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March 2012

The Canonical “Arab Tyrant’s Manual”

These are the 80-something tweets that formed the original “Arab Tyrant’s Manual”. Although most were posted by me, I cannot claim exclusive credit for them. Many were “retweets”, as I collected and restated other people’s contributions. I include them here as-is, hash-tags included, only editing to correct typos.

For a (rather lengthy) introduction to the Arab Tyrant’s Manual, click here. The full manual  is here

> Help me compile an “Arab Tyrant’s Standard Revolution Response Manual”. What would be on it?”

> So an Arab Tyrant would, in response to revolution: Offer money like pay increases… #ArabTyrantManual

> Say: “This is not X” (where X is the country that had a revolution just before) #ArabTyrantManual

> Uniformed police, followed by plainclothes thugs, followed by the army. #ArabTyrantManual

> Blame Aljazeera, then attack it, then shut it down in the country. #ArabTyrantManual

> Blame it on “foreign agendas.”

> Blame it on a conspiracy. The more ridiculously bigger, the better. Our country is so awsome that everyone is trying to bring us down. #ArabTyrantManual

> Say “We support the youths” (while their own police force is beating the crap out of the youth) #ArabTyrantManual

> Blame it on Islamists. Start small (Muslim Brotherhood) then go all the way to the big boogie man, Alqaeda. #ArabTyrantManual

> Ignore events completely, realize late how serious things really are, and give a midnight speech to the nation. #ArabTyrantManual

> Warn of factionalism, sectarianism, tribalism, and many other scary “isms”. #ArabTyrantManual

> Reshuffle the cabinet. Then reshuffle it again. #ArabTyrantManual

> Get thugs out of jail, give them bludgeon type weapons, and let them loose upon the people. #ArabTyrantManual

> Burn down your own police stations and blame it on the protesters. #ArabTyrantManual

> Act surprised when suddenly, fire breaks out in prisons where political detainees are held. #ArabTyrantManual

> Make a teary, emotional display about how much you love your country and how you spent your life serving it. #ArabTyrantManual

> Insist that everything is fine. #ArabTyrantManual

> When things get bad, shut down mobile networks & social media. When they get really bad, shut down the internet. #ArabTyrantManual

> Claim ignorance. “I didn’t know that there were these problems, and I will punish those responsible for it!” #ArabTyrantManual

> Say that only a tiny percentage of the people are against me. The majority are with me. Cite the latest elections. #ArabTyrantManual

> Say that “Change must take place” and promise great and amazing things if those kids would just stay at home. #ArabTyrantManual

> Addition to #ArabTyrantManual: Promise radical change. Say that this regime that remained static for 40 years can reform in 9 months.

> Say that you were going to retire soon anyway and had no intention of running for the next elections. #ArabTyrantManual

> Say that you are planning to peacefully relinquish power at the next election, scheduled 12 years later. #ArabTyrantManual

> Get yourself a shameless liar and make him Minister of Information & head of state TV. #ArabTyrantManual

> Insist on following the constitution. Ignore them when they say you didn’t care about the constitution before. #ArabTyrantManual

> Complain on behalf of “average citizens” that normal life is being held up due to the protests. #ArabTyrantManual

> Say that you ruled the country out of love and service and you have no desire for power and have no money. #ArabTyrantManual

> Have a military parade. Say it’s for the nation. It’s actually to show them what’ll come at them if they revolt. #ArabTyrantManual

> Order the interior minister to kill them all. Then sack him for his heavy-handedness. #ArabTyrantManual

> Say that the kids were pure of heart, but were tricked by “foreign agendas”. #ArabTyrantManual

> Say that the kids were tricked into protesting through X (KFC, Nescafe, drugs, sex, etc.) #ArabTyrantManual

> Kill a thousand. And then say that you have no idea how they died because you haven’t used force “yet”. #ArabTyrantManual

> Stage demonstrations in support of your rule. But don’t give them flags & banners. Give them 50 bucks & an AK47. #ArabTyrantManual

> Say your country doesn’t need a revolution coz it already had one. Cite the year you came to power. #ArabTyrantManual

> Let your thugs loose on the protesters. Say that these were unfortunate clashes between pro- and anti- demonstrators. #ArabTyrantManual

