Monday, June 29, 2009

Oman Tribune reporting improves. Iran blames foreign elements for being dictatorial fascists

Response to my Help Wanted ad has been great. There are still openings, so don't be shy! One position that was filled is that of 'Omani' for the new segment here at Muscat Confidential: 'Ask an Omani'. So, please email me your 'Ask an Omani' questions to undercover(dot)dragon(at)gmail(dot)com

Meanwhile, the Iranian Theocracy tightens their grip, after the Tehran intelligensia got their local version of the Tiananmen square treatment. Reports are coming out of thousands of arrests, including senior opposition leaders, students, journalists, University profs, etc. A protest of a few thousand yesterday were again met with riot police.

...After several days of apparent calm – following the harsh repression of opposition protests - at least 3 thousand people gathered in front of the mosque in Ghoba yesterday. The police charged the crowd with truncheons and tear gas. An elderly woman was beaten and there were clashes between police and young people. ...
Asian News

Some theo-fascist is even calling for many of the opposition supporters to be executed. Nice. It's now pretty easy to see the iron fist that was previously somewhat cloaked in the pseudo-democracy espoused in the Republic. Nice to see the blame being put on foreign elements too, as per usual. Even the shooting of the young woman is being suggested as 'suspicious' by Ahmadinejad and the Iranian media. There is a partial recount of 10%, but apart from a few cosmetic errors the result will be confirmed, nats. Demonisation of the opposition is in full swing.

Iran: Photo of the millions of US, British and Israeli agents all pretending to be Iranian during the protests illegal riots

Lebanon meanwhile got started on the road back to civilisation as they voted for moderate Saad Al Hariri. Great news for the region. Fingers crossed.

Oh, and Michael Jackson, a troubled singer often accused of being a paedophile, died.

Local Supermarket News
Word is - thanks Sythe - we will be getting a Waitrose and Debenhams in Muscat next year, located in the new mall being completed in Al Khuwair. Maybe we'll then be able to buy the rather tasty specialist foods available from Waitrose at reasonable prices, compared to being totally ripped off by Al Fair for these products as we are now.

Oman Tribune: Getting Better?
Is it just me, or has the Oman Tribune been getting a little bolder of late? I think they have also, in just a few years, been able to surpass the bland and occasionally crazy Times of Oman, and the Government controlled Oman Observer ,to the number 1 spot too (they say).

A few days ago the Tribune published the sentencing in court of someone in Nizwa for murder (he deliberately shot someone), and also the tale of the conviction for man slaughter of an electrical engineering supervisor. OK, still no names and no real digging for the sub-story, etc, but the reporting is definitely getting a little better, even if its not yet what I'd call journalism. And today a story on how Shanty Towns are developing around Ruwi. I wish they'd be more explicit on the illegal activity...

Shanty towns on rise
MUSCAT Illegal residential areas are mushrooming around Muscat at an alarming pace.

The shanty towns in Al Hamriya region are now serving as a haven to illegal workers and criminal groups. The localities inhabited by low-income workers are turning into breeding grounds for illegal activities. It is high time that the authorities reviewed the situation and took action.

This menace is not limited to Al Hamriya. Similar shanty residential areas are also found in Ruwi, Matrah, Seeb and Bausher along with the other regions in the Sultanate.

Excellent. Keep it up, The Tribune. Well done Abdul Hamied Al Taie, Editor in Chief.

In this case, the story would be improved by interviews with the shanty town residents, local cops, Municipality comment too would be nice, plus some examination of why it's becoming a problem recently (increased rents for example?), and more photos. But even this is noticeably better IMHO.


  1. A couple years ago Waitrose signed an agreement with Spinneys for 40 stores in the UK and Oman. This involves not just new stores, but also rebranding existing Spinneys stores to Waitrose. Since Spinneys in Oman is AlFair, don't expect anything great. It's just going to be a glorified new-look Alfair with the same super expensive Waitrose items.

  2. muscati- lipstick on a pig???? Abd

  3. Muscati

    Oh damn. I'd gotten my hopes up....

  4. Waitrose franchise in the Gulf is owned by a property company and the corporate attitude to selling food to speculation in bricks and mortar is worlds apart .
    I suspect that they are hoping to use Waitrose as their pet ‘anchor store’ to attract other retailers to their malls and buyers to the apartments.
    You will be familiar with the family name of one of the key investors in corporate owner of Waitrose in the Gulf - “Rashad Janahi”
    Debenhams in the Gulf is quite different – part of the largest retail group in the Gulf .

  5. ohh nothing very new going on :-) same old same old ecept the Angels Death and Mj'S OFCOURSE

  6. Working with Yemen’s Political Security agency , the GID and GSS have already managed to nab one of the leader bankers of the Jihadist movement, the Saudi national Hassan Hussein bin Alwan. Long based in Waziristan, bin Alwan arrived in the Arabian peninsula two months ago to escape the Pakistan army’s offensive in Swat valley. He reached Yemen via Oman and, like many Islamic radicals who had fought in Afghanistan, planned to make his way to Somalia. Tipped off by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), which had been listening in to his communications, Saudi intelligence collared him only a few weeks after his arrival in Yemen before he could move on to Somalia.

  7. when are you going to stop being so gullible about everything the mainstream media puts out??
    Why don't you get off your but and do some serious research. I will give you a head start "-

    1. CIA Distributed 400 Million Dollars Inside Iran to Evoke a Revolution.

    If you are really interested in the truth google the above headline.

