The sad irony of it all – the USA and the Arab world…

By Munzer A. Khair
Posted By Alex
Syria Comment
Feb 23rd, 2011

The amateur author of this outburst is a Syrian Arab, a Semite by ancestry and definition like all Arabs, and proud of it. He is also a part product of US Americana (AUB IC prep school in Beirut, Mount Hermon School for Boys in Massachusetts, dishwashing and waitering, AUB in Beirut, Colorado School of Mines, University of Texas, and even pre-Cheney Halliburton…) of which he is equally proud, fond and grateful.

This is a call on the United States to reexamine its stubborn, hypocritical and self-defeating “moral clarity” narrative that defined and severely limited American options in the Middle East, led to unnecessary confrontations and to an unhealthy sense of hopelessness among many Arabs. It prevented cooperation between the United States and leading Arab nationalists that could have facilitated solutions including a comprehensive settlement to the bitter Arab Israeli conflict. While the Arab world attempts to cleanse itself from hypocrite and failed leaderships, the United States should not pass the opportunity to proactively initiate the necessary changes on its part.

I AM ‘THE HOLIER THAN THOU, THE ALMIGHTY, THE ALL KNOWING. DO AS I SAY, DO NOT DO AS I DO…”

“Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that, before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East”. Fr. John Sheehan, Jesuit thinker.

In my recurrent use here below of the expression “One intrinsically noble nation, preeminent among all so-called Western democratic nations”, I seem to single out the USA. It just happens that the USA is at the forefront and the most prolific although the French and the English were never innocent bystanders at the beginning, before turning into subservient and really inconsequential yes men.

One great federated nation, preeminent among all so-called Western democratic nations, has been persistent in its policy of the democratic or not so democratic active pursuit of partitions, secessions, and breakaways. Witness: Korea, Cyprus, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Iraq, and now Sudan. What comes next? it depends on what suits the United States… The same nation that suppressed, at the cost of some 2 million casualties, the truly democratic secession of its Southern Confederate states from its Northern states.

One great peace-loving nation, has been persistent in fighting wars, warranted, semi-warranted, unwarranted, or invented out of thin air (remember Iraq’s WMDs), always outside its frontiers, never on its soil….. Exactly like Israel. The only two times it happened, at Pearl Harbor, even if somewhat remote, and September 11th, it drove this self-proclaimed “rule of law, democratic and human rights” nation into a police/security state. Remember the post Pearl Harbor and World War II mid-desert concentration camps or cities of second generation Americans of Japanese and German origins? Remember the more recent ex-territorial torture “facilities”? Abu Ghuraib? Guantanamo (still on-going…)? Water boarding? The mercenary gung-ho “security” firms? The prevalent Homeland Security Act, Patriot Act, Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act? Legalized wiretaps? Covert intrusion into all radio, phone, fax, email, sms, face book, twitter communications? The demonizing of Islam and the arbitrary suspicion/questioning/ harassment of Muslims, Arab or Asian-looking but genuine US and other citizens? The airport scans and intrusive pat-downs?

One great freedom-loving nation, has persisted in its mind-set of blindly supporting not so democratic kings, warlords or dictators – as long as they were useful – in its prevalent gung-ho policy of “Yes, he is a sonofabitch, but he is OUR sonofabitch!”. Remember Trujillo? Noriega? the Shah of Iran ? Pinochet? Saddam Husein (as long as he was fighting post-shah Iran)? Talibans and Al Qaida (as long as they were fighting and pushing the Soviet army out of Afghanistan)? Saudi Royal family (As long as their money was financing and arming the madrasas that produced the Talibans, Bin Laden and Al Qaida, as orchestrated by the CIA)? Qadhdhafi (after he got the message…)? Al Bashir (after he got the message…)?

One great humanitarian nation, in its declared pursuit of “bringing democracy to Iraq” after failing to find the trumped up WMDs, has dismembered, vandalized and impoverished a proud and rich nation. The unnecessary war it led and its aftermath, regardless of the invading or local perpetrators, displaced, impoverished, jailed, maimed or killed more Iraqis than Saddam Hussein, murderous tyrant as he was, ever did or could have dreamed of doing if he had stayed in power.

One great one-man-one-vote nation, has persisted in its advocacy, promotion, support of, and commitment to “democratic elections” in the Arab world, as long as said democratic elections come out in its favor. . If not, God forbid, these elections, even if certified by international inspectors, suddenly and automatically turn into “terrorist” or “rogue” or “morally unacceptable to the international community”

Witness the Palestinian elections in Ghazza, where foreign and Western observers monitored what they labeled as one of the most transparent elections in the emerging world, but which was won by, Oops!, the “wrong” side, Hamas. The people of Ghazza had to suffer since that day.

Witness Lebanon 2009: according to Wikileaks, 100 Million Dollars were injected just to fly Lebanese emigrants from Brazil and Latin America to North Lebanon in order to vote for America’s “allies”. Lebanon between 2005 and 2010: according to no less than Jeffrey Feltman, during a recent hearing in Congress, 500 Million Dollars were spent just to pay ad-campaigns, operated by Lebanese US inspired “NGOs”, aiming at tarnishing Hezbollah’s image in Lebanese opinion.

Terrorist? Rogue? Morally unacceptable? Says who? Whose morality? Who are the holier-than-thou’s doing the accepting or the condemning? Israel and the USA, closely followed by the European Union and the UN Security Council.

One great egalitarian nation, is hopelessly mired in periodically recurring “democratic” elections (State congress(es), State senate(s),State governor(s), US congress, US Senate, US president), and thus constantly subjecting candidates to the pressures and extortion of lobbying, direct or indirect funding and block voting (read, among many vested interests, AIPAC, the Industrial/Military Complex, Big Oil, Big Banks, etc…)

How can an independent-minded, patriotic, well-meaning and honest party or candidate of statesman caliber stand a chance?

Here is what one highly respected US ex-senator, AIPAC’d out of his senate seat, once wrote:

For many years I have felt that the situation in the Middle East was very nearly hopeless. The fundamental problem for us is that we have lost our freedom of action in the Middle East and are committed to policies that promote neither our own national interest nor the cause of peace.

AIPAC (the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee) and its allied organizations have effective working control of the electoral process. They can elect or defeat nearly any congressman or senator that they wish, with their money and coordinated organization.

J. William Fulbright (American politician, 1905-95):
The Price of Empire [1989] ch. 6, (p.183)

George Bush Senior had a similar scathing experience with AIPAC when he said the wrong thing in one of his speeches. He lost his re-election as president of the United States of America. Exceptional for an untarnished president.

We might, but history will not, forget the blind but active, direct, diplomatic, military, financial, media support of the implantation of a foreign body in the Arabic and Islamic world and the resulting rape of Palestine, the new diaspora of the Palestinians. Does the word “diaspora” sound familiar to the newer rabid million or so Jews imported from post-soviet East Europe and Russia, as compared to our otherwise Jewish Semitic cousins with whom we had lived peacefully for some 1400 years?. We will not forget the programmed humiliation of the Palestinian and eradication of his identity, the military kangaroo or civilian rubber stamp courts that legalized the jailing of thousands, the confiscation of lands, the razing of houses, the destruction of century-old olive groves, the humiliation, starving, thirsting (while ever growing Zionist implantations have grass lawns and gardens…), cluster and phosphorous bombing, maiming, murder, assassination of Palestinians, the land and water grabbing, the dislocation and renaming of Palestinian cities and communes, the quarantine and siege of Palestinian cities turning in effect large parts of what is left of Palestine into detention camps, the infamous “wall” (an anachronism, coming after the razing of the Berlin wall… reverting the Israelis by their own will and doing into a rich ghetto, but still a ghetto), the diminution, eradication, desecration of some of the holiest shrines of Islam, reducing the birthplace of Christianity to a few and isolated spots, and worst of all the international brain wash turning colonizing occupants into romantic settlers .