> Bring in the boogie man of your grandfather’s generation: Colonialism & imperialism. #ArabTyrantManual

> Call your favorite brown-nose celebrity (singer, dancer, soccer player, etc.). Ask to talk on TV in your support. #ArabTyrantManual

> Use religion. Call your state mufti and promise him a pay raise for the proper fatwa. #ArabTyrantManual

> Hold a press conference to suck up to journalists. Then, send thugs after them to punch them and smash their cameras. #ArabTyrantManual

> Say that the protests started as a pure youth movement but were “”hijacked”” by a foreign agenda. #ArabTyrantManual

> Foreign agenda X (where X can be: Islamism, Zionism, Israel, Iran, USA, colonialism, imperialism…) #ArabTyrantManual

> Have a charming interview with a famous journalist. Amanpour would do. #ArabTyrantManual

> Say that your people are not ready for democracy. You have to pave the way to it, by acting like a complete asshole. #ArabTyrantManual

> If foreign nations criticize, blast them for not understanding your culture. “In our culture, I rule. They obey.” #ArabTyrantManual

> Don’t allow funerals. Hold the bodies. Funerals become demonstrations. #ArabTyrantManual

Listening Post – The dangers of reporting the ‘war on terror’

Rarely does the Listening Post dedicate a whole show to the story of a single journalist. But when that story speaks so eloquently of how world history is being written, or erased, we decided it was something we just could not ignore.

In December 2009, Yemen’s air force claimed it had killed 30 suspected al-Qaeda operatives during an airstrike on a training camp in the southern Abyan province.

This version of events was circulated around the world but when Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye managed to get to the scene, the remains of the missiles he found were clearly marked ‘Made in the USA’. And among the dead were 14 women and 21 children.

Shaye’s subsequent report incriminated the US in a military operation in which they had been so keen to deny any involvement. Yemen dismissed the report and the US refused to comment – and Shaye became a marked man. He was accused of being an al-Qaeda operative and has been behind bars ever since.

Last month, the Yemeni government pardoned Shaye and was about to release him. But it took just one phone call from the US president urging them to reconsider, and the government backtracked.

Shaye remains locked up.

In this week’s Listening Post, we take an in-depth look at the case of Abdulelah Shaye: what it reveals about the politics and the dangers of reporting the so-called war on terror – and what the world stands to lose when the work of independent journalists is put on the line.

When the team here at the Listening Post has watched as much serious news as it can possibly take – we switch to The Onion – the US-based satirical website for some light relief. Every news channel loves a political panel discussion and the Onion has its own. On the table for discussion this week, a revolutionary thought: Could The Use Of Flying Death Robots Be Hurting America’s Reputation Worldwide? Watch our online video of the week.


Syrian Revolution 2012 Official Rap – blakescampbell #FreeSyria blakescampbell

Spin and counterspin in Syria


from Al Jazeera

Baroness Ashton and Jewish Sensitivities

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 10:14AM Gilad Atzmon

Will Washington want to ring Baroness Ashton? (Photo: Andrew Crowley)By Gilad Atzmon

The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy was criticised yesterday  for  comparing the killing of three children and a rabbi in a shooting attack in France to the situation in Gaza.

At the “Palestine refugees in the changing Middle East” conference in Brussels, Baroness Ashton, described the murders in Toulouse as a “terrible tragedy”, but  she then added: “When we see what is happening in Gaza and in different parts of the world – we remember young people and children who lose their lives.”

Seemingly some prominent Jewish and Israeli leaders couldn’t agree less. For them Jewish suffering exceeds all other suffering and Palestinian’s in particular.

The London Jewish Chronicle quoted some of the outraged critics.  “Even when read in context, Ashton’s words are beyond unacceptable,” said Oliver Worth, the British chairman of the World Union of Jewish Students. He said they were “truly outrageous and revolting” and called for her to resign because she had “lost all credibility”.  And yet, Mr Worth fails to explain why is it “outrageous and revolting” to equate Jewish suffering with Palestinian one.

“Baroness Ashton’s remarks were both crass and wholly inappropriate,” said  the chief executives of the Board of Deputies, yet he also fails to provide any reasoning.

