Strategies right and wrong
Sir-- President Mubarak's opening of new horizons economically and politically alongside the parliament speaker's statements about comprehensive constitutional amendments in the upcoming year unveil a new dynamic and an unexpected turn in the ruling NDP thinking. New reformers seem to have a well-handled domestic programme based upon a new round of political reform, boosting the private sector role, facilitating trade and investment along with organising and regulating our national recourses in a way that would cope with their economic, educational and social plans. But all these moves will be successful only with an aggressive change in our foreign policy, including amending our peace treaty with Israel in a fairer manner and putting an end to our wrong strategy that the US is our number one friend. We don't want a friend that blatantly imposes its nose in our internal affairs. We don't want a friend that provides Israel with sophisticated weapons and justifications to go ahead in killing our brothers in Palestine, exploits the Darfur crisis for its own aims, prevents any attempt to stop Israel's bloody war against our brothers in Lebanon and covets other countries' resources particularly in the Gulf. While forces of death explore every avenue to destabilise Iraq by murder and destruction, democratic forces and liberation troops of Bush are busy in torturing innocent detainees and protecting oil fields. Look to any civil war or conflict or even political disagreement in any nation worldwide and you will find that the US is the driving force behind it. Hence, we urge our government to decisively redraw our foreign policy and cut back overall support for the US in its so-called war on terror, including diplomatic and intelligence-sharing cooperation. Enough bloodshed in Iraq, enough suffering in Palestine and enough hatred in our region.
From Egypt to Israel
Sir-- For a while I thought that the "peace" between Israel and Egypt would have an influence on the relations with the rest of our neighbours. I am a leftist who believed in "two countries for two peoples". I was so wrong. Egypt did very little while the neighbours did a lot mainly in causing death and harm. I am not so sure anymore that there can be a peaceful environment in our area. Despite efforts made by the Israelis, the propaganda in Egypt is anti-Israeli. I have never seen any Egyptian tourist in Israel. Are there any? Is there an Egyptian airline to Israel? Or only the other way round? It is so easy to blame someone else. I guess if Egypt would have really wanted to maintain its relations with Israel, it could have promoted them to a higher and more friendly level.
Sir-- Recognising the reality that Iraq is in danger of collapsing into bloody chaos would be an improvement on the policy of pretending it is not. Call it a triumph of American understanding, the American people taking more than four years to wake up to the sordid reality of the Bush administration's Iraq misadventure. If the people of Iraq were to write the script, they would call it a crime against humanity. After all, if a million wantonly dead does not qualify as such, what does? But since it is the United States doing the writing, a more cautious use of words will have to suffice.
Given the chance
Sir-- Why are the Iraqis killing each other instead of working together to rekindle their "bright star" and why is the US responsible for the Iraqis' insistence on killing each other? It's time for the Iraqis and indeed, the world, to stop blaming the Americans and President Bush for the failure of the Iraqi people to capitalise on a historic opportunity handed to them by the Americans.
Sir-- The human capacity for destruction is immense, from petty vandalism to war. We rush so eagerly to violence and revenge. Logic would seem to suggest an immediate three- month moratorium on any form of force employed from Israel or Palestine. Yet the culture of violence now seems so embedded into the extremist view that life in this world does not matter that it is hard to imagine Hizbullah or other groups staying their hand. From the vantage point of Australia it is hard to imagine Palestinians being able to accommodate a serious truce. Israel claims the right to retaliate and so it goes. I pity the moderate Muslims who wish to live in peace and whose lives are increasingly diminished by the reaction of non-Muslims to Jihadist groups.
Trust no one
Sir-- Israel can allow non-Jews who support the state of Israel full participation in its democracy but can grant no rights at all to Arabs and Muslims who seek its destruction. If you really are concerned about equal rights then you know a very good case can be made for the proposition that no Arab or Muslim state can be trusted to grant equal rights to its minorities. Copts? Darfurians? Kurds? Eastern European Christians under the Ottomans? Jews? So what can be done? The present is no different than the past. Jews would be foolish to hand over their destiny to others, especially to Arabs. So the Israeli army sees the conflict with the Palestinians as "unsolvable and permanent". And Israel will continue to expand at the expense of Palestinians as long as it can.