In their inborn naivety, the Arabs go hat-in-hand imploring the USA against these Israeli actions, forgetting that the Israelis did and continue to do in Palestine exactly what the US Americans did to the red Indians, an exact copy: From a handful of English puritan immigrants in a small enclave in Massachusetts (where they were well received in all hospitality, and helped to survive, by the native red Indians) to the gradual land encroaching and land grabbing, the “settler” halo, the repeated conclusion and almost immediate break of treaty after treaty, driving some hot-blooded young tribesmen in pure desperation into isolated irrational acts of vengeance resulting in the deliberate settler and army massacres of men, women and children, the displacement of “treaty Indians” from fertile or hunting lands into reservations in arid lifeless, waterless, plant less lands (the so-called “bad lands” of cinema cowboy lore), the eradication of the red Indian in his identity and culture, the transformation of the proud red indian into a drunken lowly servant, etc…..

Now pops up, in reality not so unexpectedly, the current Egyptian “situation” where we witnessed really genuine democratic mass protests of the prevalent portion of some 80 million people against marginalization, hunger, unemployment and oppression. The 1.5 billion US Dollar aid to Egypt, reportedly 35 billion since 1978, goes in almost its totality to arming and maintaining an army that is committed by treaty not to fight the nation’s only credible threat in the region: Israel (see U of Maryland annual polls). The other part goes to the police and security apparatus (light armored troop carriers, careening deliberate hit-and-run killer vans, tear gas, sniper rifles, etc… that have recently graced our TV screens, plus the personnel training as well as the eavesdropping and other “security” equipment that we do not see…). A fat lot of good this does to the diminished, hungry, jobless, homeless Egyptian…

The role of a once proud Egyptian fighting army has been reduced to fantasia parades and, more essentially, preserving the security of Israel (for one blatant example, enforcing the Israel-dictated inhuman blockade of Ghazza into the underfed, under heated, underpowered concentration and assassination camp it has become, epitomized in Omar Suleiman’s reported whisper in Israel’s ear “Ghazza should go hungry but not starve).

Against this deplorable situation, what is the USA’s “democratic, freedom-loving and humanitarian” preoccupation and knee-jerk response? The sacrosanct security of Israel….. Utterly mind boggling!

One is tempted to regrettably conclude that this intrinsically noble USA is totally confused, misled and out of touch! For better or worse for us, and for the rest of the world, it is the only remaining super power at the present and near future. The proclaimed change from Bush to Obama is only a change in style; it is not a change in essence. The infamously insidious position papers were written, and firmly dug in, years ago by the likes of Abrams, Feith, Kristal, Perle, Wolfowitz and Co.

When will the brain wash be sanitized and the blindfolds removed?

We are humiliated. frustrated, disgusted and fed up, awaiting in anxiety the next eruption that the implant of a belligerent state in our midst is fermenting, or being driven in pure desperation into the booby traps of intolerance and extremism.

Munzer A. Khair,
Damascus, Feb 4th 2011

Comments (63)


Hatem Nuseibeh said:

This attitude by the West has been a major hindrance to peace and stability in the region. As the latest events are showing, this attitude is also leading to an important loss of influence in the area. In the end you reap what you sow!

February 23rd, 2011, 6:44 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Jesuit “Thinker” NewZ

“Every time anyone says that Israel is our only friend in the Middle East, I can’t help but think that, before Israel, we had no enemies in the Middle East”. Fr. John Sheehan, Jesuit thinker.

Alex,

Thanks for posting your anti-Israeli thread and the comment by Jesuit “thinker”, Fr. John Sheehan. It’s a great diversion from the real problems facing the ME.

Please tell your “thinker” friend John that just because a bunch of intolerant thug “leaders” and their jesuit friend can’t fathom a state of the jewish people, doesn’t make this state bad. Using your Jesuit friend’s logic, the US shouldn’t have fought Germany in WW2.

Libya’s “government” just killed 1000 Libyans who want a say in their government instead of the same goof-ball leader for 40 years. What does your “thinker” friend have to say about that?

The participants on Syria Comment still show the usual double-standard: outrage when Israel defends itself, no outrage when Arab thugs kill their own.

February 23rd, 2011, 7:36 am

 

MONTAGNARD said:

Akbar
You are so full of it as usual, the participants of Syria Comments are outraged by the conduct of Arab leaders, as are the Arab masses and other decent observers worldwide.
Your problem is you can’t take any criticism of Israel and the US policy which is indefensible by any stretch of the imagination.

Munzer
The normal reaction to pressure building up with no relief is explosive eruption. We are looking at some of it happening.

February 23rd, 2011, 10:00 am

 

AIG said:

Alex,

Are we back to trying to find scapegoats for the misdeeds of the Arab regimes?

“We are humiliated. frustrated, disgusted and fed up”. How is Israel responsible for corruption in Syria? How is Israel responsible for lack of economic growth? How is Israel responsible for water management problems in Syria? How is Israel responsible for the education system? Is Israel stopping Assad from declaring reforms tomorrow?

February 23rd, 2011, 10:04 am

 

AIG said:

MONTAGNARD,

AP and I have no problem with any criticism of the US or Israel.
But at this point in time, doesn’t this criticism look like howling at the moon? Israel is a fact that can’t be undone. The support of the US Congress for Israel is a fact that will take many years to undo if at all. Should the above be used as an excuse for the faults of Arab regimes?

February 23rd, 2011, 10:21 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Jesuit “Thinking” (con’t)

You are so full of it as usual…

Montagnard,

Shall we count the posts critical of Israel over the years on this website vs. those critical of Arab despots like Qaddafi?

A SMALL example:

A definitive compilation of Israel as a “rogue” whose primary goal is to dominate rather than make concessions for peace.

Photos from the smashed neighbourhood of Tel Al Hawa, Gaza:

You can see the red crescent building, drugs warehouse, Al Quds hospital and kids play area, all hit by Israeli shells.

The Finnish public service media company’s reporter (stationed in Jerusalem) was finally allowed to Gaza. In her report she told for example that in the houses where Israeli soldiers were staying were signs of vandalism by the soldiers. Carpets were smeared with excrement. Food was deliberately spoiled.

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=2012

Montagnard,

Can you find similar posts about Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria or Lebanon? A last I checked, the victims in these arab states weren’t lobbing missiles into population centers.

AIG,

I’m surely more tired of the ZIonist “excuse making” than you are, but I agree with your observations nonetheless.

February 23rd, 2011, 10:23 am

 

MONTAGNARD said:

AIG
The answer to your questions to Alex in #4 above is no, Israel is not responsible for the conditions you have listed in #4. But Munzer’s post was not about the internal conditions in Syria listed by you. Munzer’s article is about being fed up with Israel’s and the US policy.
For the Syrians and Palestinians in particular and the Arabs in general, it is a double hit when faced by internal bad conditions and external ones on top caused by the policies of Israel and the US.
As for your question in #5 no, it is not like howling at the moon. Nothing can be guaranteed to be a given or that it can’t be undone. The unlimited and unconditional support that Israel enjoys from the US current congress, and the misguided US policy, will change. It is a matter of time only, all other factors are pointing in that direction. The vote in the Security Council two days ago was a lonely dissenting vote, that the administration had to go to a great length trying to explain, with an unconvincing awkward explanation.
Akbar
Your comments in #6 about how many posts for or against and about what and who are irrelevant when Arabs in the streets are making the ultimate sacrifice by not sparing life and possessions and paying with blood to change their future from their past.

