupid #Congress: he quickly changed the subject from Palestine to #Iran….” Me
Cheers
mhg




m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

Saudi Daily Column Hints at Term Limits for Saudi Kings………………

        

                        Summer

 

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The other reason is the length of the individual rule. While the Saudi regime renewed its popularity through new leaders taking turning ruling, the regimes in Egypt or Tunisia were not renewed, nor was the regime in Libya or Yemen. All these years that Qaddafi ruled all by himself, Saudi Arabia saw several kings: King Faisal, then King Khalid, then King Fahd, then King Abdullah….. Four kings changed while Qaddafi remained in power…….

This regular columnist for the Saudi semi-official daily Asharq Alawsat (owned by Prince Salman) is obviously saying that individual Saudi kings did not rule for that long, and that this is a good thing. He says that Mubarak (who he used to praise before last February, and they all wanted his son to inherit the throne) and Qaddafi lasted too long, did not allow others to take their turn.
This writer has one or two problems, or maybe both: (1) either he does not realize that Saudi kings give up power not willingly but because they die! The only Saudi king to give up power before he died was Saud who was overthrown by his brother Faisal and some of his other brothers in a palace coup. (2) He is just being cute here with us readers, thinking us too stupid to get point (1). That is: he is trying to pull a fast one.
 
The point he is making is that leaders, including kings, should not last long (although Saudi King Fahd ruled for about a quarter of a century). Now this is something the Saudi princes may not look kindly on. I mean King Hussein of Jordan ruled for over forty years, and his son may rule for forty more. King Faisal may have ruled for almost that long had he not been shot by a nephew. If the al-Saud dynasty lasts, some young king will come to power who may rule for forty years. Is he saying they should be overthrown after, say, ten years? Interesting concept.
Cheers
mhg





m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com

On Foreign Influences in Bahrain: Hired Gulf Media Mudslingers………….

     

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This Gulf columnist is fast becoming one of the most boring newspaper writers on my Persian-American Gulf. Only one of them: there are many others. Perhaps one of the most boring in the whole Arab world (although that would be a tough prize to win: too much competition). A few of his colleagues may give him a run for the money. He now writes regularly for the Saudi semi-official Asharq Alawsat (owned by Prince Salman). Here he is, again, insinuating that the movement by the people of Bahrain for equality, freedom, and democracy is ‘foreign instigated’. He means Iran, of course. By doing so he is insulting the majority of the people of Bahrain, while pleasing the autocrats and their patrons on the mainland. This is part of the ‘narrative’ being pushed by the Saudi, Abu Dhabi, and the Bahrain rulers to discredit the protesters, the people.

So, by the logic of this media gunslinger and others of his ilk, if you oppose the apartheid regime in Bahrain you are a foreign agent. If you call for true elections you are a foreign agent. If you call for an end to forty years of corrupt government headed by the same man you are a foreign agent. But wait: most of the people of Bahrain oppose the apartheid regime and want true democracy and want a new government. Does that make them all “foreign” agents? And do they need advice from a “foreign” writer for a ‘foreign” newspaper on how to run their own country? And who is now meddling in the internal affairs of another country?
(Speaking of ‘foreign’ influnces: Secretary Gates flew into Bahrain this weak, right after Mr. Feltman spent three days sunning there).
Cheers
mhg

m.h.ghuloum@gmail.com