To be sure
Sir-- Excellent and profound article ('Strategic choice' 1-7 November). But perhaps there is more to the inherent difficulties faced by democracy.
Has modern life become so complicated that the 'man in the street' -- the citizen -- is incapable of making informed choices? Should we spend more on education, health, or infrastructure? What is an equitable and economically sound tax structure? Issues like that are no longer black and white. Even technocratic "experts" disagree among themselves; so the average citizen feels completely lost.
How can the citizen be sure that he/she is correctly informed about the various issues? The mass media, especially in the advanced, democratic countries, have become biased sources of misinformation. This makes the pretence of democracy a charade.
All the same, we have to continue striving to improve our political systems.
Sir-- It is my suggestion that since we are returning to a grimmer reality of an era of force, the only practical solution is to bring forth a lion with not only a roar, but both teeth and claws. I would like to suggest a new regional security organisation: in a sense, a new Arab legion, a military entity with a new concern for air defence and coastal protection. This force could lessen an Israeli threat and growing Iranian potential. I would recommend no less than 500,000 troops in number, which could be expanded to a more practical number as soon as it can be accomplished.
These suggestions are not given in the vein of being anti- Israeli, anti-Iranian, or even anti-Western, but more importantly are offered to implement a balance of power and to fill the strategic void in the region to establish greater regional stability. I believe that if a single modern Arab military organisation were to be established, it would fill this vacuum of insecurity. These lesser military organisations, whether Hamas, Hizbullah, Islamic Jihad, just to name a few of the primary groups, would no longer have a practical material purpose, and would experience a course of evolution into political and cultural entities. I believe that if a nuclear force were to be announced as a future goal, it would secure a new path towards regional compromise on a more reasonable course of either parity or disarmament. Hopefully we would see the latter, in the form of a nuclear-free zone from North Africa to the western Pakistani frontier. Palestine's status along with Israel under or within NATO would need to be worked out; the natural course of growth would be Israel in NATO and Palestine within the League of Arab States. One suggestion could be neutrality or neutral zones void of forces.
The past cannot be changed, however the future need not be replicated. As recent events show, such as in Lebanon, Iraq, and the Palestinians' ongoing struggle of occupation, if the Arab League of States were to form a corps to protect vital points in the Arab sphere the region would be made less inviting to outside opportunists, which in actuality would lessen the likelihood for future conflict.
Craig Scott Aberle
Take the blame
Sir-- It may seem that it is all Israel's fault, but the fact is that Hamas is anti-Semitic and their hatred towards the Israelis is the main reason why there is ongoing conflict. For peace to become a reality, they need to know that aggression in the form of revenge will not bring any good. It's time they realise that they ought to accept their responsibilities, own up and change their violent ways.
Sir-- As an American from Egyptian origin and the fact that my Egyptian roots go back to our beloved old Nubia land, I would like to salute you for the effort to educate the rest of us about the importance of the new Egyptian Nubian Museum for Egyptian Nubians in particular in providing them with a sense of belonging and encouraging identity and pride among them. The loss of Nubia was one of the world's great tragedies after it uprooted an entire population from its native soil. My hope is that the sacrifice by Egyptian Nubians in the interest of the big homeland "Egypt" will be recognised more and more by the rest of the Egyptian population through media outlets to shed some light about the ancient Nubian civilisation and its relation to our Egyptian civilisation beginning with Pharaonic times and ending during the Islamic era.
Sir-- Egyptians are wonderful people; it's unfortunate that they are being ruled by those who seem to want to return them to the dark ages.
Fair is fair
Sir-- I just want to let you know that I am an American Jew and to balance the fact that I have The Jerusalem Post on my computer and read it daily, I have added Al-Ahram Weekly. We all must learn to respect opposing views.