  8. 2. And another one for good measure, the good old BBC being caught out again in mass public deception :-

    BBC Propaganda Machine Admits Iranian "Protest" Manipulation

    Deception With Iran Propaganda

    Paul Joseph Watson
    Pak Alert Press
    Thu, 18 Jun 2009 15:40 UTC
    © BBC
    Remember this one from 9/11? The Beeb has been caught lying again.
    The BBC has again been caught engaging in mass public deception by using photographs of pro-Ahmadinejad rallies in Iran and claiming they represent anti-government protests in favor of Hossein Mousavi.

    An image used by the L.A. Times on the front page of its website Tuesday showed Iranian President Ahmadinejad waving to a crowd of supporters at a public event.

    In a story covering the election protests yesterday, the BBC News website used a closer shot of the same scene, but with Ahmadinejad cut out of the frame. The caption under the photograph read, 'Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi again defied a ban on protests'.

    The BBC photograph is clearly a similar shot of the same pro-Ahmadinejad rally featured in the L.A. Times image, yet the caption erroneously claims it represents anti-Ahmadinejad protesters.

    See the screenshots below (click to enlarge).

    © PJ Watson
    "Well I guess it sure was a popular fictional rally for Mousavi, because I later noticed while browsing the news sites a familiar picture on the BBC's lead Iran story - it shows the same crowd, zoomed in to cut out Ahmadinejad," a reader told the WhatReallyHappened website. "It is clearly the same protest as in the background are the same tree and odd circular building. However, the BBC managed to outdo the LA times in quality reporting - their actual comment under the photo from the huge PRO-Ahmadinejad rally reads 'Supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi again defied a ban on protests' - a blatant lie and deliberately misleading description of what is actually occurring in Iran!"

    As soon as the truth about the misrepresented images surfaced on the WhatReallyHappened website yesterday, the BBC changed the photo caption on their original article.

    This is not the first time the BBC has been caught red-handed using crude image and video framing techniques for the purposes of political propaganda.

    During the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, the BBC and other mainstream news outlets broadcast closely framed footage of the "mass uprising" during which Iraqis, aided by U.S. troops, toppled the Saddam Hussein statue in Fardus Square.

    The closely framed footage was used to imply that hundreds or thousands of Iraqis were involved in a Berlin Wall-style "historic" liberation, yet when wide angle shots were later published on the Internet, footage that was never broadcast on live television, the reality of the "mass uprising" became clear. The crowd around the statue was sparse and consisted mostly of U.S. troops and journalists. The BBC later had to admit that only "dozens" of Iraqis had participated in toppling the statue. The entire scene was a manufactured farce yet the propaganda technique of blocking wide-angle shots from being broadcast convinced the world that the event represented a triumphant and historic mass popular uprising on behalf of the Iraqi people.

    Whatever your views on the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad and the accuracy of the Iranian election results, the fact that the Anglo-American establishment and its media organs are exploiting and fanning the flames of chaos in Iran to provoke further instability is unquestionable.

    Indeed, the U.S. State Department, which routinely demonizes the Internet as a tool of extremists and terrorists when it is used to criticize U.S. foreign policy, took the unprecedented step today of requesting that "delay planned maintenance work so that Iranian protesters can continue to use it to post images and reports of unrest," according to a London Times report.

  9. And while we are on about Twitter .......

    The millions hypnotized by the images were egged on, of course, by the Twitterati who oddly enough, were spared being off-line during election week for routine maintenance. The delay was a direct request from the US Government. Mysteriously, while there were few twitters, there were literally thousands of tweets. Happily someone made a few interesting observations:

    Were these legitimate Iranian people or the works of a propaganda machine? I became curious and decided to investigate the origins of the information. In doing so, I narrowed it down to a handful of people who have accounted for 30,000 Iran related tweets in the past few days. Each of them had some striking similarities -

    1. They each created their twitter accounts on Saturday June 13th.
    2. Each had extremely high number of Tweets since creating their profiles.
    3. "IranElection" was each of their most popular keyword
    4. With some very small exceptions, each were posting in ENGLISH.
    5. Half of them had the exact same profile photo
    6. Each had thousands of followers, with only a few friends. Most of their friends were EACH OTHER.

    Why were these tweets in English? Why were all of these profiles OBSESSED with Iran? It became obvious that this was the work of a team of people with an interest in destabilizing Iran. The profiles are phonies and were created with the sole intention of destabilizing Iran and effecting public opinion as to the legitimacy of Iran's election.

    I narrowed the spammers down to three of the most persistent - @StopAhmadi @IranRiggedElect @Change_For_Iran

    I decided to do a google search for 2 of the 3 - @StopAhmadi and @IranRiggedElect. The first page to come up was JPost (Jerusalem Post) which is a right wing newspaper pro-Israeli newspaper.

    JPost actually ran a story about 3 people "who joined the social network mere hours ago have already amassed thousands of followers." Why would a news organization post a story about 3 people who JUST JOINED TWITTER hours earlier? Is that newsworthy? JPost was the first (and only to my knowledge) major news source that mentioned these 3 spammers.

    Those with eyes to see understand this was just another psyops.

  10. Kelly,

    Of course there was/is psyops going on.

    But I'm afraid arresting thousands of Iranian liberals, students and intellectuals and beating them to confess, holding them without charges, etc etc, was done by the ruling junta all on their own. Same as proposing to try the opposition leaders for treason, etc.

    By their over-reaction they did exactly what the US and Israeli hardliners wanted. It was no mistake that Israeli politicians voiced public support for the opposition and Mousavi... they wanted Ahmadinejad to win all along. And to win by polarising the population, discrediting the clerics, and using violence against his own people.


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...