UK-Qatar Partnership To Revive Links with Muslim Brotherhood?

[SEE: Must we dance to Saudi tune over Muslim Brotherhood?  ; Qatar retreat from the expulsion of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood]

Qatar, UK sign partnership pact

gulf times

Qatar, UK sign partnership pact

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth meets HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al-Thani at Buckingham Palace in London yesterday. RIGHT: British Prime Minister David Cameron receiving HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani at 10 Downing  Street yesterday.



Qatar and UK signed a memorandum of understanding for establishing a new political framework following HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s meetings with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and the country’s Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and HE the Foreign Minister Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah signed the new political framework – the UK-Qatar Sharaka (partnership in Arabic) – aimed at strengthening bilateral relations.

Hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron, the meeting was part of the Guest of Government visit of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to the UK.

In a press statement, the British embassy in Doha said the UK-Qatar Sharaka creates a new forum to discuss important issues and will help strengthen the ties between the two countries across defence and security; culture and sport; education and research; foreign policy; trade and investment; health and energy.

“The UK values its close relationship with Qatar and is keen to further improve the existing strong links between both countries,” said British ambassador Nicholas Hopton.

He noted that the Sharaka will create a formal commitment to strengthen UK-Qatar relations across the board through a bilateral dialogue between the two governments.

The group will meet every six months under the leadership of Tobias Ellwood, Minister for the Middle East and South Asia, and Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Rumaihi, undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In his talks with the British Prime Minister David Cameron, the Emir discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations at all levels.

The official talks, which were held at the Prime Minister’s Office ‘No. 10 Downing  Street’ in London, also dealt with several current international and regional issues, especially the situation in the Middle East region.

The talks were attended by the members of the official delegation accompanying the Emir and several British ministers.

Also on the occasion, Qatar’s ambassador to the United Kingdom Yousuf bin Ali al-Khater handed over a letter to Nick Perry, Adviser to British Prime Minister, concerning a grant from Qatar to support the Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust.

In his talks with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace, the Emir discussed relations of friendship and co-operation between Qatar and the UK and means of enhancing them besides a number of topics of mutual concern.

Later the Emir attended a luncheon banquet hosted by Prime Minister Cameron at 10 Downing Street.

Members of the British cabinet also attended the banquet.


The Myth Of The Free Press–the Danger of Reporting the Truth About the Powerful

The Myth Of The Free Press

zero hedge

Authored by Chris Hedges, originally posted at TruthDig blog,

There is more truth about American journalism in the film “Kill the Messenger,” which chronicles the mainstream media’s discrediting of the work of the investigative journalist Gary Webb, than there is in the movie “All the President’s Men,” which celebrates the exploits of the reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal.

The mass media blindly support the ideology of corporate capitalism. They laud and promote the myth of American democracy – even as we are stripped of civil liberties and money replaces the vote. They pay deference to the leaders on Wall Street and in Washington, no matter how perfidious their crimes. They slavishly venerate the military and law enforcement in the name of patriotism. They select the specialists and experts, almost always drawn from the centers of power, to interpret reality and explain policy. They usually rely on press releases, written by corporations, for their news. And they fill most of their news holes with celebrity gossip, lifestyle stories, sports and trivia. The role of the mass media is to entertain or to parrot official propaganda to the masses. The corporations, which own the press, hire journalists willing to be courtiers to the elites, and they promote them as celebrities. These journalistic courtiers, who can earn millions of dollars, are invited into the inner circles of power. They are, as John Ralston Saul writes, hedonists of power.

When Webb, writing in a 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News, exposed the Central Intelligence Agency’s complicity in smuggling tons of cocaine for sale into the United States to fund the CIA-backed Contra rebels in Nicaragua, the press turned him into a journalistic leper. And over the generations there is a long list of journalistic lepers, from Ida B. Wells to I.F. Stone to Julian Assange.

