On the mark
Sir-- Sherif Hetata's analysis 'World Domination, Inc.' (Al-Ahram Weekly, 27 November - 3 December) on the road to "Pax Israelica" is a work of art.
He is clearly well informed and his conclusions are not in any way unfounded. His work validates my own analysis on the subject. An excellent document that I have taken the opportunity to send out to other like- minded thinkers.
Sir-- 'World Domination, Inc.' was a great article and yes, unfortunately, I believe every single word of it.
Sir-- Well done on 'World Domination, Inc.'. We are witnessing the results of what the Taoist alchemists would call "Inferior Men in Superior Positions".
The actions of such men represent not the ascendancy of Western culture, but its absence. We are witnessing a dramatisation of the world of "Telemon Amenta", the world of ego hell, the world of Ignorance, Arrogance and Ego Stupidity. The results of Dialectical Mentalities, which view all relational processes in terms of opposing forces.
The entire psycho-historical garbage heap of history all hurled at one another for the angry sake of power.
These are our leaders. Morons. Pretenders. Western Civilisation, forward into the past.
Silicon Valley, CA
Stop Bush & co.
Sir-- Regarding 'World Domination, Inc.' (Al- Ahram Weekly, 27 November - 3 December), Mr Sherif Hetata is right on the money. It is imperative for us Americans to elect an opposition opponent to defeat George W Bush.
I do not think the American people realise, understand or comprehend what is truly happening. Bush's administration will fight tooth and nail to stay in power so that they can continue on the road they have self proclaimed to be history in the making.
Simply put, they need to be stopped and this article by Mr Sherif Hetata details it precisely as to why.
Daniel F Ciskal
Sir-- I read carefully Karim El-Gawhary's report 'Selling success to the Arabs' (Al-Ahram Weekly, 20-26 November) based on his interview with "Mike" of the Coalition Authority.
I guess Mike himself is not convinced with his claims of success in Iraq. Security, the distant dream, is the first proof of success. Can he feel safe there? Will Mike ever go shopping in Iraq streets? To me, it may be as far as the distance between Baghdad and Washington.
Mike and those sharing his lies should admit they are not better than Saddam simply because both usurped the Iraqis, killed them, tortured them and sent their intellectuals out of the country.
The only difference is that the American occupation is sugar-coated and supported by professional and misleading propaganda. Be careful Mike, never go out in the street alone in Iraq and you had better stay in your fortified centre if it is really safe.
Ali El-Sharkawy Omar
Sir-- George Bush reacted to the 9/11 attacks and the death of about 3,000 men and women by invading Iraq -- although the mastermind behind 9/11 is yet unknown.
Now, we estimate by 11 September, 2004, Bush's action will have killed about 3,000 Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan. Americans need to stop Bush from killing more Americans overseas.
Sir-- Gihan Shahine quotes columnist Salama Ahmed Salama in 'Appreciating resistance' (Al- Ahram Weekly, 13-19 November) as saying: "People in Egypt and the Arab world are very upset about the daily humiliations being suffered by the Iraqi people."
I have a question I would like to ask Gihan Shahine and the people quoted in her article: Where on earth was their concern for the Iraqi people when Saddam Hussein and his boys were torturing, murdering and thoroughly stripping the Iraqis of their resources and rights? Where was their outrage when the mass graves were filled by the hundreds of thousands?
All of this so-called appreciation for the "resistance" in Iraq is rooted in male dominated, destructive and delusional wounded Arab pride.
Does Ms Shahine and her like-minded Egyptians understand that if this so-called resistance succeeds, the same Ba'thist monsters will be preying on the Iraqi people? Is this really what they are willing to see happen in order to feed their pathetic hatred of American foreign policy?
If we follow their reasoning, every kind of degradation and humiliation perpetrated by the Ba'thists is okay and indeed preferable as long as the Americans are pushed out. That kind of mentality is just plain sick and twisted.
I may be crazy or naïve, but I am going to cling to the conviction that the sentiments expressed in Ms Shahine's article are not shared by the majority of Egyptians or Arabs.
Primitive and simplistic
Sir-- I read with astonishment your article 'It's all America's fault' by Dina Ezzat 665: (Al- Ahram Weekly, 20-26 November).
Amazingly, the article echoed the headline throughout without the least trace of irony.
I could address this in any number of ways, but will just point out that for people and cultures that like to consider themselves literate and sophisticated thinkers, this statement betrays an approach to understanding the Middle East's problems that is so simplistically primitive it takes your breath away.