February 23rd, 2011, 11:02 am

 

AIG said:

MONTAGNARD,

Excuse my skepticism but I see the Munzer piece as just another attempt to deflect blame and responsibility from the Assad regime.
I cannot find in Munzer’s article any suggestions about how to change the situation. What should Syria or Syrians do tomorrow morning to make things better for them from a US Congress perspective? Lack of such analysis I think strengthens my point that this is howling at the moon.

Since we can agree that the internal situation in Syria is mostly the regime’s fault, can we also agree that the “humiliation, disgust and frustration” that Munzer alludes at are mostly the fault of the regime? Israel is of course an issue for the Syrians. But is it that big of an issue compared to their other problems?

February 23rd, 2011, 11:14 am

 

GHat Albird said:

MONTAGNARD,

Interesting use of words in #5….howling at the moon….an uptick reference to Arabs(?). The following quote is quite definitive of the Jewish/Israeli attitudes and is examplary of their comments on SC as on any other forum.

So as the saying goes from the horse’s mouth:-

Yitzhak Attia, director of French-language seminars at the Yad Vashem Holocaust institute in Tel Aviv wrote this in an issue of Israel magazine:

“Even if reason tells us, even shouts with all its force the very absurdity of this confrontation between the small and insignificant people of Israel [i.e, all Jewry worldwide, not just “the State of Israel”] and the rest of humanity… as absurd, as incoherent and as monstrous as it may seem, we are engaged in close combat between Israel and other Nations – and it can only be genocidal and total because it is about our and their identities.”.

February 23rd, 2011, 11:26 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Nothing can be guaranteed to be a given or that it can’t be undone.

Montagnard,

Right. Terrorize the world because you don’t like the relationship the US has with another country. Great idea.

You may as well try to end the US relationship with Great Britain, Canada, or Australia. This won’t work. The 2% of American Jews don’t set this relationship in a void, Christian America has a strong bond to Israel based on the New Testament. The ingathering of Jews to their homeland is a key element of their beliefs. How do plan to detach the two? Do you think increasing terrorism against US airliners, skyscrapers and European capitals will work? It has not so far.

If you spent half the energy it takes to break the US-Israel relationship and put it toward improving the relationship between the Arab states and Israel, you may find it would benefit everyone (except the Islamic jihadists).

It is a matter of time only…

What is a “matter of time” exactly? Until Israel gets mentioned in another UN vote?

Your comments in #6 about how many posts for or against and about what and who are irrelevant when Arabs in the streets are making the ultimate sacrifice…

Perhaps. I’m just telling you my perception. Israel produces venom on this website, as evidenced on this very thread. A few thousand or so deaths at the hands of an Arab dictator doesn’t produce the same level of outrage. To me, the difference is worth noting.

Ghat,

I found the anti-semitic website where you got that “horrible” [“odd” is more accurate] quote.

http://www.toqonline.com/blog/the-psychopathology-of-judaism-2/

February 23rd, 2011, 11:30 am

 

Alex said:

AIG, Akbar

Please keep in mind that what I post here is not necessarily representative of my own views. For example, you can tell from my comment after what I posted from Shai that I do not agree with his argument (about the rationale behind Lieberman’s selection as Israel’s FM) :

http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=7687&cp=1#comments

Also, AIG hopefully remembers that I offered last year to post a reply from him to my “The case for Syria” post. Obviously I would have been in disagreement with most of his counterpoints to my original article, had he chosen to write that post.

Therefore, this is a post by Mr. Khair that I agreed to post because I see value in it, especially at this time.

You will read my own views and proposals if I finish the article I’m working on, by next week, God willing.

As to the specific points you raised here:

– Akbar: One of the ways in which Syria Comment is useful is that it helps present the views that you don’t often get to read in the US. You need to know how Syrians or Arabs feel, and you need to discuss, and argue against if you like, these sentiments. Otherwise you will only be exposed to the thousand times more available Israel-friendly views that most Americans experience (with minimal criticism of Israel).

You are calling for freedom of speech in Syria, so that Syrians who are critical of the leadership can freely express their views. I hope you will be equally appreciative of this platform that might be often critical of US policies on the Middle East.

– The Jesuit thinker quote is by Mr. Khair and it has nothing to do with the fact the source of that quote is a Jesuit.

AIG,

“But at this point in time, doesn’t this criticism look like howling at the moon?”

It might be, but the author probably only wants a more balanced American policies in the Middle East and a serious readjustment of Israel’s attitudes by moving back to the center-left like it used to be in the 90’s when Prime minister Rabin was in charge. That’s what Americans need to think about after Egypt and Tunisia and Libya and the severe weakening of the PA and the M14 US allies in Lebanon.

Arab rulers who, days before Tunisia started, used to be sure that opposition demands were “like howling at the moon” realized that they made a mistake by not listening to criticism.

Similarly, the United States should not continue to brush off as irrelevant the consistent polls that show unquestionable frustration among Arabs (living in pro US “moderate” states)

Read the numbers in the U of Maryland poll:

“On the U.S.: 85% had an unfavorable attitude toward the U.S., 87% had no confidence in the U.S., 92% named the U.S. as one of two nations that are the greatest threat to them.

On Israel and Palestinians: 69% said that of all Obama policies they were most disappointed toward Israel and Palestine; 90% named Israel as one of two nations that are the greatest threat to them and Egyptians were split as to whether there would ever be lasting peace between Israel and Palestinians.”

Perhaps it is only a matter of time before the US will realize, like Mubarak did, that ignoring such vivid sentiments will lead to an explosion.

I agree that Mubarak’s support for Israel’s right wing policies was not the top grievance that led to his toppling. But if you ask demonstrators to rate it among different other potential reasons why they rebelled against Mubarak, a large majority of them would rate it as number 2, 3, 4 or 5 … some (a small minority) do not like the Palestinians and are happy being friends with Israel.

Don’t be surprised if the next time Israel decides to go for one of those non proportional retaliations against Gaza or Lebanon, that the way the Egyptian people will react might lead to a suspension of the Camp David accord for example. Or you might have demonstrations in Saudi Arabia against their own government’s weak position demanding that the Kingdom stops supplying the west with oil until Israel is pressured to stop its war …

If you find these possibilities highly unlikely, you might be right, but you might be as wrong as Mubarak used to be.

Just like the world is repulsed today seeing hundreds of innocent people die at the hands of Qaddafi’s forces, when Israel goes for another Lebanon or Gaza war, you will perhaps see much bigger popular demonstrations in more Arab countries burning US embassies and demanding their governments kick out the US ambassador …

I think this sentence summarizes the main purpose of this article/post:

“While the Arab world attempts to cleanse itself from hypocrite and failed leaderships, the United States should not pass the opportunity to proactively initiate the necessary changes on its part.”

The author is obviously supportive of the popular revolutions that led to correcting what Arab leaders failed to see or failed to take seriously. He is calling on the US to also do its part before it is too late.

Again, my own position is that everyone, including the Syrian leadership, need to stop taking for granted massive opposition to any policy… we don’t need opinion polls to tell us that 9 out of 10 Syrians are probably sick of corruption or that 9 out of ten Syrians want more freedom of speech …. or that 9 out of 10 Arabs are sick of America’s bias towards Israel and want a more even handed approach in the future.