The attacks against Webb have been renewed in publications such as The Washington Post since the release of the film earlier this month. These attacks are an act of self-justification. They are an attempt by the mass media to mask the collaboration between themselves and the power elite. The mass media, like the rest of the liberal establishment, seek to wrap themselves in the moral veneer of the fearless pursuit of truth and justice. But to maintain this myth they have to destroy the credibility of journalists such as Webb and Assange who shine a light on the sinister and murderous inner workings of empire, who care more about truth than news.

The country’s major news outlets—including my old employer The New York Times, which wrote that there was “scant proof” of Webb’s contention—functioned as guard dogs for the CIA. Soon after the 1996 exposé appeared, The Washington Post devoted nearly two full pages to attacking Webb’s assertions. The Los Angeles Times ran three separate articles that slammed Webb and his story. It was a seedy, disgusting and shameful chapter in American journalism. But it was hardly unique. Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, in the 2004 article “How the Press and the CIA Killed Gary Webb’s Career,” detailed the dynamics of the nationwide smear campaign.

Webb’s newspaper, after printing a mea culpa about the series, cast him out. He was unable to work again as an investigative journalist and, fearful of losing his house, he committed suicide in 2004. We know, in part because of a Senate investigation led by then-Sen. John Kerry, that Webb was right. But truth was never the issue for those who opposed the journalist. Webb exposed the CIA as a bunch of gunrunning, drug-smuggling thugs. He exposed the mass media, which depend on official sources for most of their news and are therefore hostage to those sources, as craven handmaidens of power. He had crossed the line. And he paid for it.

If the CIA was funneling hundreds of millions of dollars in drugs into inner-city neighborhoods to fund an illegal war in Nicaragua, what did that say about the legitimacy of the vast covert organization? What did it tell us about the so-called war on drugs? What did it tell us about the government’s callousness and indifference to the poor, especially poor people of color at the height of the crack epidemic? What did it say about rogue military operations carried out beyond public scrutiny?

These were questions the power elites, and their courtiers in the press, were determined to silence.

The mass media are plagued by the same mediocrity, corporatism and careerism as the academy, labor unions, the arts, the Democratic Party and religious institutions. They cling to the self-serving mantra of impartiality and objectivity to justify their subservience to power. The press writes and speaks—unlike academics that chatter among themselves in arcane jargon like medieval theologians—to be heard and understood by the public. And for this reason the press is more powerful and more closely controlled by the state. It plays an essential role in the dissemination of official propaganda. But to effectively disseminate state propaganda the press must maintain the fiction of independence and integrity. It must hide its true intentions.

The mass media, as C. Wright Mills pointed out, are essential tools for conformity. They impart to readers and viewers their sense of themselves. They tell them who they are. They tell them what their aspirations should be. They promise to help them achieve these aspirations. They offer a variety of techniques, advice and schemes that promise personal and professional success. The mass media, as Wright wrote, exist primarily to help citizens feel they are successful and that they have met their aspirations even if they have not. They use language and images to manipulate and form opinions, not to foster genuine democratic debate and conversation or to open up public space for free political action and public deliberation. We are transformed into passive spectators of power by the mass media, which decide for us what is true and what is untrue, what is legitimate and what is not. Truth is not something we discover. It is decreed by the organs of mass communication.

“The divorce of truth from discourse and action—the instrumentalization of communication—has not merely increased the incidence of propaganda; it has disrupted the very notion of truth, and therefore the sense by which we take our bearings in the world is destroyed,” James W. Carey wrote in “Communication as Culture.”

Bridging the vast gap between the idealized identities—ones that in a commodity culture revolve around the acquisition of status, money, fame and power, or at least the illusion of it—and actual identities is the primary function of the mass media. And catering to these idealized identities, largely implanted by advertisers and the corporate culture, can be very profitable. We are given not what we need but what we want. The mass media allow us to escape into the enticing world of entertainment and spectacle. News is filtered into the mix, but it is not the primary concern of the mass media. No more than 15 percent of the space in any newspaper is devoted to news; the rest is devoted to a futile quest for self-actualization. The ratio is even more lopsided on the airwaves.

