Al-Ahram Weekly Online   16 - 22 December 2010
Issue No. 1027
Reader's corner
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Readers' corner

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We were once nice

Sir-- At war with Islam? Only in the dreams of neocons and Zionists who have their own reasons for wanting it.

Throughout most of our history the US has had peaceful relations with the Muslim world. Our wars have mainly been fought with Europeans, Asians, Latin Americans and Indians. We did not have problems with Islamic countries until after 1973, when we threw full backing behind Israel. Before that, the US had good relations in the Middle Eastern region, and throughout the Muslim world in general. We were actually rather popular, especially compared to colonial powers such as the British and French who had spent years dominating the area, and manipulating its puppet governments.

Our tilt towards the Israelis brought on the Arab oil embargo, at the time, and it has been downhill ever since, until it culminated in the 9/11 terrorist attack. G W Bush, in a bald- faced lie, told the American people that the motive for the attack was that they "hate our freedoms". Bush knew better, and certainly his advisors knew better. But the lie was important to him, because it avoided the discussion about the consequences of US policy.

And for those who claim that Muslims are inherently more violent than other people: do a few minutes research on the history of wars and genocide in the 20th century and you will soon find that the vast majority of people killed were not killed by Muslims.

The neocons and Zionists have reasons of their own for promoting fear, mistrust and outright hatred of Muslims in the world, but the rest of us have motives to avoid the human and economic consequences of pursuing unnecessarily hostile policies towards a region of the world with which we have usually gotten along rather well.

Ralph Wenger

Not used to this

Sir-- Very interesting how recent events show a different side of the Middle East that we're not used to seeing. First, the WikiLeaks release of documents shows that the solidarity among Muslim countries is not that strong, with leaders showing behind-the-scenes support for the US doing something about Iran and other threatening countries. Then we had Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, and several other countries helping Israel in a humanitarian emergency when they could have just looked the other way. It's nice to see that its enemies who usually feel so threatened by a handful of Jews in their midst will actually help when it is needed.

Marlon Thomas
New York

All in one place

Sir-- Re 'Anti-apartheid Hagues' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 25 November-1 December) I was just thinking that the whole struggle against Israel's occupation of Palestine was disheartening. I read day after day more testimonials about severe violations of human rights Israeli perpetuates upon the Palestinian people. Today, I read of the success of the 'End Military Aid to Israel' Chicago campaign, the Minnesota BDS movement and this. I guess I didn't notice the growing movement of Jews, Muslims, Christians, atheists -- people from all walks of life stopping and taking notice. This article puts the recent successes of the movement all in one place. Thank you. I now feel hopeful.

Margaret Mayer

Cold hotels

Sir-- 'Blackouts beg green solutions' ( Al-Ahram Weekly, 25 November-1 December) shows a good way to reduce the peak load by demand site management. As a visitor who often suffers from the extreme cold air conditioning in Egyptian hotels I feel that the author has overlooked the issue of too low temperatures for air conditioners. Even if the hotel owners think differently, these temperatures are uncomfortable for me and a lot of other European visitors. Adjusting the air-conditioners to a very low temperature of 20 degrees Centigrade requires an extremely high amount of energy which is a considerable waste of energy because temperatures of 23-25 degrees Centigrade are much better for people's health. In addition, these adjusted temperatures would save you a lot of energy during the summer season.

From my experience in Egypt it would be very helpful if such an adjustment of air conditioners in hotels and public buildings would be issued as a government directive. I think this can be an additional effort to reduce the peak load and partly avoid the power cuts.

Dieter Fries

Al-Ahram Weekly reserves the right to edit letters submitted to Readers' Corner for brevity and clarity. Readers are advised to limit their letters to a maximum of 300 words.

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