Hypocrisy would be for the US to tell Arab dictators that they need to take their people’s feelings seriously, while telling the Arabs … I will continue to veto anti-settlements resolutions at the UN even though the rest of the world is voting for it and even though ALL Arabs want us not to.

No one can force the US President to change anything … only the American people can. But the American people need to know that they might in the future experience what people-power will do to America’s interests in the Arab world. If they still don’t think their next president (or their current president) should pay more attention to the Arab world’s sentiments, then they have the right to, just like the Arabs have the right to kick out American ambassadors next time Israel kills another 1000 innocent Lebanese or Palestinian civilians.

February 23rd, 2011, 11:46 am

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

This post is like begging a sadistic torturer for mercy. The writer is obviously a CNN/ New York Time MSM, Reuter (RA-KA-Phere =Pharos in Hieroglyph, and RA- THUS =Shield in Cuneiform) enterprises brainwashed person, lacks comprehensive knowledge about the blood gushing, weapon selling, drug pushing, dictators loving, genocide backing, genocide committing, nations robbing, weapon testing on own people, false flag ops history of the United States.

On top of it, and because Israel is always centered as the evil of all problems in the Middle East, one can suspect this post as nothing more than paid dis-info campaign, if it is not “Blaming the Moslems” it is “Blaming the Jews” the nice scapegoat.

Poor Israelis, they have suffered and are suffering now just as much as everyone one else in the Middle East because of these “Brotherhoods”. One wonder, if the trinkets they get every year is worth all that American and Western torture they get in return. When will they wake up, smart up, wise up and join the Revolution in the Middle East and start looking after own interests locally and regionally than having, in exchange for a fist of Dollars and gadgets of obsolete technologies, serve as a tool in the hand of genocidal Westerners, led by the brotherhood, whose own interests has been since they packed bags and hired local agents in the Middle East and elsewhere, is to make sure that the people of the colonies stay poor and helpless, and the hired and supported agents hordes all the national wealth and ship it with gold, oil and minerals, to their capitals and bank cartels. Wake up Israel, Join the Revolution you dummies, care about your own interests and stop playing this silly Western puppet game. So what if “Ra-whatever” build for you a court house with his symbols enshrined all over it! You are making the same mistake as when Boaz and Joachim were raised up. The end game this time is not any different.

February 23rd, 2011, 1:08 pm

 

AIG said:

Alex,

As you know, I wrote on this very blog 2-3 years ago that I think Mubarak will be history in a few years, and I was right. The point is, I didn’t think it is a very low probability outcome.

I agree with you that it is possible that there will be public demands in Arab countries to cut ties with the US after another Israel-Arab military confrontation. After all, it happened in Iran. But will it really change anything? In the end, it will harm the countries cutting ties with the US much more than it harms the US and eventually ties will be restored (if the country remains democratic).

Look, the moment the Arab states become true democracies, the US and Israel will be forced to change. It will not be overnight, but a process over several years. The Israeli public mistrust of the Arab world will go down substantially as it will be clear to most Israelis that the Arabs really do not want another war and elect pragmatic governments. Israelis do want peace and the more democratic and pragmatic the Arabs become, the more the left center in Israel will gain strength and the more chances the Israeli public would be willing to take for peace. Of course, if Arabs elect radical governments, the opposite will occur.

February 23rd, 2011, 1:13 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

All,

With all due respect we need to stop pointing the finger at the west and look inward. The only Arab leader to speak out so far is from Qatar. Why the silence? Most of these leaders will follow the same course as Qadafi. We know from history that the Syrians were not shy to use the air force against the local population in 7ama. I am not trying to rehash history here. In order to claim our rights and get our land back, we need to control our destiny and society first.

Bashar has been so quit it is deafening. We all cried foul and genocide (and should) when Israel attacked our brothers in Lebanon and Gaza. We want the west to scream but we can not even whisper it when it comes to Arab rulers. Qadafi is a war criminal. Are our brothers in Libya second class citizens?

Which of these rulers care about Palestine? All what they care about is accumulating power and wealth. Some hide behind this issue. It has been almost 40 years since the 1973 war. Our border is the quietest border on earth. Why would Israel recognize our rights if we are not willing to stand up for ourselves?

There is no good reason that we do not have democracy and freedom in Syria specifically and the Arab world in general. All the stated excuses are null and void. Imagine if there are free elections in Syria. The president can stand and say the “Syrian people” want this to happen. Look at Turkey. Becoming a major power because they have an open society. Why can’t Bashar announce all the political and economical reform needed immediately? DO not tell me the old guard will not approve. How about being proactive? The change wave is coming and we should be ahead of it. I am very sure if he does, he will be elected.

Elected leaders scare the hell out of the Israelis. Why, because they will have to answer to their people and not to their masters. They would work to improve the nation and not their own wealth. Yes there is corruption in the west but it does not measure up to what we have in the Arab world. Mubarak is worth $70 Billions, Qadafi is worth $82 Billions, Assad is worth? Can you even imagine what the Saud family is worth? Why do they need all this wealth?

February 23rd, 2011, 2:16 pm

 

MONTAGNARD said:

Akbar

It is a matter of time.
It is a matter of time that Israel overplays its hand. The trend is clear. US-Israeli joint military maneuvers, US military personnel on Israeli territory, US manned radar installations in Israel, US manned anti-missile defenses on Israeli territory and then what? At that point the mentioning of Israel in another UNSC resolution will be moot compared to US involvement in combat in the defense of Israel. If you have not noticed the backlash of the Iraqi invasion, then you will miss my point.

As far as the Christian support for Israel goes, it is eroding due to Israel’ conduct and policies. Some facts to show you the trend and how it is eroding:
The “Joint declaration by Christian Leaders on Isreal’s 60th Anniversary”. The declaration was signed by more than 180 Christian Leaders. It did implore the fate of the Palestinians at the hands of Israel during the 60 years.
http://justpeace60.blogpost.com/
The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel(EAPPI) is a World Council of Churches (WCC) initiative which was established in 2002 in response to a call made by the heads of Churches in Jerusalem, and Palestinians and Israeli NGOs.
The Methodist Church vote to boycott all products from Israeli Settlements in the Palestinian territories.
The report prepared by the Methodist Church about Israel asks the church to examine whether Zionism, and in particular Christian Zionism, is compatible with Methodist beliefs.
A growing number of evangelical leaders have recently come forward to criticize Israel for its position on evangelism (Israel laws prohibit missionary work and proselytizing).
The Church of England synod voted for disinvestment from Israel.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to initiate a process of phased selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel.
Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, the interfaith affairs director of Israeli lobby group “Anti-Defamation League” said: “The Presbyterian divestment could potentially create a snowball effect and resurrect what had been a moribund issue. Now it has provoked the Anglicans, and we know it will not end there.”
The Presbyterian Church after passage of measures calling for selective divestment of stock in corporations within the church’s $8 billion portfolio which profit by supporting violence in Israel and Palestine issued a statement saying it wanted to send a strong message to the U.S., Israel and Palestinian governments, so they could begin to “lay aside arrogant political posturing and get on with forging negotiated compromises that open a path to peace”.
A clear trend that is developing in all Christian denominations and not only in Catholic and Eastern Churches.

February 23rd, 2011, 2:16 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

AIG,

The support Israel enjoys in the west is because the Zionist lobby exploited to perfection a loophole in the system and scares all politicians into submissions not because they are loved. Yes right now everything seems to be very pro-Israel but believe me things can change in a very short time. The first step to do that is to have freely elected leaders in the Arab world.

