US wants stable Iraq
Sir -- Mohamed Hassan Al-Khalesi writes that Americans want chaos in Iraq because it is to their benefit. I think his view clearly expresses one of the many incoherent views so prominent in the Middle East -- find the Americans and the Israelis desiring something that so many Arabs do not want to accept: their own failures. The Americans, whatever their reasons for invading Iraq, clearly would find it to their advantage to see a stable government in Iraq, one that would cooperate with the US rather than no government or an anti- American government. Anyone with a modicum of objective judgement can see that Iraq is now in a religious and tribal civil war which is not to the benefit of the Americans nor themselves. To suggest that it is clearly demonstrates a misreading of the present situation in Iraq and an unrealistic view of the foreign policy and economic goals of the United States.
Signs from avocados
Sir -- Thank you for publishing Gabriela Becker's 'The essence of colonialism' ( Al-Ahram Weekly 8-14 June). There appears to me to be a fault-line in Israel's method, and it concerns an avocado. I am British (of Jewish origin) living in France. One day about three or four years ago I picked up an avocado in a French supermarket, saw that it was from Israel and put it back. Why? The reason was that the Israelis had just murdered an Armenian priest in Bethlehem -- shot in the back. My only thought was "not today -- no produce from Israel today." There did seem to be quite a few avocados remaining in the shop. Over the following months I noticed that avocados came from Mexico, South Africa, Kenya, all over the world, but not from Israel. Was the supermarket "anti- Semitic"? Hardly.
What Israel should fear is not a boycott -- it is that ordinary people simply do not want their produce out of a sense, not of political positions, but plain simple revulsion; and if one seeks to find a sure way of causing that revulsion it is the targeting of children and the innocent.
Sir -- Can anybody in Egypt ask our Rumsfeld how two Egyptian border guards were shot dead on the spot by Israeli fire ('Impotent on Israel' Al-Ahram Weekly 8-14 June)? Just to remind you, this is the second time in less than half a year that Israel has killed Egyptian soldiers. Why is there no communication to avoid such mistakes? Don't the lives of Egyptians matter at all?
Hard to believe
Sir -- I just don't believe that the Jews would just shoot them in cold blood. If they were across the border into Israel then the Jews wouldn't know if they were planning attacks.
Sir -- This man [Mamdouh Ismail] should be tried in EU courts of law ('Justice lost at sea?' Al-Ahram Weekly 1-7 June). He should face the death penalty. What happened is murder.
Sir -- 'African kingdom on the Nile' ( Al-Ahram Weekly 8-14 June) is an enlightening article. The archaeological treasures of Sudan's ancient civilisations in Nubia and elsewhere are relatively unknown in Egypt and in the world at large. Krzys Grzymski's work is bringing to light a very important part of Africa's history as manifested in the civilisations of Sudan.
Sir -- I find that 'Painful legacy' by Firas Al-Atraqchi is quite laughable ( Al-Ahram Weekly 8-14 June). Mr Al-Atraqchi goes to great lengths to list alleged incidents of civilian deaths caused by American soldiers without any real evidence that what the soldiers said happened was not the truth. I noticed he fails to list any of the killings done by so- called "insurgents" against their own fellow Iraqis. I guess he felt that the two lines -- "while the same disregard can surely be said of terrorist groups and the handiwork of Iraqi militias executing and murdering Iraqi civilians" -- in a paragraph at the end of his article were sufficient.
Sir -- I have a bad habit of not completing an article when I find blatant errors in it. In 'Native informers and the making of the American empire' ( Al-Ahram Weekly 1-7 June) I stopped after the start of the second paragraph. Your statement "an attack in which for the first time since Hiroshima and Nagasaki the use of nuclear weapon was contemplated"
is totally wrong. I can cite numerous facts that the use of nuclear bombs in the first Indochina war (specifically at Dien Bien Phu) was very much considered (back in 1954). I'm not sure about any other period, but I can only imagine if considered for this event, it must have been considered for others as well. Please cross check your history, blatant errors such as this can only make one question the validity of the rest of the article (which I admit I did not complete).
Dare to compare
Sir -- I just wanted to express my admiration for Professor Hamid Dabashi's magisterial essay 'Native informers and the making of the American empire'. No Iranist nor literary critic had dared nor had been able to deal with the connection between literature and the American empire and the example of Azar Nafisi's "Reading Lolita in Tehran", as Professor Dabashi so brilliantly did. Not only does he give us a magnificent theory of the new American empire from an Iranian- post-colonial perspective, but he eloquently describes the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of its neo-colonial project, and assesses "Reading Lolita in Tehran" from a literary critical as well as visual perspective. As an Iranian woman I feel that my struggle and my history and dignity have been restored and rescued from Azar Nafisi's commercial, inaccurate and manufactured narrative. I also feel that the two female students whose noble picture was cropped to sell a colonially manufactured "Oriental Harem" by Nafisi and her publishers to a "Western" readership have been set free from that prison.