“This,” Mills wrote, “is probably the basic psychological formula of the mass media today. But, as a formula, it is not attuned to the development of the human being. It is a formula of a pseudo-world which the media invent and sustain.”

At the core of this pseudo-world is the myth that our national institutions, including those of government, the military and finance, are efficient and virtuous, that we can trust them and that their intentions are good. These institutions can be criticized for excesses and abuses, but they cannot be assailed as being hostile to democracy and the common good. They cannot be exposed as criminal enterprises, at least if one hopes to retain a voice in the mass media.

Those who work in the mass media, as I did for two decades, are acutely aware of the collaboration with power and the cynical manipulation of the public by the power elites. It does not mean there is never good journalism and that the subservience to corporate power within the academy always precludes good scholarship, but the internal pressures, hidden from public view, make great journalism and great scholarship very, very difficult. Such work, especially if it is sustained, is usually a career killer. Scholars like Norman Finkelstein and journalists like Webb and Assange who step outside the acceptable parameters of debate and challenge the mythic narrative of power, who question the motives and virtues of established institutions and who name the crimes of empire are always cast out.

The press will attack groups within the power elite only when one faction within the circle of power goes to war with another. When Richard Nixon, who had used illegal and clandestine methods to harass and shut down the underground press as well as persecute anti-war activists and radical black dissidents, went after the Democratic Party he became fair game for the press. His sin was not the abuse of power. He had abused power for a long time against people and groups that did not matter in the eyes of the Establishment. Nixon’s sin was to abuse power against a faction within the power elite itself.

The Watergate scandal, mythologized as evidence of a fearless and independent press, is illustrative of how circumscribed the mass media is when it comes to investigating centers of power.

“History has been kind enough to contrive for us a ‘controlled experiment’ to determine just what was at stake during the Watergate period, when the confrontational stance of the media reached its peak. The answer is clear and precise: powerful groups are capable of defending themselves, not surprisingly; and by media standards, it is a scandal when their position and rights are threatened,” Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky wrote in “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media.” “By contrast, as long as illegalities and violations of democratic substance are confined to marginal groups or dissident victims of U.S. military attack, or result in a diffused cost imposed on the general population, media opposition is muted and absent altogether. This is why Nixon could go so far, lulled into a false sense of security precisely because the watchdog only barked when he began to threaten the privileged.”

The righteous thunder of the abolitionists and civil rights preachers, the investigative journalists who enraged Standard Oil and the owners of the Chicago stockyards, the radical theater productions, such as “The Cradle Will Rock,” that imploded the myths peddled by the ruling class and gave a voice to ordinary people, the labor unions that permitted African-Americans, immigrants and working men and women to find dignity and hope, the great public universities that offered the children of immigrants a chance for a first-class education, the New Deal Democrats who understood that a democracy is not safe if it does not give its citizens an acceptable standard of living and protect the state from being hijacked by private power, are no longer part of the American landscape. It was Webb’s misfortune to work in an era when the freedom of the press was as empty a cliché as democracy itself.

Saudi Embassy Cars Burned With Molotov Cocktails In Egypt

Masked men burn 2 Saudi Arabia consulate cars in Egypt -sources


Oct 24 (Reuters) – Masked men set fire to two cars belonging to the consulate of Saudi Arabia in the Egyptian city of Suez on Friday morning, local security sources and the state news agency reported.

Security sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told Reuters that at least four men threw crude fire bombs also known as Molotov cocktails at the cars, which were parked. State news agency MENA said the cars were parked in a lot in Suez’s Arbaeen district.

Saudi Arabia has been a strong backer of Egypt since then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi toppled Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood last year, and the attack appeared to be the first on Saudi property or personnel in Egypt since then.

Major General Tareq al-Gazar, director of security in the city, said authorities were working to identify the perpetrators of the attack.

The embassy of Saudi Arabia in Cairo declined to comment on the incident.

