Lettrs to the Editor
No last chance
Sir -- To paraphrase the words of the editorial 'Last chance' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 25 November-1 December). I sadly think that there's no last chance in Iraq. America now owns Iraq. America has bungled the war and occupation in a criminal way. Too late, whether one believes the lancet report or not. Iraqi civilians have born the brunt of horrendous violence mostly from US bombs. That America does not see the tragedy at hand is shameful for me. I am a woman and when women and children are killed in large numbers for any cause it is an abomination and a crime against humanity and all religions. When rich white men plan to change countries in the safety of their hems and cheerfully sign off on killing innocents they should be haunted by the dead in all their dreams. Too bad they are not brought to The Hague. We know this war is not about democracy. It is about controlling one of the richest oil reserves in the Middle East.
That is the bare fact plain and simple. I am ashamed of my government. We do not want to bring democracy, we want to steal your wealth.
Divide Iraq into three
Sir -- Seventeen Iraqi political parties now demand the 30 January 2005 elections be delayed six months. Even the Kurds are a part of this entreaty although they have strongly supported a United States presence in Iraq from the start of the occupation.
Sunnis are not only threatening, but promise to boycott the election. Shia understandably want elections to go forward on schedule. They hold a majority of 60 per cent in population, which guarantees them political control over their long-time enemies, the Sunnis.
So, what happens if Bush pushes these January elections given Sunnis with 20 per cent of the vote will not participate? Can we spell the word, "fiasco"?
Sunnis will never accept Shia political hegemony over their affairs. Should such an attempt be made, that's when the trouble will begin.
There is only one way out of this debacle. Divide Iraq into three nations, based upon present Kurdish, Sunni, and Shia territorial parameters with United Nations' oversight, as well as European participation in the enforcement of this peace.
These parties accepting the outcome of the January elections in this current configuration of three-party animosity is analogous to one's attempting to fit a square peg into a round hole. The quicker this Bush "braintrust" recognises this most basic fact of life, the sooner we can pull our troops from this quicksand which is currently ever-enveloping our military forces, their morale, and America's national treasure. Furthermore, let the Iraqi people get back to some semblance of normality minus the intrusiveness of George Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Paul Wolfowitz, and the Pentagon's cabal of arrogant imperialists.
Terre Haute Indiana
A Nuclear free Middle East?
Sir -- In 'A realistic attitude', Khaled Dawoud writes, "but the hawks who dominate the second-term Bush administration appear unwilling to abandon their push for a confrontation with Tehran" ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 25 November-1 December).
Iran is denying any plans to build nuclear weapons, but the hawks in Washington claim otherwise. The situation is indeed reminiscent of the situation before the attack on Iraq. The Iraqis denied having weapons of mass destruction and the hawks accused them of lying. We now know who was lying.
Washington is rightly concerned about nuclear arms in the volatile Middle East but paradoxically it is against a nuclear-free Middle East. There is not a country in the area, including Iran, that did not call for a nuclear-free Middle East. The glaring exception is Israel. There is not a country in the Middle East who did not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, again with the same exception of Israel. Indeed, Israel is the only country in the region in possession of nuclear arms.
Is it any wonder that the United States, once the beacon of liberty and justice, has lost its prestige and credibility in the region?!
Fikry Boulos Salib
Who were the terrorists?
Sir -- I don't understand why such conversations were not spoken while Saddam Hussein was torturing, raping and murdering the hundreds upon thousands of Iraqis and burying them in mass graves. I neither heard, nor read any articles such as those in Muslim newspapers when Uday and Qusay were raping and murdering young school girls in the rape rooms of Saddam.
Weren't Muslims concerned about the Kurds or Iranians who were gassed by Saddam? Or do they only care if someone other than a Muslim kills an Iraqi? Yes, there were complaints regarding how the UN sanctions on Iraq prevented them from feeding and healing the sick and starving children there. But never once did they complain about how Saddam had the best medical treatment that money could buy or how according to his waist line, ate like a king. And what of the French who lined their pockets with millions of dollars defrauded from the Oil for Food programme?
But when Americans kill the monsters who worked for Saddam to keep the citizens of Iraq from flinching at shadows, there is an outcry. Who were the torture rooms in Falluja for, the ones splattered with blood and gore? Who were the Iraqis shackled in those rooms and rescued by Americans? Who were the women whose defiled corpses were found in the street? Who were the decrees for that were found posted on market walls? The ones that threatened women with death if they weren't covered head to toe in hijab ? Why wasn't it reported that old men asked why it took the Americans so long to drive the fundamentalist imbeciles out of the city?
All of a sudden Muslims all over the world cry out. My question to you is, what took you so long?
A must-read column
Sir -- I am writing to thank Mr Nabil Shawkat for his column which became a must-read for me. His cynical and hilarious column is a breeze of fresh air amidst the tragedies that hit us on every newspaper and magazine. I think that writing a sort of chronicle or diary on weekly basis would be a great idea.
Lastly, I'd like to tell Mr Shawkat, "Excellent work, I'm a huge fan."
Sir -- It is time for creative thought. Negotiations between Palestinian Arabs, who will have their state and Palestinian Jews, whose state is Medinat Israel, should be the first step in a regional approach.
In all parts of the world, economic unions are developing. The objective is to allow ideas, products, labour and capital to flow freely and to raise the standard of living of all.
It is time for an economic union between Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt and perhaps Lebanon and Syria. Why should this region of the world, capable of producing human minds that changed the world in the past, be the least productive of all regions in the world today?
Please advise your readers that the future of their children lies in accepting the right of all to live, and that creative energies should be devoted to making this region of the world productive for all.
Deceit at Home
Sir -- I'd like to comment on Jacquelyn Stefani's letter in the Reader's Corner in which she says that she cannot get the truth from the American media. I'd like to tell her, and all the Americans that the Bush government lies to them as concerning the number of deaths among the American troops in Iraq. The real number amounts now to tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of wounded soldiers. The question that may arise to any thinking mind, why the oppression of the press men in Iraq, why the embargo on Al-Jazeera and the other stations, why were many journalists killed in Iraq. The answer is crystal clear: the US is afraid of the truth. Knowing the truth is more dangerous on Bush and his war experts than the invasion itself.
Our consolation is to the deceived American people who will know the truth one day, but then the truth will be bitter.