Monday, January 10, 2011

Jeffrey CIA Feltman, the assassin in Chief: the media critic (when lies are mixed with ignorance and a large chunk of Zionism)

So Jeffrey CIA Feltman, The Chief Assassin in the Levant and an associate of the infamous White House Murder INC, with Asef SHAWKAT, CIA and MOSSAD, AMAN and DIA/OSP, wrote a letter to the New York Times today to express his disapproval of a Lebanese newspaper and its editorial line. When I read that last night, I could not help but think of the degradation of Middle East expertise in the US government. It is fair to say that ever since Bill Clinton came to power, the Arabists were completely eliminated from policy making positions at the White House and State Department (although some remain at other branches of the US government). Of course, the war on Arabists began in earlier years: Henry Kissinger tried to marginalize them in earlier years too. Their obituary was written in the book on their record by Robert Kaplan. In the late 1990s, I spoke about the Arabists and made the point I am making now at a conference at Georgetown University. After my talk, I was approached by Robert Pelletreau--he was the last Arabist to serve as the Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs because the job went after him to ardent Zionists from outside the Foreign Service: people like Martin Indyk--and he pleaded with me to not use the word "Arabist" because it hurts the career and image of Middle East specialists at the US government. Feltman comes from the Foreign Service but does not dream of ever being considered an Arabist: not only because of his Likudnik politics but also because of his failure to achieve any of the knowledge or competence of Arabists in yester years. No one will ever compare Feltman to, say, Richard P. Parker (who in fact served as ambassador in Lebanon in the late 1970s and tried as much as he could to stand up to Israel and who referred to Bashir Gemayyel in a private conversation (with me) as "the thug.") or with Richard Murphy who speaks Arabic fluently and with a hint of a Syrian accent (I have appeared on BBC programs with Murphy and he spoke Arabic). Feltman, after years of study and service, is proud of himself when he says "Thank you" to Arab journalists and he pronounces it as "Shuukkaaarriiiaan". In past years, you had people like William Quandt serving at the Nation Security Council at the White House. And now? You have Dan Shapiro: someone who never studied the Middle East but his expertise is measured by his lobbying AIPAC-related activities in US Congress to have Al-Manar banned in the US. This is not about politics: I am not endorsing the political views (always timid) of former Arabists: but I am at least pointing out the competence of Arabists in comparison to the Zionist crowd who now occupy positions of power relating to the Middle East in the US government. Let us go back to Feltman's letter. I can't see any former Assistant Secretary of State writing such a letter and in this vulgar and unsophisticated language. But Feltman has been an ambitious careerist: he was a Democrat serving Bush better than the most fanatic hard-core conservative Republican in the worst US administration ever--when it comes to the Middle East. I shall post Feltman's words in red and then reply. He starts by saying: "As ambassador to Lebanon from 2004 to 2008, I was the person whom Al Akhbar’s editorial chairman, Ibrahim al-Amine, hoped to upset every morning with his newspaper’s coverage (“A Rarity in the Region, a Lebanese Paper Dares to Provoke,” news article, Dec. 29)". Of course, comrade Ibrahim Al-Amin never said that his words were intended as a reference to Feltman, but Feltman is trying to score points with the Zionist lobby by making himself the target of the criticisms. Ibrahim's point was of course political and not personal, and were not intended about one particular US ambassador but about any US ambassador in Lebanon who would be serving the lousy US policies in the Middle East. He then says:"Mr. Amine did get my attention, but not in the way he intended. The hilariously erroneous accounts of my activities reported as fact in his newspaper provoked morning belly laughs." Here, Feltman is trying to be funny but notice how sophomoric his humor is. He basically is telling editors and directors at an Arabic newspaper: We laugh at you. We laugh at you. Again, can you imagine Murphy, Parker, or Quandt writing such a letter about a Middle East newspaper? Secondly, Feltman embarrasses himself by confirming the success of Ibrahim Al-Amin. He betrays his strong displeasure at Al-Akhbar and shows us that the paper made him squirm, daily. Thirdly, Feltman is lying here: because he should have said: I am ignorant of Arabic and can't--even if my life depended on it--read an Arabic text despite years of study and service in the Middle East. He should have said: I received translations of articles in Al-Akhbar and my opinion is thus second hand because Al-Akhbar was given to me through the filters of US embassy interpreters (just as Robert Worth relied on an incompetent translator for his interview with Ibrahim Al-Amin in Al-Akhbar's offices.) Fourthly, you may have been laughing while listening to translations of articles in Al-Akhbar: but there is laughter mixed with pain: as an Arabic line of poetry says: "like the bird dancing in pain". Fifthly, if you like to laugh at newspapers, have you ever dared to express a public chuckle at the sample of the worst media in the world: the Saudi media? Would you be able to keep your job if you ever mocked an Israeli or Saudi paper? We know the answer to that: and I write these words a day following your prostration at the Saudi King at his residence in New York City (and the two Clintons were prostrating there too)."While posted to Lebanon, I met with the editorial boards of Lebanon’s lively media, even stridently anti-American ones, for off-the-record, two-way conversations. Of all the requests I made, only Al Akhbar’s editorial board refused to receive me." Here, Jeffrey Feltman is lying. He said: "even stridently anti-American ones." You are blatantly lying here because you know that all Lebanese newspapers except Al-Akhbar receive funding from Saudi or Hariri sources. Only As-Safir and Al-Akhbar print articles "stridently" opposed to US policies in the Middle East. The rest are mere tools of Saudi propaganda and would not dare to serve as "stridently anti-American". He then said:"Sadly, Al Akhbar is less maverick and far less heroic than your article suggests. Al Akhbar will no more criticize Hezbollah’s secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, than Syria’s state-run Tishreen newspaper would