Welcome to the Middle East Today

The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Dec 31, 2010

The Jewish Zionist Strategy

On Christmas Day, the pope called for Middle East peace and urged the Palestinians and Israelis to coexist in peace. It is unfortunate that the Israeli government, which is led by Prime Minister B. Netanyahu, is ignoring the whole world and continuing to implement Zionist ideology. The killing and suppression of Palestinians in the occupied lands is a daily routine. On the 24th of December, 2010, the BBC reported that Israel’s demolitions of homes in East Jerusalem increased by 45% this year. 369 buildings were demolished and as a result 561 Palestinians were displaced. The land has been used to build new homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. An estimated 200,000 Jewish settlers have moved into these homes as part of the government ethnic cleansing policy. The UNRWA Field Director Barbra Sherstone has condemned the demolitions and eviction of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Furthermore, she pointed out that “out of the 250,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem, the U.N. says 60,000 are at risk of having their homes demolished by Israeli authorities” (www.bbc.uk, 12/24/2010).

The construction of new homes in the Jewish settlements in the West Bank is going on in violation of U.N. resolutions and the International Court of Justice. The tragedy is the fact that American taxpayers’ money is part of American aid to Israel and has been used to subsidize these settlements. President Obama requested the Israeli government freeze the construction of the West Bank settlements, but he was snubbed by Prime Minister Netanyahu. The discrimination against the Palestinians in the occupied land also extends to the Israeli Palestinians who are viewed and treated as second-class citizens. It was reported recently that the Christian Israel Palestinians in Nazareth requested the permission of Jewish Mayor Capso Shimon to put up a Christmas tree in the Arab neighborhood, but their request was rejected. Discrimination the Israeli Palestinians is exercised on a broad scale. Recently, 50 Israeli rabbis issued a fatwa that was also supported by another 300 rabbis calling on Israeli Jews not to rent or sell homes or land to Israeli Palestinians. Furthermore, several attempts are being made in the Israeli parliament to pass laws that discriminate against Israeli Palestinians. Evictions of Palestinians from their homes in Arab towns in Israel such as Jaffa has been going on as part of their ethnic cleansing policy. This has been condemned by Israeli Human Rights Organizations. Such policies created by Zionist religious leaders in Israel is hardly publicized in the Western press. Recently, a Greek Orthodox Bishop equated Zionism to Satanism (NYT, Dec. 24, 2010).

Such types of criticism in the West, especially in the U.S., are not accepted at all. A few months ago an American reporter named Helen Thomas remarked that Jews who immigrated to Israel should return to Poland, the U.S., Europe or wherever they are originally from and “let the Palestinians live in peace”. These remarks were widely criticized by the mass media in the U.S. and she was pressured to resign from her post because of her anti-Semitic remarks. The prevailing condition in the U.S. is that Isareli policy is not subject for criticism and Judaism is used as an umbrella to cover its atrocities. Therefore, in this mindset, any criticism of Israel is a criticism of Judaism. Recently, a very similar remark was made by American Jewish Rabbi Yisrael Weiss in an interview with Neil Cavuto of Fox News. Rabbi Weiss stated that the state of Israel should not have been created as it is in violation of the true teaching of Judaism. The Jewish Zionist groups who have used Judaism to create a national Jewish political entity are in violation of the true teaching of Judaism. He stated that for thousands of years, Jews have lived in different countries and that it should stay that way. (www.youtube.com/watch?=deaziy7ruwm).

What Ms. Thomas said is no different from what Rabbi Weiss stated publicly, but the U.S. mass media ignored his remarks. What the rabbi said cannot be classified as anti-Semitic by the press because he is Jewish, but Zionists will label him a “self-hating Jew”.

