Middle East

The Middle East is in uproar today after the US Embassy in Libya was bombed and the US ambassador, Christopher Stevens, was among those killed. The attack was apparently part of a protest against an obscure film, “Innocence of Muslims,” directed by California-based Israeli Sam Bacile and allegedly financed to the tune of $5 million dollars by Jewish supporters. There’s little doubt that the film is blasphemous so far as Muslims are concerned and will likely be offensive to most non-Muslims. It also appears to be an incredibly bad piece of filmmaking based on the trailer below.

Middle East expert Seymour Hersh reveals the United States’ military’s ties with The People’s Mujahedin of Iran, a/k/a M.E.K., in the New Yorker: From the air, the terrain of the Department of…

Via Russia Today, an interesting look at mainstream media outlets (Al Jazeera, CNN) dramatizing conflict journalism — in this case, in Syria.

The camera is shaken to make the footage seem raw and amateur, a stream of grey smoke in the sky is reported as stemming from a nonexistent “explosion”, and an onscreen personality requests background gunfire for a sound effect for his live shot on Anderson Cooper 360. In short, “The activists who become journalists try to make their shows as ‘hard’ as possible. The more blood and death, the higher the price.”

Interesting point of view from Jeff Klein on Counterpunch: It’s hard to miss the higher cost of gas every time we fill up our cars these days, but the News Media doesn’t…

Jello-BiafraJello Biafra, musician, speaker, record label director, and Green Party politician, writes for Al Jazeera English:

So now I have been to Israel. I have also been to Palestine. I got a taste of the place, but not in the way I’d originally hoped.In many ways I really wish my band, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, had played in Tel Aviv. But I also share most of the boycott’s supporters’ feelings about Israel’s government, the occupation and ongoing human rights violations.

I hope people take the time to understand how deeply this has torn at the fabric of our band. The promoter in Tel Aviv lost thousands, and I am eating thousands more in lost and re-booked airfares that I have no idea how I am going to pay, or how I will pay my bills for the rest of the year. Real human beings got hurt here.

This whole controversy has been one of the most intense situations of my life – and I thrive on intense situations. But the rest of the band was not used to this. How fair was it to drag them there in the first place? This is not like fighting Tipper Gore and the Los Angeles Police Department, greedy ex-Dead Kennedys members or more-radical-than-thou thugs who think it’s OK to put someone in the hospital for being a “sellout”…

The Telegraph reports that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been put on a war footing amid increasing signs that the West is taking direct action to cripple Iran’s nuclear programme. But should the…

Michael Stone reports in the Examiner:

Anonymous targets Muslim Brotherhood In Egypt, claims Muslim Brotherhood is a threat to Egyptian revolution, plans a coordinated Distributed Denial of Service attack on Nov. 11. Those claiming to represent the nebulous and notorious international Internet hacktivist collective known as Anonymous released a YouTube video announcing an operation directed at the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to the announcement, the Muslim Brotherhood is a “corrupt” organization “bent on taking over sovereign Arab states in its quest to seize power.” The announcement goes on to compare the Muslim Brotherhood to the Church of Scientology, and declares the Brotherhood to be “a threat to the people.”

Via Press TV:

U.S. Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro says the U.S. and the Israeli regime are set to hold their ‘largest and most significant’ joint military maneuvers without offering details about the time and location of the war games.

More than 5,000 U.S. and Israeli forces will take part in the war drills, said Shapiro, in a Saturday speech at the Israeli-sponsored think tank, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP). He reportedly did not mention a specific time and location for what observers have described as part of the new U.S.-led publicity campaign aimed at raising the threat level against Iran.

The joint military maneuver will simulate Israel’s ballistic missile system and will allow Washington to ‘learn from’ Tel Aviv’s experience in warfare, the senior American official added.

Mere paranoia? Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, G6 of U.S. Army’s 94th Division, says last week’s alleged plot by Iran to conduct a bombing and assassination on U.S. soil may be a fabrication by the Obama administration, perhaps even to establish a cause for war: