See no evil
Sir-- A well done and meticulous analysis by Azmi Bishara in 'Conning history' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 20-26 October). The American public has a short attention span and little knowledge of history. It has been relatively easy to sell the war in Iraq using a variety of different reasons because attention spans are short. Add to that, Americans would rather believe that their government is essentially good. Most read too little to learn otherwise. The war was always about oil. Of course, there have been many benefits to corporations connected to the Bush administration as well. Corporations have taken over the government via buying politicians, a very good investment. A country can have wealth in the hands of a few or it can have a democracy, but it cannot have both. America has not had a real democracy in years. It is simply a facade for the real power, which is corporate power.
Sir-- Your article was brilliant ('Conning History', Al-Ahram Weekly, 20-26 October). Keen portrayal of the facts made it the best read I've had all week. Thanks very much and please keep them coming.
Push and push
Sir-- Of course all citizens in the US want the best image possible in the Arab world. However, the text of your editorial indicates the wide divergence between our respective views of the world ('Change policy not presentation', Al-Ahram Weekly, 13-19 October). Yes, I believe the United States pushes the leaders of Arab states to change their philosophical and political views. But this is rational -- we want your governments and citizens to live in free and open societies. Does this serve our own interests? Yes, because seasoned citizens of free and open societies typically become economically invested in a peaceful and liberal lifestyle. We want your governments and the citizens of your states to become integral to improving the quality of all -- including us. We "push" for change which will engender an Arab enlightenment; we hope you will be our equal partner, not our subsidiary. Our government is not a clique and it does not "push others to suit whatever purpose is at hand and regardless of the consequences." Our "pushing" has a purpose, and we understand that it entails risks.
Can't agree more
Sir-- This is a great editorial and I agree with all of it ('Change policy not presentation', Al-Ahram Weekly, 13-19 October). What more can I say except that maybe my country is hitting the bottom now; maybe liberals will come to power bringing sanity. But I don't hope for much.
Sir-- The events in Alexandria were of an individual nature, not related to any religion. No play can make a revolution, create sectarian strife or tarnish the image of the Egyptian people.
All are one
Sir-- I think what happened in Alexandria is a conspiracy. Some people do not want Egypt to be secure and united. Games are being played from the outside in an attempt to stir sectarian strife here. But I am sure Egypt is safe. There is no distinction between Christians and Muslims. We are all Egyptians.
Sir-- The kangaroo court cobbled together in Iraq by George W Bush asked President Saddam Hussein about his name. His answer: "Who are you?" Saddam's answer was appropriate. As president of Iraq, he was invaded by a foreign power in violation of international law and the Geneva conventions. He does not and should not recognise Bush's kangaroo court, as his case belongs in the World Court in The Hague, if anywhere.
The last time the United States invaded a sovereign state, its president, Slobodan Milosevic was brought to the World Court in The Hague, tried and convicted of war crimes, and crimes against humanity. That was as it should be.
Bush has murdered over 100,000 Iraqis without any justification, legal or moral. The United States lacks any moral or ethical right to try Saddam for crimes which are dwarfed by its own crimes against humanity.
If Bush has any moral decency left, he should resign. That would be the first step to regaining American values and return America to its former standing. America needs, once again, to be the standard bearer for moral conduct. Then, and only then can we expect to regain the trust of the Arab world.
Listen and learn
Sir-- It surprises me always to see again and again an educated Egyptian being arrested just because he or she has been critical about internal matters of Egypt ('Prison is like death', Al-Ahram Weekly, 13- 19 October). I have lived in Egypt and even though I don't agree with everything I have seen or learned during my time there, I think it is a great nation. So to have well educated people who are critical and interested in local matters is fortunate. That is how you develop, listening to the ideas of your citizens. If a group of civilians protests, what more can it do? They can't overthrow their government, non-armed civilian people in the back streets of Cairo. I don't know what kind of threat they can bring. It is just all about presenting their ideas or what they are against. So please don't arrest them. Listen and document their ideas and see if you can get something from them. You might hear or learn something which might help both short- and long-term strategies of the government.
In most developed countries, people write, talk and protest every day. When you are educated, of course, you will be interested in the future of your country, and protest about anything you think is not working. If you don't let that kind of person present their ideas, eventually they will leave the country. That is why there are so many well-known Egyptian professors in the West.
Sir-- Does your newspaper support the building of a fence around Sharm El-Sheikh to protect the town from suicide bombers, when I presume you oppose the similar fence built by the Israelis? I understand that Arabs would oppose those parts of the Israeli wall that are clearly just a land-grab -- but do you therefore support those parts of the Israeli wall that are on the green line and are there to protect Israeli civilians from suicide bombers?
Sir-- Whatever murder the Syrian regime may have committed recently, history will not or at least should not forget the 15-year ceasefire that Syria bought Lebanon.