Yemen Political and Social Unrest

Mr. John Brennan, the advisor on terrorism for President Barak Obama, stated in his presentation at the Carnegie Center for Peace that al-Qaeda in Yemen is very active and poses the biggest threat to the U.S. Mr. Brennan stressed the point that the Yemeni al-Qaeda is even more dangerous than bin Laden’s group, which is located at the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

He further stressed that the Yemeni terrorist group’s activities are increasing and will create more danger for the U.S. However, Mr. Brennan stated that the Yemeni government is an ally of the U.S. and his meeting with President Ali Abdallah Saleh was fruitful. It seems to me that Mr. Brennan is no different than other American politicians who ignore facts that lead to the rise of unrest and terrorist activities, not just in Yemen, but in the rest of the world.

There are a few factors that have contributed to the social and political unrest in Yemen. Some factors are internal; others are external. The internal ones are as follows: first is the absence of democratic rule in Yemen. The country is run by an authoritarian regime headed by an ex-army officer who claims that his party has been legally elected. As usual, elections in the Arab world are nothing but a routine to bring an always-ruling party back to power. In Yemen, various opposition political parties are not supportive of the Yemeni government and contribute to its instability. The economist intelligence unit “Democracy Index 2010” ranked Yemen 146 out of 167 countries (The Economist, 12/4/2010). Second, more than 60% of the Yemeni people are poverty stricken due to high rates of unemployment. Third, Yemen is among the five most water poverty stricken states in the Arab world where the individual water share is less than 400 cu.met. per year. The world water poverty level is 700 cu.met. per person per year. This water poverty also led to a decline in agricultural productivity. Fourth, Yemen’s illiteracy rate is one of the highest in the Arab world.

All of these factors and others led to the political unrest that Yemen is experiencing presently. There are also other foreign factors that encourage the development and rise of organized terrorism. The history of U.S. foreign policy in the Arab world has been consistent in their support of authoritarian corrupt regimes. Yemen is no different from the rest of the Arab states. Democracy is not the rule and corruption prevails at all government levels.

During the past few years, the U.S. government has sent military hardware and armaments to fight the rebels. The true help the U.S. can provide is economic aid to create jobs for the unemployed. Yemen’s infrastructure is very poor and in sad shape. A project that will be significant would be to recycle used water – if not for drinking than at least for cultivation. Furthermore, the construction of sewage systems is needed badly. These are just a few examples that will create good will between the U.S. and the Yemeni public at large.

Another factor that has contributed negatively to the image of the U.S. is its total support of Israel. The Yemeni population is extremely nationalistic and their support of the Palestinian struggle is well known in the Arab world. I would say without hesitation that the major factor behind the rise of world terrorism is the blind and total support of Israel by the U.S. government. The Arab population in general can see what Israel is doing to Palestinians on a daily basis on the screens of their TVs. For that and other reasons, the U.S. image in the Arab world is the lowest it’s ever been worldwide.

Dec 28, 2010

High Unemployment: A Ticking Bomb in the Arab World

The recent demonstration that started in Mezel Bouzaiene in Tunisia was triggered by the high unemployment rate, especially among college graduates. A young college graduate who was prevented from selling fruit and vegetables because he did not have a permit to do so committed suicide by setting himself on fire. Another man electrocuted himself because of the unemployment situation. These desperate acts fueled protest movements in other places including the Tunisian capital. The Tunisian government security attempted to control the protestors, which lead to clashes with the police resulting in the arrests of hundreds of people and the deaths of two protestors and the wounding of many more. The protesters were carrying signs criticizing government corruption, lack of democracy and freedom of expression. Live ammunition was used against the protestors so that the demonstration would not get out of hand. Tunisia was experiencing demonstrations in many areas of the country, which has been going on for at least 10 days this month (December 2010).

This massive protest was not the first one. Last August, the southern region of Tunisia experienced protests against the government, which were triggered by increasing unemployment and poverty rates.

Tunisian security prevented journalists from reporting the turn of events in order to control the situation and not let it get out of hand. Nevertheless, the news was spread through Facebook and cell phones by witnesses who saw what happened. The Tunisian government tried to justify the killings and jailings of young Tunisian people as necessary to prevent destruction to public and private property. In response to the shouting and signs stating, “They have the right to have a job” the government publicly announced financial aid and money to develop projects that will create jobs in some of the most depressed regions of Tunisia.