Tens of thousands of Brotherhood supporters are in jail as part of a security crackdown against the group on the Brotherhood since Mursi’s ouster.

The Muslim Brotherhood says it is a peaceful movement but authorities accuse its members of being involved in a Sinai Peninsula-based Islamist insurgency that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers in the 15 months since Mursi’s overthrow.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and Gulf Arab allies United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have given Egypt billions in cash and petroleum products since Mursi’s ouster. (Reporting By Omar Fahmy in Cairo and Yusri Mohamed in Ismailia; Writing by Maggie Fick; Editing by Hugh Lawson)


Zambian President Dies and An Old White Guy Gets His Job

Guy Scott, Zambia acting president, 1st white leader in region in 20 years

cbc news

President Michael Sata dead at 77 after long illness; VP Guy Scott takes over for 90 days

Zambia Vice President Guy Scott will become acting president of the southern African nation until new elections are held within 90 days.

Zambia Vice President Guy Scott will become acting president of the southern African nation until new elections are held within 90 days. (Susan Walsh/Associated Press)

Pentagon Pissed That Lebanon Resisting ISIS Coalition Orders

High-Ranking U.S. Military Official in Short Visit to Lebanon



Lieutenant General Raymond Thomas III, a senior official in the United States Army, arrived in Lebanon for a brief visit, An Nahar newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Thomas, the commander of Joint Special Operations Command, arrived in Lebanon at the head of a military delegation.

The purpose behind the visit is still unknown.

An Nahar newspaper reported that Thomas held talks with Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji.

Last week, media reports said that Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is expected to arrive in Lebanon during the upcoming days.

Earlier this month, Qahwaji attended a meeting for military leaders from more than 20 partner nations in the coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

However, a sharp debate emerged locally on whether Lebanon should enter the coalition and if its territories would be used to launch attacks on jihadists in neighboring country Syria.

John Allen, a retired four-star general and U.S. envoy to the coalition fighting Islamic State group, was expected to include Lebanon on his tour to the region.

Allen kicked off a visit to the Gulf countries on Monday.

Saudi Amb. Warns Lebanese Against Following Independent Policies

[After Nasrullah's televised statement, that “Saudi Arabia bares the prime responsibility in the Islamic world for stopping the proliferation of this ideology,” the Saudis must have realized just how badly they were doing in Lebanon (see comments below).  Obama has promised to open American arsenals to the Lebanese Army and the Saudi king has promised to match his generosity with a shopping trip to France, but nothing more than a token US delivery of weapons has come through.  Into the resultant void, Iran comes forth with a promise of immediate delivery of all the weapons the Army requires, setting-off a firestorm of self-doubt from Washington to Riyadh.  This is the real reason behind the Saudi Ambassador's warning...Lebanon cannot be allowed to make its own choices. 

Washington and Riyadh will have to start treating the rambunctious Lebanese govt. as adults...and equals, even if they freely choose to reject Iran, in favor of the Saudi/Sunni dictatorship.]

Saudi Ambassador Warns of Rift between Lebanon, Regional Countries–(+comments)



Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awadh Asiri slammed on Wednesday statements that would cause contention with regional countries, calling on Lebanese politicians to avoid stances that harm the national interests.

“We urge all sides to be reasonable and avert rifts with nearby countries,” Asiri told reporters after talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam at the Grand Serail.

Asiri’s statement comes in light of remarks by Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah that Saudi Arabia must shoulder a bigger responsibility in the fight against the extremist ideology of the Islamic State group.

“Saudi Arabia bares the prime responsibility in the Islamic world for stopping the proliferation of this ideology,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech.

The Saudi Ambassador said that “Lebanon deserves sacrifices by all its people. Efforts should be exerted to maintain stability and support the army.”

He considered the Lebanese army as a “source of comfort and stability to the people,” hailing politicians who voiced support to the military institution.

Asiri later met with Kataeb Party chief Amin Gemayel.