“There is absolutely no equivalence between the situation in Gaza and the cold and callous murder of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and the three children,” said Stefan Kerner, director of public affairs for the Zionist Federation. And I wonder why there is no ‘equivalence’,  is it because the Jews are yet to withdraw from Toulouse?  Or may be Mr Kerner actually expects the French to withdraw from Toulouse and to leave it to Rabbi Sandler and a few other Jews. I obviously find it really difficult to follow the Zionist logic anymore.

The Rabbi added: “For a person in Baroness Ashton’s position to even consider her comments appropriate is disgraceful. She should withdraw her statement immediately and apologise unreservedly for the offence that she has caused.”  And I wonder why is it offensive to Jews when someone equates their grief with Goyim’s suffering. Does the Rabbi really believe that Jewish suffering is somehow superior?

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s Foreign Minister, said he viewed her remarks as “inappropriate”. He said he hoped that she “re – examines and retracts them”. And I wonder, what kind of a retraction would please the Israeli Government. Do they really expect Baroness Ashton to  accept  that Jewish suffering is the ultimate form of human grief?

Israeli war criminal as well as Opposition leader Tzipi Livni also,  attempted to offer some reasoning. She  described Ashton’s remark as “reprehensible, infuriating, and wrong” to draw any link “between the murder of children in Toulouse and the massacre Assad is leading in Syria and the situation in Gaza”. Livni may be right for a change, the crime committed in Gaza by the Jewish State in the name of the Jewish People is indeed unique in the history of brutality. Also the fact that 94% of the Israeli Jewish population supported IDF genocdial tactics at the time of operation Cast Lead is also very unique. Israel’s war crimes are indeed uniquely cruel and beyond comparison.

But Livni didn’t just stop there, she tried to qualify her statement. “A hate crime or a leader murdering his people is not like a country fighting terror, even if civilians are hurt.” According to Lvini, the Baroness had failed to make “the appropriate moral distinction”. To start with we do not know yet what led to the tragic event in Toulouse. However,  the fact that Israel defines the Palestinians as “terrorists” is yet to provide the Jewish State with an moral excuse to slay the indigenous people of the land  and to abuse every possible human right.

I guess that we are all becoming impervious to Jewish political logic. But maybe this is another symptom of the Zionification of our reality. From now on we are expected to obey.

Omar Offendum | #SYRIA (Prod. by Sami Matar)

Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)


Photo: Name Withheld; Digital Manipulation: Jesse Lenz

The spring air in the small, sand-dusted town has a soft haze to it, and clumps of green-gray sagebrush rustle in the breeze. Bluffdale sits in a bowl-shaped valley in the shadow of Utah’s Wasatch Range to the east and the Oquirrh Mountains to the west. It’s the heart of Mormon country, where religious pioneers first arrived more than 160 years ago. They came to escape the rest of the world, to understand the mysterious words sent down from their god as revealed on buried golden plates, and to practice what has become known as “the principle,” marriage to multiple wives.


Today Bluffdale is home to one of the nation’s largest sects of polygamists, the Apostolic United Brethren, with upwards of 9,000 members. The brethren’s complex includes a chapel, a school, a sports field, and an archive. Membership has doubled since 1978—and the number of plural marriages has tripled—so the sect has recently been looking for ways to purchase more land and expand throughout the town.

But new pioneers have quietly begun moving into the area, secretive outsiders who say little and keep to themselves. Like the pious polygamists, they are focused on deciphering cryptic messages that only they have the power to understand. Just off Beef Hollow Road, less than a mile from brethren headquarters, thousands of hard-hatted construction workers in sweat-soaked T-shirts are laying the groundwork for the newcomers’ own temple and archive, a massive complex so large that it necessitated expanding the town’s boundaries. Once built, it will be more than five times the size of the US Capitol.

Rather than Bibles, prophets, and worshippers, this temple will be filled with servers, computer intelligence experts, and armed guards. And instead of listening for words flowing down from heaven, these newcomers will be secretly capturing, storing, and analyzing vast quantities of words and images hurtling through the world’s telecommunications networks. In the little town of Bluffdale, Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors.

The NSA has become the largest, most covert, and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever.

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.

Read full article here 

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