Tunisia has one of the lowest birth rates in the Arab world due to successful family planning and birth control programs that were implemented a few decades ago. Also, Tunisia’s economy has been growing at 7 – 8% per year and the country also has a better education system than the majority of Arab states. The crux of the problem is based on the fact that in any society when the young population is provided with a decent education but not enough jobs, they become a walking ticking bomb waiting to explode at any moment. This is what is happening in Tunisia and what will happen again as long as the unemployment rate is high, especially among college graduates of higher academic institutions.

In previous posts I referred to the Economic World Bank Report of the Arab world in which it noted that the Arab states need to create 100 million jobs during the next 15-20 years to meet the needs of the young people entering the job market. For example, the most populated states in the Arab world, like Egypt with 85 million people, need to create at least one million new jobs to the more than 750,000 young people entering the employment market each year.

It also should be noted that the unemployment is affecting more than 20 million people in the Arab world. This situation also increased poverty rates, which I will estimate to cover nearly 50% of the total population in the Arab world.

Dec 27, 2010

Education in the Arab World

Several posts were written before on the poor quality of education in the Arab world in general and the meager scientific academic research as well. Nevertheless, recently an international survey of the quality of education in 65 countries has been made public. The survey is conducted every three years by the Program for International Student Assessments or “PISA”.

PISA, conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, based in Paris, is a set of standardized tests weighs reading comprehension, mathematics and science and is taken by half a million 15 year olds in 65 countries.

The survey showed teenagers in Shanghai to be the best educated in the world. Also, Finnish and South Korean students’ performances were high and far ahead of the United States. According to the report, American students ranked 30th in math and 20th in sciences.

It has been well known that the educational quality at the lower level in the U.S. has been on a gradual decline since the 1970s. This lead to stern words from the U.S. education secretary, Mr. Duncan, who said that we are being out-educated. However, test scores also reflected negatively on Western European countries. The report came as an awakening call to many countries, which reflects that Asia in general is pushing hard in the field of education, and scientific research, which has begun to pay off for them.

A survey of the quality of education in the Arab world will reflect worse results of student performances. It has been reported that in the quality of education Egypt ranked 129 out of 134 states. This means that Egypt ranked among the ten lowest countries (ahram.org, 12/9/10). There are obvious reasons behind the deterioration of education in Egypt. First, the financial resources allocated to education are very small and 83% of it is spent on the salaries of teachers and other staff members. This means that only a small percentage of money is allocated to education is spent on students to improve the quality of education. Second, the increases in population contributed to large class size. During 2009, 2, 217, 409 babies were born in Egypt. During the same year, 476, 297 people died. This translates into a 1, 741, 112 population increase. It remains to be seen what the impact of such population increases will be on schools and educational facilities.

This should be viewed in relation to the small educational budget. This is why Egypt has been unable to lower its illiteracy rate, which is still more than 1/3 of the total population. According to Dr. Ahmad Darwish, the Minister of Administrative Development, Egypt needs to build 1,000 schools per year to accommodate the population increase. Furthermore, it has been reported that only 28% of children between the age of 4 and 6 years attend school. Also, the dropout rate is 16% among students between the ages of 6 and 14 years old. (www.ahram.org, 11/14/10).


The deterioration of the quality of education is reflected at the higher educational levels as well. The UNISECO educational report for the year 2010 stated that scientific research in the Arab world is not that significant. During the past four decades, money allocated for scientific research has been below the average of world rates, which fluctuate between 1.0 and 0.1% of the GDP. For example, Egypt allocated less than 0.23% of its GDP for its scientific research while Tunisia ranked number one in the Arab world since 2007 (it allocates 1% of its GDP to scientific research). Saudi Arabia allocates 0.05% and is ranked at the bottom of the list in the Arab world in terms of spending on scientific research.

The report revealed also that the correlation between population and scientists in the Arab world is very low. There are 373 researchers per one million people, while the world average is 1,081 researchers per one million people.