The Lebanese army has been cracking down on fugitives across Lebanon. The battle between the Lebanese army and extremists was widely expected after members of the Islamic State group and al-Qaida’s branch in Syria, the Nusra Front, launched several attacks over the past weeks in areas on the border with Syria.

In June, the IS declared an “Islamic caliphate” straddling vast swathes of Iraq and Syria, ordering Muslims worldwide to pledge allegiance to their chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The U.S. has formed a coalition of Western and Arab allies to battle IS, which has been accused of widespread atrocities in Iraq and Syria, including mass executions, beheadings, rape, torture and selling women and children into slavery.

Later on Wednesday, Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) reported that Asiri delivered a letter to Salam expressing his country’s desire to grant the state 15 million dollars to rebuild the northern Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, which was leveled in 2007.

Around 31,000 refugees were left homeless by the Nahr al-Bared clashes, which also killed 400 people, including 168 soldiers.

In the aftermath of the battles between the Lebanese army and al-Qaida-inspired group Fatah al-Islam militants in 2007, donors pledged during a conference in Vienna 345 million dollars.

But until now, only 188 million dollars have been donated, Salam said in August, urging Arab and mainly Gulf countries to fund the project.



Comments 22
Thumb terrorist 5 hours ago

Don’t worry!

Bin laden, nasrallat, or Baghdadi don’t represent any of us, we never listen to them so do as we do!

Thumb _mowaten_ 4 hours ago

the saudi ambassador is not happy that the army is hitting his mercenaries in tripoli.
what with the 3bn$ aid to the army by the way? we went through all the terbih jmileh for a year, now are we going to see the actual weapons or shall we wait another year?

Thumb terrorist 1 hour ago

They’re not going to end up the hand hands of M8 militiamen, it takes time to find LAF servicemen loyal to their country now that qahwaji and rukoz divided the army by obeying to bashar Hafiz Assad.

Are you done polishing knives and chains? Yalla quickly mowaten! You have people to kill in Syria.

Default-user-icon geha (Guest) 1 hour ago

mowaten, you sound like an immature kid completely disconnected from reality, just trying to build some silly rationale based on bits & pieces of propaganda and lies.

Default-user-icon cityboy (Guest) 1 hour ago

You beat me to it mowaten. I was thinking the same thing, exactly the same! Where are those $3bn and where are those weapons? We are so so similar: we are both narcissists, both shia extremists who pretend to be moderates, both have an inferiority complex, both pretend to be secular, and both have multiple accounts. I just hope readers don’t think we are the same poster.

Missing –karim. 5 hours ago

The kingdom of terrorism is responsible in the first place for all the unrest, tension, and terrorism in Lebanon. This terrorist ambassador should be arrested for espionage and the promotion of terrorism, and war should be declared on the kingdom of terrorism.

Missing helicopter 5 hours ago

The PFLP armed Palestinians are not armed by KSA but by Bachar Assad.
HA is armed by Iran. So KSA might be responsible for the extremist Sunni but all of the above are source of terrorism and insatability for Lebanon. They all have attacked our LAF and killed our soldiers at one point or another.

Missing imagine_1979 4 hours ago

No helicopter, ksa armed fplp general comand, ksa sent us chaker el absi, ksa sent bombs with smaha, blew tripoli mosqs, assassinated hachem salman…, u know same the same way israel assassinated hariri,hawi,kassir… It is only logic man how can’t u see it???
U are blaming the very modern, secular, democratic islamic republic of iran man? U are so brainwashed, u should read more objective sources, u know sana/al manar/otv….
Anyway have a good day man

Thumb blablablablabla 3 hours ago

yah the PLO wasn’t financed by KSA. When they retreated, the LP crash wasn’t caused by the retirement of their funds in the lebanese banks and Amine Gemayel never accused them that in one day, 3 billions USD disappeared from Lebanon and were transferred to Tunis at that time. Syrian were giving weapons but these weapons were paid by KSA.