The future,

Israel missed a great opportunity when it was offered a comprehensive peace by the Arabs and did not even acknowledge it. The new leaders will not be as generous with them. Israel has 3 options:
1- Sign a treaty based on UN resolutions. After the leaked docs no Palestinian or Arab leader would wave the right of return anymore. Israel will refuse. More wars to come and Egypt will be part of that.
2- One state solution
3- Forever occupation

All options lead to the end of the Zionist experiment. I doubt it will celebrate a 100th bday. I also believe that a peaceful Israel is very good for the Arabs. However, their power, thirst and wanting to steal more land will lead to their destruction.

The Arab century is coming

February 23rd, 2011, 2:17 pm

 

AIG said:

ZIADSOURY,

As you say, the first step is to have freely elected leaders in the Arab world. On that we totally agree. As for what happens next, we shall see. First things first.

February 23rd, 2011, 2:35 pm

 

nafdik said:

I find it of extreme poor editorial judgement, when the whole middle east is changing on an hourly basis,that this blog devotes a full post to another rant about us-israeli relations.

I think the author says it best:

“When will the brain wash be sanitized and the blindfolds removed?”

February 23rd, 2011, 3:00 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Nafdik,

If we talk about the change in the Arab world, god forbids that might lead us to talk about the change that is coming to Syria. No let’s blame America for all of our problems. As we see, America can not even criticize people power when they are demanding human rights.

You can all complain about Obama and I would agree with most complaints but he is the one who gave the Arabs this Idea. When he was in Egypt he spelled out how it should be done. He said you need to replicate the civil rights movement of the African Americans. Everyone laughed at him. Two rulers are gone and few on the way out.

If Palestinians demand equal right as Israeli citizens, the story is over. Israel will not be to hold on for than few weeks before they cave in. But Abbas does not care about the cause. He wants to be called Mr. President. His turn will be coming before you know it.

February 23rd, 2011, 3:24 pm

 

Nour said:

None of the people criticizing the role that the west and the US have played in the region are claiming that no internal problems exist. But to claim that the West and/or “Israel” have had nothing to do with events in the regions is utterly ludicrous. Let’s not forget that many of the despots and tyrants in the middle east were propped up and supported by the west, and many internal conflicts were fueled and actively sustained by the west, in service of their regional interests as well as the interests of “Israel.” When France and Britain divided Syria into the statelets we have today, it trampled on the will of the people and used brute force in imposing their own agenda. When the British promised the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine, and proceeded to execute their mission by helping in the organization of mass migrations of Jews to Palestine, they trampled on the will of the people. When kingdoms were created in the Middle East by the west, the will of the people was trampled upon. When Hosni al-Za3eem came to power with the help of the west, the will of the people was trampled upon. When Mosadegh, the democratically elected PM of Iran was overthrown by the CIA in favor of the tyranical Shah, the will of the people was trampled upon. When Saddam was supported and encouraged by the CIA to come to power out of fear that Syria and Iraq may actually form a union that would eventually threaten “Israel”, again the people’s will was discarded. Moreover, from the Lebanon war, to the wars in Yemen, to the support of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, the US and western countries played sinister roles in their support of chaos and instability. Let us not pretend that all those policies had nothing to do with developments in the Middle East and with the ability of the peoples there to chart their own course. So while our internal problems did most definitely aid in the deterioration of our situation, no reasonable person can dismiss the role that western and US policy has played in assuring that the region remains in a state of conflict and backwardness.

February 23rd, 2011, 3:34 pm

 

Shai said:

Ziadsoury said: “If Palestinians demand equal right as Israeli citizens, the story is over.”

I think you’re right.

February 23rd, 2011, 3:48 pm

 

Alex said:

Nakdik,

I find it of extreme poor logic, when the whole middle east is changing on an hourly basis, that you devote your time here on Syria Comment instead of flying to Damascus to participate in those demonstrations.

المزايده بالبطوليات بمنتهى السهوله

If this post was such a bad idea, then why do we have 22 comments in a few hours? Here I am agreeing to some extent with AIG, and him agreeing to some extent with Ziadsouri …

The previous few posts were about different issues, fertility rates, two Iranian ships cruising through the Mediterranean … Why did you find those reasonable, but not this one?

It is not the fact this post is not exactly a motivational poem to help inspire revolutions, but the fact you did not like its content. If you want freedom of speech in Syria, please try harder to tolerate what you are not liking in this post. Calling it a brainwash takes a bit of more consistency Mr. Nafdik:

If we were into brainwashing, why would we post the demonstration in Damascus as a main post, but not the other, MUCH LARGER, demonstration that was Pro Bashar?

… I added that one later in the comments section.

I would like to tell you that I am not impressed at all with you and many others who are fighting for freedom of speech. As soon as someone writes something that is not a copy of the same mantra that is fashionable that week, everyone jumps to question the motives (or judgment).

Ziadsoury

God gave us more than one finger 😉 … I am all for pointing one of those at our own leadership, but we must point another one at other tyrannies that are also contributing to the collective difficulties that people in the Middle East are suffering through.

AIG,

If Israel would stop building settlements and would declare its agreement in principle to respect UN resolutions that call for a land for peace settlement based on the 67 borders, then I have no problem waiting for your preferred scenario that will take a few more years. But if those settlements are going to be popping up everywhere, then the waiting option is going to lead us to a one-state solution or war. Israelis do not want the one state solution, so we are left with war.

I am hoping for continuous progress on all fronts simultaneously … on political and economic reforms in each Arab country, and on Israel’s and America’s positions regarding the Arab Israeli conflict.

Positive developments of some process here can positively influence the outcome of other processes there.

February 23rd, 2011, 3:50 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Alex,

You and Professor Josh didn’t answer my question from the previous thread.

Should the Syrians keep Bashar or should should they get rid of him?

Take a stab at it. No one is looking;)

Grad rockets fall on Beer Sheva. I guess Israel should ask the esteemed leaders of the Arab League how she should respond without offending anyone.

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/grad-rockets-fired-at-be-er-sheva-for-first-time-since-gaza-war-1.345280

February 23rd, 2011, 3:58 pm

 

Alex said:

Akbar,

I promise to respond in a proper (i.e.: long and boring) article next week. But my short answer is a yes.

How should Israel answer? … by focusing on the big picture and realizing that these rockets are the result of what happened in the past. Israel is a strong and resourceful country. It can take steps that will lead to a better future.

February 23rd, 2011, 4:15 pm

 

nafdik said:

Alex,

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my rant.

1) No need to question the quality of my judgement as it has no relevance to the readers of this blog. The editorial quality does.

2) The reason I read this blog is that there was a time where it had some value. And come back hoping to get a Syrian point of view of events. So please take my rant as a constructive criticism in that I still think there is hope of recapturing some of this value.

3) I did not complain that the post does not correspond to my point of view. I am complaining that the post covers topics we have rehashed many times. I would love for example to get the point of view of dictator supporters in syria on whether they revised their position given the recent changes, or what are the tactics they propose, etc.

4) The brainwashing comment was a quote from the article, so please do not throw it back at me.

5) The fact that I have not complained about other posts does not mean I am a satisfied reader (probably the editors do not care); but this post reached Gaddafian comic qualities.

6) You are equating my complaint with freedom of speech limitations. I see it simply as a customer complaining that the soup being severed is cold. I am not asking the authorities to close the restaurant, just that if they keep serving cold soup I have to go to another restaurant.