It is a tragic thing that many Arab scientists leave their countries due to the lack of opportunities at home. What adds to the deterioration of scientific research is not only the lack of funds but also the high unemployment among that part of the population. This is the major factor that puts the Arab world way behind the rest of the world. In the mean time, Arab states need to face the challenges facing them such as scarcity of water, increasing desertification, declining of agricultural productivity and more reliance on food imports. High unemployment rates exceed 20%. The illiteracy rate is nearly 50%. Meanwhile, more money is spent on the import of military hardware to ensure the ruling political leaders’ survival.

The major factor behind the problems facing the Arab world is the absence of democracy, transparency, and accoun

Dec 26, 2010

Arab League Unimplemented Proposals

The Arab League released a report in which it reveals that the agreement that was made at the January 2009 economic conference of Arab heads of states in Kuwait has not yet been implemented. This should not come as a surprise to the Arab public. The Arab League and the political leadership of the Arab world voted to create an Arab economic market in 1947. More than sixty years have passed and the Arab population is still waiting for that resolution to be implemented. It is really a big joke and a deceptive policy to mislead the Arab public. Regardless, the Arab League as well as the Arab political leadership lost their credibility a long time ago.

Several things need to happen under the terms of the agreement. First, raising financial resources is required to support the development of small and midsize private businesses in the Arab world. 11 Arab states committed to the project to raise one billion and eighty dollars. Promises were made but the funds have not been raised yet.

Second, creating a national electrical power network to connect all Arab states is required. Studies of the various state electrical networks have not yet been completed in order to connect with the national power network. Some states don’t have enough financial resources to complete the task.

Third, creating a national railway system to connect all Arab states is necessary. This will enhance the economic development and facilitate transportation in the region. The proposed project requires financial support to plan and implement it. Each state has its own priority. The responsibility for the support and planning of the project was given to the Arab Development Fund. However, those in charge of the fund have not made the blueprint needed for the implementation of the proposed project.

Fourth, the Arab food security project has not been implemented due to the lack of financial resources needed. However, recently a plan was proposed to raise the funds needed for the proposed project.

Fifth, the first stage of the water management planning has been completed. The second step is to call on Arab governments and financial institutions to raise the needed funds for its implementation.

In the next meeting, the director of the Arab League will propose the increase of private sector participation in the development of the proposed project. Since the private sector now produces more than 60% of the gross national domestic production of the Arab economy. There are now Arab international companies who are playing important roles inside and outside the region in various economic areas. All of the above mentioned proposals are vital for the economic growth, development and security of the Arab world. During the past few decades, the world witnessed the creation of regional economic markets while the Arab world is still in the planning stage.

It has been reported that the Arab world still depends heavily on foreign imports. During 2009 foreign imports were estimated at one trillion dollars.While the internal trades between Arab states were around seventy billion dollars. Nearly 70-75% of Arab exports tend to be fossil energy “oil and gas”.

It is a big mistake for Arab financial institutions to invest heavily in Western countries instead of their own region. Arab press revealed that Arab oil-producing countries’ foreign investments have been estimated to be 45% of the income of sales from oil and gas. (www.shorouknews.com, 12/19/2010)

The investment in the Arab world will create more jobs for the tens of thousands of unemployed young people and for the millions entering the labor force each year. Unemployment creates poverty, which will be a dangerous destabilizing force in the region. The World Bank issued a report more than a year ago that calls for the creation of 100 million jobs during the next 15-20 years to meet the pressing needs for employment in the Arab world.

Dec 23, 2010

Israel-Palestinian Talks Going Nowhere

Arab foreign ministers have rejected further Israeli-Palestinian peace talks without a "serious offer" from the U.S. on ending the Middle East conflict (BBC 12/16/2010). The Arab foreign ministers are misleading nobody but themselves. Even the average person in the Arab world is aware of the fact that the U.S. government, which created Israel, is under Israel's thumb. Israel dictates foreign policy and the U.S. implements it. Arab foreign ministers should defy and ignore the U.S., who warned them not to bring the issue to the U.N. for the recognition of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 boundaries. The U.S. Congress (the House), led by Jewish Zionist members, passed a resolution (Dec. 15, 2010) approved a resolution opposing a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. This is not a surprise since the American Congress implements whatever AIPAC wants.