question the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad." Feltman is lying again, here. First, he does not read Arabic to judge, but let me enlighten him. The comparison of Al-Akhbar and The Tishrin newspaper is wrong for a simple reason: Al-Akhbar is regularly banned in Syria while Tishrin is not banned in Syria because it serves as a propaganda tool of the Syrian government. A Syrian citizen stopped me last October in the Bab Tuma neighborhood in Syria and told me that Al-Akhbar is regularly banned on Saturdays because of my criticisms of the Syrian government. Secondly, some puppets of Feltman in Beirut often say: but Al-Akhbar's criticisms of Syria and Hizbullah are not "fierce", thereby acknowledging that the paper indeed contains criticisms of Hezbollah and Syria. Feltman, because his information is second-hand, did not even insert a qualification. (I once wrote that the mere TV appearance of deputy-secretary general of Hizbullah, Shaykh Na`im Qasim, "scares children"). Thirdly, let us compare the newspapers. So, Al-Akhbar contains criticisms of Syria and Hezbollah but that those criticisms are not very fierce. OK: let us say: that readers prefer a newspaper with that measure of independence because they are used to NOT ONLY Tishrin , but to the various Saudi and Hariri newspapers that would NEVER EVER print anything mildly or remotely critical of Saudi Arabia or the Hariri family. And this explains the rise of Al-Akhbar. Fourthly, it is not for Feltman who can't read Arabic to decide on the status of Arabic newspapers or media. If he spends another 40 years studying Arabic, I will consider him maybe qualified to speak on the matter, although I suspect that his next 40 years of study will prove to be as failing as his last 40. Maverick? You decide on that? Of course, you won't agree: because you prefer the submissive Lebanese newspaper like Al-Mustaqbal or An-Nahar which print US and Saudi government press releases as opinions and facts. These are the newspapers that you prefer: and because you and other ambassadors prefer those journalists (like those of An-Nahar and Al-Mustaqbal) who receive cash payments in envelopes at the end of the month. You know what I am talking about but which you would not dare mention in your silly letter. And then he says:"One of the curiosities I discovered as ambassador to Lebanon was the number of Western journalists, academics and nongovernmental representatives who, while enjoying the fine wines and nightlife of Beirut, romanticized Hezbollah and its associates like Al Akhbar as somehow the authentic voices of the oppressed Lebanese masses. Yet, I don’t think that many of those Western liberals would wish to live in a state dominated by an unaccountable clerical militia and with Al Akhbar providing the news." There is no point to this passage and it was inserted only for the purpose of appeasing the Zionists in US Congress especially as a fanatic right-wing Likudnik gets ready to become the chairwoman of the House of Committee on International Relations. Also, you are a chief propagandist and peddler of Bush's policies. Should you not--if you have a sense of reason or consistency--not resign for being responsible for the worst era ever of US foreign policy in the Middle East? Also, Hizbullah does not have a state that it dominates, so your point is purely hypothetical. Once, a reporter at Al-Akhbar told the late Joseph Samaha: but I don't like Hezbollah because they want to force the veil on me. Joseph replied: if there comes a day when Hizbullah tries to force a veil on you, I will fight side-by-side with you against Hizbullah. I am sure that if Hezbollah were to establish a state, many leftists like me would be stridently opposed to that state and would struggle against it. But Saudi Arabia has an actual Wahhabi fanatical and puritanical state and Feltman supports it. Do you see the irony? It is more laughable that you would support a Wahhabi fanatical state, than those who you accuse of not fighting a hypothetical state by Hizbullah. But this is typical of US policies: you worry more about hypothetical Iranian nuclear weapons, than about actual WMDs possessed by Israel. Logic is never your quality, o Zionists of Washington, DC. Lastly, he said:"Samir DGSE Kassir and Gebran CIA Tueni, who worked for the newspaper An Nahar and were killed by car bombs, and the grievously mutilated but courageous television journalist May Chidiac " A Wicked Whore" paid the price for real journalism in Lebanon — not the writers of Al Akhbar." You think that you can pick for Arabs their newspapers and their favored journalists? You really still think that the White Man can still get away with colonial thought and practices like in the 19th century. Just because there were lines of puppet politicians from March 14 (and some from March 8) who prostrated before you in Beirut, does not mean that colonial times can come again, and that you as the White Man can tell the natives what to like and what to dislike. Do you understand? The native is no more weak and meek, your Zionist wishes to the contrary notwithstanding. It is fitting that you pick a right-wing, sectarian Christian, racist anti-Syrian (people) anti-Palestinian (people) newspaper (An-Nahar) as your favorite newspaper but the Lebanese and Arabs have gone elsewhere. Despite subsidies from the Greek Orthodox Church and from billionaire `Isam Faris (an ally of the thuggish Syrian regime but Jubran Tuwayni was not that principled when it came to money, and he used to plead regularly for Faris' funding which explains why pictures of Faris appeared prominently during Jubran's reign at the paper), and various Saudi princes and the Hariri family, the boring newspaper is in constant decline. Just compare the readership of Al-Akhbar in the world with that of An-Nahar. But don't get me wrong: you may spend your retirement days reading old copies of An-Nahar for your own pleasure--I am sorry. I meant, you may hire a translator to read to you translations of old copies of An-Nahar. Oh, and Al-Akhbar will continue to annoy the hell out of you--and of other Zionist fanatics, I assure you.

PS Please spare me and spare the world any of the trash talk about "liberty" and " democracy" and "Freedom" that filled your propaganda sheets during the Bush years. You letter says it all. You want one line and one point of view in the Arab media. This explains why you and your government are eternally grateful to one of the worst government of human kind--the Saudi government. This explains why you and your boss, Hillary Clinton, went on another pilgrimage to see the Saudi King. Oh, did you praise the King for being able to walk and stand? I heard that you did....