On the whole I appreciate all the efforts people are putting in this blog as it is better than doing nothing, but I reserve my right to complain. frequently 🙂

February 23rd, 2011, 4:40 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Nour,

Israel and the US have been on the wrong side of history and they seem to continue on that path. That is given. What do we need to do to overcome that? We need to stop blaming others and focus on ourselves. We have tremendous potential that is not utilized or even tapped into. What are the short and long terms visions of the government in Syria? How many scientific papers have come out of Syria in the last 40 years? How come Syrians outside the country have overachieved in multiple disciplines? You can the same questions of any Arab country. All these governments have a single mission. It is to stay in power and accumulate as much wealth as possible at any cost.

A friend of mine runs a small university in the Bay Area. It offers MBA in multiple specialties. He wanted to expand into Syria and offer BA and in MBA in accounting, finance and economics. Guess what? He gave up after finding out how corrupt the country is. Everyone along the food chain wanted to be bribed and bought or wanted admissions to their kids and relatives at discounted prices. Some even asked for guaranteed degrees.

If we correct our problems, we create our own path of history that will be more powerful that theirs.

February 23rd, 2011, 4:53 pm

 

jad said:

Dear Nour,
Thank you for pointing out the hypocrisy of the west politics in all developing countries. The irony is that they always deny any wrong doing and blame it on everybody else but the ‘pure’ ‘innocent’ ‘human loving’ ‘animal loving’ ‘environment loving’ themselves! Very typical!

“Ziadsoury” giving President Obama the honour of the Arab world revolutions..”but he is the one who gave the Arabs this Idea.” HUH?!
Ziad, some gave this honour to George Bush; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/28/AR2011012803144.html
Maybe you and Elliott need to clarify your stand and let us know for which of the American presidents our gratitude should go to since not the Tunisians nor the Egyptian and most probably not the Lydian people deserve this honour they all are just ‘cockroaches’ right????????????????

February 23rd, 2011, 4:56 pm

 

Ziadsoury said:

Jad,

It is given that the people in these countries are the one who made things happen. Everyone knows that. I do not even need to follow your link to know that.

I want us to question our situation, condemn all the Arab rulers and move forward and develop our societies. Let’s not focus on the small stuff. We own our destiny. We should not let the west or anyone else dictate.

February 23rd, 2011, 5:53 pm

 

Alex said:

Dear Nafdik

Please note that by describing this post as a “cold soup” you are in effect saying “it is useless, no one would buy it”

I am not forcing you to like it, but it is simply one of the main plates that we have been serving here because we are specialized in it and others still like it. If you do not like it, by all means, you don’t have to be a customer on the day we server it. We will serve your Libyan and Yemeni food soon. Come back and enjoy if you want.

What I am arguing about is more fundamental than a cold soup, or a falafel sandwich… the tendency of you (democracy-centric activists) to resort to “moral clarity” extremes is not healthy and as Mr. Khair’s article tries to argue .. it is highly hypocritical.

Want a hilarious example? Take a look at what is happening in secret with the lovely leadership of the moral clarity camp:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/laurarozen/0211/Among_Libyas_lobbyists.html

A 2007 Monitor memo named among the prominent figures it had recruited to travel to Libya and meet with Qadhafi “as part of the Project to Enhance the Profile of Libya and Muammar Qadhafi” Perle, historian Francis Fukuyama, Princeton Middle East scholar Bernard Lewis, famous Nixon interviewer David Frost, and MIT media lab founder Nicholas Negroponte, the brother of former deputy secretary of state and director of national intelligence John Negroponte.

Nafdik, Haaretz was full of opinion pieces telling the United States that helping Israel is not by continuing to veto anti-settlements UN resolutions that the whole world supports … it is by helping the Israeli government understand the value of a fair peaceful settlement.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/thank-you-obama-for-showing-the-israeli-left-your-true-colors-1.344721

We did not cover the US veto like Haaretz did, it is not even close … would you accuse Haaretz of engaging in Baathist brainwashing like you are implicitly accusing the editor here?

No you would not. Why? … because you have preconceived stereotypes in your head … if a Syrian says the same thing Haaretz says, then he is a regime propagandist. If Haaretz says it, it is an admirable example of free speech in Israel.

It is, I agree, but again, I would love to have that same right without having to hear the implied hints about my motives.

You can not come to the restaurant and tell us: If you don’t every day serve the soup I like, and nothing but the soup I like, I will not respect your judgment (or motives).

February 23rd, 2011, 5:57 pm

 

Ken Hoop said:

AP

“Christian America has a strong bond to Israel based on the New Testament. The ingathering of Jews to their homeland is a key element of their beliefs.”

This applies only to the “rapture” cult sect of Christian Zionism, not to the traditional Christian Church, Protestant or Catholic, or Orthodox.
The fancy theological term describing their deviations is “dispensational premillenialism” which was a modernist invention of the 19th Century.

February 23rd, 2011, 7:50 pm

 

Syrian Nationalist Party said:

@KEN HOOP

That came out of the World Zionist Movement, Cyrus I Schofield’s Bible that corrupted the text and its translation to seed and religiously engrain the Idea of Israel in Christian Americans. All the corrupt Christian ideas of old and modern day Higgee’s is paid for and promoted by the Zionist organizations.

That is not belittle the noble idea behind the gathering of the Jews back to homeland, but Zionists, who are in fact not Jews, but Khazzars from Khazzaria and Russia never intended to use Zionism as a noble mean for a noble cause. It was, and still is, a Satanic, Reptilian conspiracy to dominate and enslave the world nations and rob them from resources and wealth. American Zionist backed despot Kaddafi who is a Safardi Jew born to a Jewish mother and father, he was adopted by a Moslem Sheikh. He drained Libya to the bone and robed Libyan king SUNUNU and his treasury from untold billions, all ended up in Zionist hands, the Rothschild’s. The Saudi regime is Jewish/ Zionist as well, it was founded by MORDAKHAI BIN IBRAHIM BIN MOSHE. There are other rulers in the Middle East that are supported by the Zionists; I don’t want to name them here. If you to examine the Archetype of Zionist Puppets, they all have almost the same personality and rule. All genocidal despots, allowed no competition to rule or wealth, treated own citizen with disdain, all amassed a fortune and treated national wealth and resources as their own, and all horded the wealth of citizens by all means and shipped it to Rothschild and Rockefeller banking cartels. Trillions upon Trillions gone to these Ra-Ka-Phero and Ra-Shield as their Ancient name is in fact given by Amen-Ra when he lost the rule on earth, he contrived a plan to hoard the wealth of nations and let puppets rule, that ancient mystery of Babylon is nothing more than Zionism today. His Hireling not only robed America, but the world nations, devaluated its currencies and stole all wealth, including all the gold and Silver. But the world largest heist of gold by Zionists was not from Iraq’s stolen gold that Saddam horded, although it was huge amount (no one accounted for it) that required several trucks to move, the biggest “Gold Heist” of all times by Zionists, happened on September 11, 2001. The gold was emptied by a caravan of trucks from a basement even before the buildings demolished by Nuke devises. The basement of the WTC had the world largest reserves of Gold Depository, all gone, worth Trillions of Dollars, and only something like 750 millions worth of gold supposedly recovered officially. The real Zionism is not giving Jews a homeland, that was the deceptive cover story, the real Zionism end mean is the seizure of all world wealth and rule the slave under on world government from Jerusalem. That is right, Jesus will be running his one world government from Jerusalem. At least that is what the Schofield’s Bible says.