Congratulations on the most incredible piece of writing I have seen in 2003.
Sir-- Although the "Geneva Agreement" is in all headlines, I don't understand how this unofficial agreement gives rise to the hope for peace in the Middle East. First, the Israeli prime minister said, even before the signing, that the negotiators on the Israeli side are not elected or officially authorised. With that, he makes clear that the State of Israel does not feel any obligation whatsoever to fulfil this agreement.
Secondly, the question arises of how an unofficial document could reach what official ones, like the Oslo agreement signed ten years ago by the State of Israel and the PLO, did not reach.
One can only hope that the concessions made by the Palestinians in the "Geneva Agreement", especially concerning the question of the return of refugees, will not have a negative impact on the Palestinian negotiating position in the future when official negotiations are relaunched.
Sir-- Thank you for your article 'Israel's anti-Semitism' (Al-Ahram Weekly, 20-26 November).
It is ironic that this term is levelled at people who are accused of being anti-Jewish, when most Jews are not Semites and most Semites are not Jews.
Virginia Beach, VA
Sir-- In 'Israel's anti-Semitism' (Al-Ahram Weekly, 20-26 November), I finally found confirmation of a suspicion held for a few months. You posted the definition that anti-Semitism "refers to remarks or acts targeting the ethnic group termed Semites, which comprises both Jews and Arabs". This article indicates that the government of Israel uses the term to smear its enemies and it has been common practice in the last few decades for the term to mean anti-Jewish. However, to use pejoratives against Arabs is also anti-Semitic, as this definition includes both. Thus, when some speak ill of Iraqis, they also make anti- Semitic comments.
Perhaps we could reverse the terminology and by changing the words, change attitudes as well. If we are pro-Semitic, for example, then we are in favour of a peaceful co-existence for both groups. It could be a start towards marching people away from the cliff they seem to be headed towards.
Gary D Brune
Turn the tables
Sir-- The Arab people, and most importantly, the Arab media should take the term "anti-Semitism" and use it for themselves against the anti-Semitic Zionists.
The problem with most Western people is that they don't understand the difference between Zionists, Jews and Israelis; they really don't know anything about the Zionist movement and how different it is from simply being Jewish.
I try to point it out to as many as I can and try to point out that most Arabs make the clear distinction between Zionists and Jews, but I think the Arab media would be better served to steal their own term and start calling them anti- Semitic, as they do, and thereby taking the power of the term away from them.
The other cheek
Sir-- In response to Ibrahim Nafie's article on Israel's anti-Semitism 'Israel's anti-Semitism' (Al-Ahram Weekly, 20-26 November), I want to remind the readers that the Arabs do not have what I can call the strategy of the counter- attack.
It is quite noticeable that we hear others insulting us and we don't react, others sue us in court and we don't try to sue them, others are contriving ways by which to make life difficult wherever we go and we act like lambs.
We act like Jesus Christ in a world that does not believe in Jesus. Until we become armed with the strategy of counter-attack, let us put up with their poisonous slings and penetrating arrows.
Sir-- Not mentioned in the excellent article 'Israel's anti-Semitism' (Al-Ahram Weekly, 20-26 November) is the fact that over 80 per cent of Zionists are not Semites, but Khazars, whose ancestors never set foot on this once holy land.
Even if ethnicity had anything to do with being God's "chosen people" -- which it does not -- those occupying the land called Israel today have no Biblical roots.
Los Angeles, CA
Who's the racist?
Sir-- It is good that you confront the Zionists with their abuse of the term "anti-Semitism" in 'Israel's anti-Semitism' (Al-Ahram Weekly, 20- 26 November), but you still give them too much in conceding that they too are Semites.
They are not; you are the Semites, they are the anti-Semites. Anyone who is against you is an anti-Semite. You must take this weapon away from them.
J B Campbell
Sir-- Glad to see you pointing out in 'Israel's anti-Semitism' (Al-Ahram Weekly, 20-26 November) that to be anti-Semitic is to be anti- Palestinian and anti-Israeli at the same time.
It's a ridiculous concept and I can't imagine it being useful to anyone, how it got started or why it gathered the false specificity that it has.
Sir-- What a joy and thrill it was for me to discover Al-Ahram Weekly since I have often been dismayed at the very limited discussion of Middle East issues in my local newspapers. To discover your site was wonderful and educational.
Thank you for making your fine newspaper available to the world and its readers. Al-Ahram Weekly is often cited in stories coming from the region and now I can read them for myself.
