|Al-Ahram Weekly On-line
8 - 14 March 2001
|Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875||Current issue | Previous issue | Site map|
One more thing...Sir- I would like to thank Fayza Hassan for the kind things she wrote about me in her peerless way (Profile -- Al-Ahram Weekly, 1-7 March), but ... I had the car accident going to Mansoura, not coming from Ismailia, and in my Egyptian family, Badawi and Ghalia have four children (Marawan, Ahmed, Roushan and Nouran), not three!
Happy birthdaySir- My sincere congratulations for the 10th anniversary of Al-Ahram Weekly. This is a great newspaper! My regards to Editor-in-Chief Hosny Guindy.
Dean of Libraries and Learning Technologies
American University in Cairo
World-classSir- I salute the 10th anniversary of Al-Ahram Weekly, which has consistently brought me so much reliable and useful information about the political, cultural and economic life in Egypt, as well as recent research into Egyptian history.
[Your paper] is well-written by thoughtful people who are constantly striving to tell the truth in a journalistic and responsible way. I particularly like the way that you temper criticism of certain national shortcomings with positive recommendations as to how things could and should be improved. Altogether it has become a world-class newspaper and I certainly would not want to be without it.
Professor of History, Centre for Middle East Studies
Phantom threatSir- It seems that both US President Bush and British Prime Minister Blair have decided -- contrary to growing world opinion -- to maintain what is now termed "smart sanctions" on Iraq, as well as the no-fly zones. Why? Because Saddam is still stockpiling "weapons of mass destruction" to threaten neighbouring Arab states, and these no-fly zones are to protect the people living under them. Or so they say.
What a load of nonsense! As President Mubarak recently noted, neither Saddam nor his army are a threat to anyone today. In The Generals' War, by Gordon and Trainor -- possibly the best book yet on the Gulf War -- Saddam, struck by the appalling performance of the Iraqi army, went on record as saying, "It seems that my army is made up of frightened little girls." The desertion rate was unbelievable. Out of the approximately 15,000 men in the Hammurabi Republican Guard Division, only 134 stood their ground!
Saddam did not dare use his "weapons of mass destruction" in the Gulf War for fear of US nuclear retaliation, so why would he dare to now? As for the no-fly zones, which precipitated the recent attacks on improved Iraqi radar installations, Prime Minister Blair says that they are intended to protect the people living within them. He means the Kurds and the Shi'ite, but it seems that Mr Blair is unaware that due to the bungling of President Bush (Sr), Saddam has already virtually massacred them. This because [former US President] Bush had encouraged these minorities to rise up against Saddam, but forgot to tell them that they could expect no help from him! Should Saddam wish to continue massacring these minorities he has no need of his air force to do the job.
Worse, Secretary of State Colin Powell, speaking at a Cairo press conference, justified US containment of Saddam as "protection for Egyptian and other Arab children." This must be the funniest and most absurd political statement from a top US official to date.
The long and the short of it is that the US and Britain seem determined to keep Iraq in a permanent state of imbalance -- not to protect the Arab states of the region or threatened minorities, but to serve the interests of their true Middle East ally: Israel. And as Israel's interests are to dictate its own idea of peace to the Palestinians down the barrel of a gun, the US is unlikely to say or do anything that might offend [Israeli] leaders. Yes?
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