Tortured child soldier
Sir-- Re 'Who's the popinjay?' ( Al-Ahram Weekly 26 March-1 April) Canada, to the shame of Mr Harper and his crackpot Conservatives, is the only Western nation to have neglected to repatriate one of its citizens held for six years at Guantanamo, where conditions have recently badly deteriorated as guards "get their kicks in" before the hellhole closes (if it does). Omar Khadr was 15 at the time of his capture (and near murder), a child soldier under the UN protocol concerning the safety of the child, to which Canada is a signatory, and which calls for such child soldiers to be supported and rehabilitated, not tortured as was Mr Khadr. Harper's complicity in acts of torture is a disgrace.
Sir-- The article on Darwin's bicentenary ('Darwin's big year' Al-Ahram Weekly 2-8 April) was of interest for its omissions as well as its content. The author fails to note how much molecular biology challenges conventional neo- Darwinism, and how in some quarters the standard mechanism supplying genetic change, namely random base pair mutations, has almost been abandoned as plainly unproductive, in favour of more exotic and dramatic changes -- gene and chromosome duplication or recombination, endogenous retrovirus infection and co-option, and other imaginative mechanisms.
Corrupt to the core
Sir-- Ever wonder how the Israeli lobby maintains such obedience from senators, representatives and numerous other governmental officials? It's not just the reported AIPAC money, which is relatively insignificant for the appetite of these political figures. No, the dollars involved are geometrically larger than that. And as corrupt and illegal as you can possibly imagine. The United States provides Israel with $3+ billion per year in aid and loans, which are never repaid and are not accounted for. This money provides a huge hidden slush fund for the Israeli government to do with what they like. Israel's primary use of the slush fund is to bribe key political officials of the United States, elected and appointed, to achieve Israel's goals, including objectives often in conflict with interests of the United States.
In other words there was/is a deeply corrupt relationship between Israel and the United States involving massive corruption, bribery, treachery and treason that threatens the very foundation of the United States as well as the concept of democracy as a laudable form of government. And this wasn't a single indiscretion or something that just happened over a short time period. Rather it was/is a deliberate scheme carried out broadly over decades.