San Francisco, CA
Sir-- Some of us in the US wonder who really was behind those terrorist attacks in Turkey. The name of the group claiming to have perpetrated the crime sounds ridiculously and childishly made up. The timing of those attacks did seem convenient; British targets attacked in Turkey while there was widespread discontent amongst Britons in their home country over the visit of an "indignitary" from the US.
It should also be remembered that Turkey's democratically elected government listened to its citizens earlier this year and reneged on its promise to George Bush to allow US soldiers to come through their country. It also recently backed out of sending its own troops into Iraq during the occupation because it saw the discontent it would cause in Iraq, and how it may exacerbate tensions between Turkey and the Kurds of Iraq.
What better way to get the population of Turkey behind the US cause in Iraq than to create fear of their own safety from the "enemies" of the US? Maybe the state of Turkey needs its own "December 7" style attack to convince the people of Turkey to justify the occupation of Iraq, just like the US did 26 months ago?
San Bruno, CA
Sir-- Why do all of you hate peace so much? The terrorists who kill will lose, but it's a shame so many have to die for peace.
As for the Iraqi people, we love and care for them; we are trying to help so another Saddam will not rule and kill. Once the Iraqi people have it together, we will leave. And once Arafat is gone, the Palestinian people will live in good homes and have a good life too.
You can choose a good life or war; all people have the right to live in peace.
Mill Creek, WA
Time to reflect
Sir-- Sometime, somewhere, someone on the editorial board of an American newspaper will reflect on these facts: People in this country, and in all other countries on earth, do not care whether any other country is a democracy, and certainly will not have their children die in order to assure that a democracy is established in another country.
People in this country, and in all other countries on earth, think it oppressive to demand of another country that it refrain from establishing an Islamic, Jewish, Christian or any other type of religious government. Plans by political leaders to sweep through Middle East nations with weapons to force democracies on unwilling nations may attract the deranged; it makes the rest of the people convinced that madmen are at loose in the neighbourhood.
War eats not the old but the young; people do not have children for the uses of war. They have them to live in peace with their brothers in their country and in all other countries, including their brothers in the Muslim world. There are no exceptions to brotherhood.
Sir-- A recent sermon by Amr Khaled delivered in Ramadan and entitled 'Siraat al- Mostaqeem' was meant to inspire fear in its listeners. But I read its contents with more of a laugh than a shudder. From the beginning of his sermon up till its end, all that he talks about is hell. He talks about how many kilometres long it is, how deep it is, how dark it is and how torturously painful it is.
The topic of his sermon, he announces, is about the latest bombings in Saudi Arabia, but in his talk he barely mentions a quick word of condolence to the mothers of the children who were killed by the bombings and not a word of condemnation of the attackers.
He speaks solely about hell; his message implying to his listeners that those mature Muslim victims who met their hour unexpectedly and unprepared will go straight to hell, which he then proceeds to describe in great detail.
Amr Khaled has made a fortune out of the terror and fear he instills in the souls of our young and unlearned youth. He even preys on those he perceives to be the weakest among us, young women. When you read his sermons you will see that they are mostly directed towards women.
I once asked a young woman who had been "persuaded" by Amr Khaled to wear the hijab why she suddenly decided to wear it, and her simple answer was: "I don't want to go to hell". I was surprised by her answer at the time, but now after reading an entire lecture of Mr Khaled's, which is devoted solely to hell, I am no longer surprised.
Judging by his intimate knowledge of its intricate pathways and bridges, Mr Khaled has made a profitable business out of being a tour- guide to Hades.
We need to stand up to those merchants of fear and terror who are destroying our inherited culture. We need to spread the true word of faith -- that of love and respect for God, and not living in terror of Him. The new televangelists are making a business out of religious faith, and subjecting our society and culture to the worst forms of blackmail.
Sir-- A few weeks ago I found on my doorstep a notice from the postal services which was hand written, and I could hardly make out the words Heliopolis Post Office and "Package Notice".
The Heliopolis office has three locations, each specialised in specific business, and I had to go to all of them before finding out that the last one was the correct office.
The package turned out to be an envelope containing a complementary CD sent by an Internet site, and it arrived in bad condition due to mishandling and bad storage. The officer -- who refused to disclose who sent the package -- asked me to pay LE15 in fees for a free CD which costs almost nothing yet contains useful updates of software and files.
I of course refused to collect the CD which in the past was delivered to my doorstep, hassle free.
This story is dedicated to Mr Ahmed Nazif, the minister who is responsible and is calling for the e-government project.
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