February 23rd, 2011, 9:53 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Ken Hoop,

Thanks for the input. The “tug of war” I think we’ve been seeing the past 30 years is the influence of the Arabs on the “non-Zionist” Christians and the influence of the Jewish Community on the “Zionist Christians” (although a LOT of Jews including those on this forum distrust “Zionist Christians”).

Personally, I have known many “Zionist Christians”, and I feel they’re more pro-Israel than the average American Jew.

Ziadsoury,

I agree 100% with your Post #14 except I think most Jews would prefer Arab democracy over what we have now. I think it would be safer long term.

Israel and the US have been on the wrong side of history and they seem to continue on that path.

How so?

SNP,

Here’s some more Zionist conspiracy stuff for your files;):

http://www.newsrealblog.com/2011/02/20/the-top-13-zionist-animal-conspiracy-theories/print/

February 23rd, 2011, 9:59 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Michael Ramirez hit another “home run” with this cartoon:

http://media.townhall.com/Townhall/Car/b/mrz022311dAPR20110223034601.jpg

February 23rd, 2011, 10:44 pm

 

nafdik said:

OK, I will keep checking the menu for Falafel day.

But please,

kifaya soup…

February 23rd, 2011, 11:41 pm

 

Majhool said:

Seriously!! so out of touch with the times

February 23rd, 2011, 11:45 pm

 

Alex said:

Majhool, most of us just started to learn how to use “the internet” and “the Google”. It seems you know ho to use them. Can you help us by explaining what is more current these days? Is it true there is a revolution in Tunisia?

Seriously Majhool, keep coming here with these one-liners! .. we need your leadership. We won’t progress without the benefit of slogans.

February 24th, 2011, 12:00 am

 

Majhool said:

Alex,

You need to take it easy. I say what I say out of concern for the creditability of this forum.

As for your awaited post: Promoting sectarian fear between segments of the Syrian society and then using these sectarian tactics as an excuse for tyranny and prolonged authoritarianism is no longer effective.

Thanks to Al-Jazeera, Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, even teens realize how big of a lie that was.

I invite you to reconsider your propaganda paradigm. I look forward to your post. I hope it will promote political reform in 7-14 months.

February 24th, 2011, 12:53 am

 

Shami said:

Alex ,do you agree that the end of bashar’s regime will also end this institutionalized and imposed culture of self-abasament ?

Or shall we accept it for yourself ?

February 24th, 2011, 1:56 am

 

Alex said:

Majhool, … yawn … hopeless case.

You can not communicate without inserting those degrading comments about my minority religion and about my “sectarian tactics”.

I’m sorry you can can not make sense on substance alone.

And thank you for your kindness. But really, don’t worry about the credibility of this forum. As long as Haaretz publishes tons of similar articles that are critical of US policies, we are ok… until you start accusing Haaretz of being “regime propagandists”

February 24th, 2011, 3:58 am

 

annie said:

I can see that this site is still squatted by the zionist hasbarites which discourages me of reading even the other comments. The problem with Israel is that it occupies the land where people had been living in peace forever. That it is exclusively concerned with self. That it supports all the autocrats is the region, with the exception of Bashar who is the only one who resists. That it thinks that money will buy everything even the whitewash of its horrible and deserved reputation.
Really, I have nothing positive to say about that so called nation built on stolen land which continues to steal in all impunity.

February 24th, 2011, 4:05 am

 

Majhool said:

Alex..Sorry to have hurt your feelings, but when you call others “sectarian” and the at same time you defend sectarian practices is hypocritical 3al maximum.

And from where did you squeeze in the ” a minority religion” reference? Your imagination is competing with that of Norman’s. I am not surprised as just few days ago, you analysed my emotional state and found it to be of distress when I saw a “sunni” woman kissing the hand of the president. What a sectarian analysis!!

Habibi Syria is for all its citizens..All with equal rights and obligations. Free from repression. (Kurds, Alawites, Sunnis, atheists, Christians, etc).. Live with it.

February 24th, 2011, 4:58 am

 

why-discuss said:

Shami

“Alex ,do you agree that the end of bashar’s regime will also end this institutionalized and imposed culture of self-abasament ?”

The end of the ‘bashar’s regime’ will probably be a lebanon-like regime, violent, divided, sectarian, capitalistic and consumerist but with a ‘free’ press that encourages divisions and hatred. One wonders which is worse?.

February 24th, 2011, 5:45 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Assad Hasbarites

I can see that this site is still squatted by the zionist hasbarites which discourages me of reading even the other comments.

Annie,

“Zionist Hasbarites” were at war with the Assads before any land was occupied. Do they teach you this at your madrassa?

…Bashar who is the only one who resists…

Resists what? Placing Syria and her people into the 21st century?

February 24th, 2011, 7:45 am

 

GHat Albird said:

To # 40. ANNIE.

The israelis have suceeded in implanting the word “israelis” to replace the word jew and many resent being called Jews. In terms of acceptance its almost Orwellian when others have to consider the acceptability of calling emigrants to Israel Israelis whether they are from Latvia, New York, Moldavia etc,.

The same “orwellian” adaption of words is the word “peace” (shalom). The concept of “peace” is, indeed, at the heart of of their vocalization of existance with the Arabs and particularly the Palestenians in the form of the much maligned ” peace process….the road to peace…etc,. for over 60 years. Israel is for peace with its the Arab neighbors and in the case of Syria its President Bashar who is “against” peace.

Most people prefer pleasant myths to unpleasant truths, and prefer to believe what is most comfortable and agreeable. That’s one reason why so many of us like to think that all religions share common humanistic core values, and are all striving, each in its own way, toward the same ultimate truth.

Israelis believe that,” we alone are right and the whole world is wrong ergo the 14 to one vote in the UN”

February 24th, 2011, 9:26 am

 

AIG said:

Alex,

When Ha’aretz criticizes the Israeli-US relationship it does so as a minority not in power expressing their views trying to persuade others to change to their views. When the Ba’ath regime does the same, what is the purpose of that except as an excuse for its failings? The Syrian regime is in power, if something is not good, it is responsible to fix it, not try blaming others. That is why what Ha’aretz is doing is commendable while what the regime is doing is propaganda. It is especially irritating because as you surely recall the party line had been until about 2 years ago that the sanctions of the US are not hurting Syria one bit. Now they use it as an excuse.

February 24th, 2011, 9:37 am

 

Akbar Palace said:

Annie,

Another Arab “hasbarite” got caught trying to change American “foreign policy”.

Do you think he was a Mossad agent? It’s possible you know.

http://www.the33tv.com/news/kdaf-terror-suspect-arrested-in-lubbock-texas-20110224,0,3805722.story?track=rss

February 24th, 2011, 12:16 pm

 

Sylvie. T said:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!! Majhool you definitely have the talent of turning an interesting discussion into pure boring childish BS..! Alex, AIG and Nafdik regardless if one agrees with them or not, do come up with logical topic-related arguments … Give us a break!

February 24th, 2011, 1:22 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

Haaretz has the right to write what it wants
The Syrian leaders have the right to tell us their views
I have the right to publish Mr. Khair’s article instead of covering Libya
You have the right to explain your views.

The rest is judgment. No matter how you or I would like to believe we are right.