Thumb .Southern_. 3 hours ago


we are talking about the terrorists who are spreading chaos in the country, attacking the army and supporting the thugs who kidnapped the military personals in Arsal.. and not the ones who are defending the country against intruders and occupiers, as the case of HA… try to be consistent next time.

Default-user-icon karim–. (Guest) 4 hours ago

Down with the iranian funded sectarian militia and its regional and local sponsors. God bless the Lebanese army

Missing imagine_1979 4 hours ago

The great secular islamic republic of iran and very modern suprem
Leader ayatollah is doing such a wonderful job spreading democracy, modernism, intelctual achievement all around our region…

Go have some chupachups karim

Thumb -phoenix1 4 hours ago

I agree with you Karim, but Iran is also deep in it, right up to the neck.

Missing helicopter 5 hours ago

Later on Wednesday, Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) reported that Asiri delivered a letter to Salam expressing his country’s desire to grant the state 15 million dollars to rebuild the northern Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Bared, which was leveled in 2007……….
15 Million is not even the price of 100,000 meters of land.
I would rather give KSA $150 Million and have them build the camp in Jedda.
Thanks KSA but no thanks

Thumb -phoenix1 4 hours ago

Excellent post Chopper, this is exactly the spirit of it all, since the Saudis love them Palestinians so much, let them take them and build for them everything these people want, but in Saudi and well away from our lands. fed up with liars. Good post man.

Thumb al.finique 4 hours ago

Excellent comment bro. I totally agree with you on this one bro. Good post man

Thumb blablablablabla 3 hours ago

here +1 from me on that point

Default-user-icon laba laba laba laba (Guest) 1 hour ago

Only +1 from you? that’s very conservative on your part since you normally give +30

Thumb .Southern_. 3 hours ago

that’s fine!! but you have to criticise the M14 politicians, Hariri, GiGi and Samy who have permitted KAS through its ambassador to be as “the fifth power” after the executive, the legislative and the judiciary and now we add the KSA influence over the country.

Thumb speakfreely 4 hours ago

The problems of refugees, takfeeris, terrorists shooting at the LAF connot be solved by donations. In fact these fundings only prolong our problems.

Missing imagine_1979 4 hours ago

Indeed, how about making camps, with UN/LAF to ensure security, make sure no arms in, make sure who enters and leave, give shelter to refugiers so they donnot become cheap mercenaries?….
Any other ideas?…

Thumb Mystic 3 hours ago

Desperation can clearly be seen amongst the Saudis, their grip of influence in Lebanon is shaking.

How about those 3 billions that never reached the LAF? They never came, because they used those billions to arm takfiris around the world.

Russia Resupplies the Space Station After Our Rented Rocket Blew-Up

Antares rocket explosion

Robotic Russian Supply Ship Docks to International Space Station


Russia’s Progress 57 vehicle docks to the International Space Station on Oct. 29, 2014. Credit: NASA

An unmanned Russian cargo spaceship successfully docked to the International Space Station this morning (Oct. 29). The docking comes a day after a private rocket in the United States exploded after attempting to launch on a similar resupply run to the orbiting outpost.

Russia’s robotic Progress 57 vehicle docked to the space station at 9:08 a.m. EDT (1308 GMT) after a six-hour journey that started atop a Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The unmanned capsule delivered close to three tons of supplies to the station’s Expedition 41 crew.

Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Antares rocket was expected to launch the company’s unmanned Cygnus spacecraft on a similar mission to the space station for NASA Tuesday night. However, the Antares exploded moments after launching from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. Officials are now investigating the root cause of the explosion. [See images of the Antares explosion

While NASA officials have expressed disappointment in the Antares failure, the six-person crew on the space station still has plenty of supplies onboard, Mike Suffredini, the head of NASA’s International Space Station program office said during a news conference yesterday.

Cygnus and Progress spacecraft are two of the many robotic ships that fly resupply missions to the space station. Orbital Sciences and SpaceX currently hold contracts with NASA to make supply runs to the space laboratory. Japan also uses its H-2 Transfer Vehicles to haul cargo to the astronauts and cosmonauts living and working in space.