There to stay
Sir-- Azmi Bishara's articles are part of the problem. Millions of individuals have been driven from their homes throughout human history. If these people are made of stronger "stuff", they learn to survive and thrive rather than play the victim game.
The Arabs will not be allowed back, deal with it, and assimilate your brethren into the vast Arab territories. This will resolve the violence.
Or, perhaps, you people prefer your honour-bound violence. The continual hating of Israel more than a love of life?
Sir-- Egypt and America are as different as chalk and cheese. Egyptians have become cryptically infatuated with women's physique to the extent it has become crystal clear that Egyptian women increasingly buckle under physical and verbal molestation -- veiled women not excluded -- as if the whole society explicitly aspires to stash them away at home, instead of encouraging them to work and study.
In America, Hillary Clinton battled with unswerving determination to be the potential Democrat nominee. While fanatics here brazenly discredit the Copts' loyalty to Egypt, needless to mention that the Copts are native, indigenous Egyptians. And Barack Obama, the Kenyan immigrant, is drummed up to contest the race to the White House.
By the same token, Nicolas Sarkozy descends from Hungarian-Greek origins, and in India, a woman holds the ceremonial presidential post. Her predecessor was a Muslim, and a Sikh is the current prime minister.
Only sluggish, backward societies think it unseemly for any of its minority members and women to represent them, and at the same time point a finger of suspicion at them, portraying them as agents of the West, or sanitise their cultural specificities.
The result is that chronic repulsiveness and patriarchal attitudes have excruciatingly pulverised women and minorities. Would it then not be sarcastic to lament over the brain drain, the great exodus of Christians from the Middle East, and youth who would go to any length to quit their countries?
Why should we not learn the lesson from the rest of the modern world? Why do we insist on reinventing the wheel for the umpteenth time?
Sir-- The point to be stressed in Afghanistan ('Heart of darkness' 5-11 June) is that the West is killing Taliban fighters as if they are the enemy. However, the Taliban are locals just as much as those who are not actively resisting the occupation. You can't separate civilians and Taliban (the "enemy"), as families of the Taliban, by definition of the occupiers, are abetting the "enemy". Don't fall into the trap of just looking for a few bystander casualties and then shouting about killing civilians. The killing of all Afghans is a war crime. They don't want the US/NATO there. It's the occupiers who are the enemy.
Unfortunately, the only way to influence the public at large, who have been brainwashed by the Western media, is to provide evidence that non-combatants have been killed. To my country's undying shame, we have elected a neo-conservative right-wing government that worships the contemptible Bush regime, and an official opposition that is a mixture of political cowards and those who think like the government on this issue.
Princess Patricia in Afghanistan
Sir-- The Canadian troops serving in the Princess Patricia regiment are not "bizarrely named". They are Canadian soldiers, heir to the Britannic tradition whereby aristocratic or upper class women contributed to the defence of the realm by raising, paying and equipping soldiery for the use of the nation. Numerous men of that class did the same, throughout Commonwealth history; they, however, were expected to lead their troops into battle, and did. What's really bizarre is the term "Taliban"; what have your pet scholars ever studied, after all, except torture, murder and assassination?