February 24th, 2011, 2:41 pm

 

Alex said:

Tom Friedman

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/opinion/23friedman.html?_r=1

It is about time. For the last 50 years, America (and Europe and Asia) have treated the Middle East as if it were just a collection of big gas stations: Saudi station, Iran station, Kuwait station, Bahrain station, Egypt station, Libya station, Iraq station, United Arab Emirates station, etc. Our message to the region has been very consistent: “Guys (it was only guys we spoke with), here’s the deal. Keep your pumps open, your oil prices low, don’t bother the Israelis too much and, as far as we’re concerned, you can do whatever you want out back. You can deprive your people of whatever civil rights you like. You can engage in however much corruption you like. You can preach whatever intolerance from your mosques that you like. You can print whatever conspiracy theories about us in your newspapers that you like. You can keep your women as illiterate as you like. You can create whatever vast welfare-state economies, without any innovative capacity, that you like. You can undereducate your youth as much as you like. Just keep your pumps open, your oil prices low, don’t hassle the Jews too much — and you can do whatever you want out back.”

February 24th, 2011, 3:42 pm

 

AIG said:

Alex,

Of course you have the right to publish whatever you want.

As for the Syrian government, they tell us their views, but authoritarian regimes do not have rights. Governments get their legitimacy and rights from the consent of the governed. That is not the case in Syria. Not that anybody is going to stop the Syrian regime from saying whatever they want, but saying that they have rights is a stretch.

February 24th, 2011, 3:44 pm

 

Shai said:

Alex,

Pretty scary… But I disagree with the last sentence: “Let’s root for it, without being in the middle of it.”

February 24th, 2011, 3:53 pm

 

GHat Albird said:

ALEX. TO paraphrase # 50 “Governments get their legitimacy and rights from the consent of the governed. That is not the case in Syria. Not that anybody is going to stop the Syrian regime from saying whatever they want, but saying that they have rights is a stretch.”

In the USA it is different. It does not matter what shameful, disgusting, or downright criminal, acts the Zionist state carries out whether this might be starving Palestinians into submission, denying them medical supplies, slaughtering innocent people, or even attacking American military ships such as the U.S.S. Liberty.

American politicians cheer it on and protect it in the United Nations. ( like the 14 to one vote recently ) There is no barbarism carried out by the Zionist state that American politicians have not slavishly defended to their utmost. There is no limit to the amount of hatred they are willing to suffer for the sake of defending the barbarity of the Zionist state.

It is a testimony to the Zionist domination in America, that the Zionist state can repeatedly humiliate American presidents.

In conclusion then Alex, authoritarian regimes do not have rights like the gpvernments that get their legitimacy and rights from the consent of the governed.

February 24th, 2011, 4:11 pm

 

Alex said:

Shai, Ghat, AIG

If you read Mr. Khair’s article, and only agree to some degree with half its content … it won’t be easy to not realize that the US might not anymore be able to manage this process of promoting democracy and “goodness” while clearly seeking its own interests … often at the expense of a large number of casualties in some oil rich country.

Everyone, starting with the United states, needs to reexamine the old ways of doing business … if you want Iran to fear people power, you should too … not only your people, but people anywhere on this planet where you have interests that you used to bribe a Mubarak-puppet to protect.

The US has the “a shining city upon a hill” self image and foundation… if it is not turned into a real, and not an allegorical foundation, something might collapse.

February 24th, 2011, 5:03 pm

 

Ken Hoop said:

Fact is, sites like http://www.jewsagainstzionism.com have it right.

The position of traditional orthodox Judaism thru the millenia
forbade the return to the land until the Messiah came.

Zionism was a modernist invention as much as “Christian Zionism.”

February 24th, 2011, 5:09 pm

 

AIG said:

Alex,

How is the US managing the process in Libya? It is not.
People want democracy and freedom not because they are American promoted ideas, but in spite of this fact. The people in the Arab world by and large hate US foreign policy, but that does not mean they like dictators. So I guess I don’t understand what you mean. What is happening is not about the US. It is about the Arab people and their impatience with their governments and there is nothing much the US can do.

February 24th, 2011, 5:14 pm

 

Alex said:

AIG,

Yes, what is happening has been until now about removing dictators who a majority of the people badly want to remove.

But in my opinion (just an opinion) the United States’ ability to continue claiming the moral high ground without actually adhering to and upholding universally (or in local culture) recognized standards of justice or goodness, will be negatively affected (at some point) after old style puppet dictators are gone.

February 24th, 2011, 5:33 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

Another Syria Comment Anti-semite?

The position of traditional orthodox Judaism thru the millenia
forbade the return to the land until the Messiah came.

Ken Hoop,

Can you cite where in “traditional orthodox Judaism” it “forbade the return to the land until the Messiah came”?

Even tiny groups of anti-Zionist Jews live in Israel:

Despite their opposition of the Zionist State, they love the Holy Land and aim to protect it from secularism and bloodshed. Many Satmar Hasidim visit and even live in Israel…

Apparently, living in Israel is “kosher” for both Zionist and anti-Zionsts alike q:o)

http://judaism.about.com/od/denominationsofjudaism/a/satmarhasid.htm

Zionism was a modernist invention as much as “Christian Zionism.”

Zionism and “Christian Zionism” for that matter are based on the old and new testament, respectively. Jewish prayers for the past hundreds and thousands of years have mentioned our return to Zion (aka Jerusalem), so I don’t know what you consider “modernist”:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem_in_Judaism

Ken Hoop,

Are you the same anti-semitic “Ken Hoop” that comes up with a simple Google search?

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/005582.html

February 24th, 2011, 7:51 pm

 

Akbar Palace said:

What is happening is not about the US. It is about the Arab people and their impatience with their governments and there is nothing much the US can do.

AIG,

On QN’s forum everyone agree with you on this. It’s plain as day. It’s a totally internal “struggle”. Nothing to do with “Zionism”, nothing to do with BB or Sharon, nothing to do with the Golan or the Palestinians, nothing to do with walls, yachts, ollve trees or gum laced with aphrodisiacs.

I sense when things aren’t looking good for our despot friends who REALLY control the ME, they like to start wars…

In english, we call this a “diversion”. As usual, it won’t work, but I’m sure it will be tried.

February 24th, 2011, 7:59 pm

 

Shami said:

Why discuss ,all honest people hate this kind of unproductive capitalism and the syrian intelligentsia is mostly pro left,even those with artistocratic background,btw,did you hear about asad-makhlouf mafia ?this economy of cronies and relatives, its connection to the conservative syrian business community and khaliji capitalism ?
About sectarianism ,it doesnt concern us as people,it’s a regime problem ,the minorities are told by Bashar that they should fear democracy in Syria.

February 25th, 2011, 1:42 am

 

الاثير السوري said:

The sad irony of it all – the USA and the Arab world…

February 26th, 2011, 10:46 am

 

Gaia Servadio said:

American foreign policy has always been dictated by money, backing the golden horse and making political and ethical mistakes. It has been disastrous in the Middle East but also in Europe (even backing Berlusconi!) Their intelligence,mainly ambassadors, have misinformed out of greed and ignorance.The consequences have been horrible and we now live in a world unnecessarily divided.
Who writes is a woman, who has been a correspondent and now a writer, embittered and saddened by what Mr Khair writes since she knows it is the truth.

February 28th, 2011, 4:47 am

 

Michael Hughes: Iraq War in Retrospect: Toppling Saddam Not Worth the Cost - ScrollPost.com said:

[…] during a quarter of a century. As Munzer A. Khair earlier this year eloquently put it: One great humanitarian nation, in its declared pursuit of “bringing democracy to Iraq” […]

December 28th, 2011, 2:21 pm

 

Iraq War in Retrospect: Toppling Saddam Not Worth the Cost « pakpotpourri said:

[…] during a quarter of a century. As Munzer A. Khair earlier this year eloquently put it: One great humanitarian nation, in its declared pursuit of “bringing democracy to Iraq” […]

December 28th, 2011, 9:23 pm

 

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