Ex-senator Fritz Holling (D. of S. Carolina) cited publicly the influence of AIPAC as the most important pro-Israel lobby group in Washington in determining U.S. policy in the Middle East. He said there cannot be an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC creates. Furthermore, he stated that every president that takes office, whether Republican or Democrat, is told exactly what to do by AIPAC (Charleston Daily Courier, 5/6/2004). There are other members of the U.S. Congress who were courageous enough to stand up to the challenges and the power of AIPAC. There are few ex-members of Congress who opposed AIPAC's policy and influence on American foreign policy in the Middle East. Members like P. McCloskey, P. Findley, C. Percy and W. Fullbrights. Most of them were defeated in the election due to AIPAC's financial contributions to their opponents.

The reason behind AIPAC's success is attributed to many reasons. First, the constituents of the majority of the members of Congress are ill informed and many of them could not care less. I would say that they are politically illiterate. Second, the American mass media has lost its objectivity. Israeli atrocity against the Palestinians is seldom part of the daily news. This is attributed to the influence of the American Jewish Community on the media. Third, the impact of the American Evangelical Christian Zionist organizations who are strong supporters of Israel, due to their own interpretation of the New Testament. Finally, Palestinians are viewed as Muslims, and the prevailing influence of Islamophobia works against the Palestinian tragedy. Furthermore, the International Human Rights Watch organization in a report issued Dec. 19, 2010 in which it calls on the U.S. government to investigate American economic foreign aid to Israel. Israel receives $2.7 billion per year from the U.S. and it has been estimated that $1.4 billion of that aid goes to subsidize the illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israel, since 1967, has built more than 300 illegal settlements on Palestinian land, where nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers are living. It is beyond any doubt that the U.S. government is aware of it, but does not want to challenge the Israeli violations of the U.N. resolutions and international law.

Nevertheless, more than half of the U.N. members have already recognized the Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. Recently, a few Latin American states, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay have recognized the Palestinian state. Furthermore, Norway has raised the status of the Palestinian representative into an ambassadorial rank. In previous posts, I have jointed others who predicted that Israel will collapse within the next 20-30 years due to internal conflicts. Such views are even made public by some Israeli citizens who think that the state should be secular to include all the Palestinians in the occupied area.

Recently, Neil Cavuto of Fox News Network interviewed Rabia Yisrael Weiss, who stated that the state of Israel should have not been created as it is in violation of the true teaching of Judaism. The Jewish Zionist groups who have used Judaism to create a national Jewish political entity are in violation of the true teachings of Judaism. Furthermore, it is stated that for thousands of years, Jews have lived in different countries and that it should stay that way (www.youtube.com/watch?=deazuj7ruwm)

In the long run, the only appropriate situation for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has been going on for more than sixty years, is the creation of one secular state where Jews, Christians and Muslims will live together in peace as it used to be for thousands of years.

Dec 19, 2010

The Stockholm Terrorist Act

The terrorist activities that have been taking place in many parts of the world under the fake rationale of Islam are nothing but acts of crime that should be condemned by those who believe in Islam. Islam condemns the killing of innocent people. A recent terrorist act in Sweden was committed by Said Taimour Abdulwahab, who died in the Stockholm explosion according to the Swedish government. Sweden was never a Middle Eastern Colonial power and opened its doors to political refugees, especially from Iraq and other Arab countries. Their humanitarian policy toward foreign refugees is the best in Europe. Those who are not satisfied with that treatment should leave Sweden. Furthermore, young Muslim men in Europe who are true believers should not listen to the imams whose knowledge of the Quran is poor. If these religious leaders are honest and devoted to Islam, then their jihad should be directed against the corrupt political leadership of the Arab world. This is the real threat not only to Islam but to the people living there. The Western colonialist powers' plans and strategy of aggression against Arab and Muslim populations is in cooperation with the political Arab Muslim leadership. Since World War II, the American political leadership has been the protector of the corrupt Arab political leadership. They do their best to remove those who oppose them from power. Those who operate under the pretext of Islam should devote their struggle toward that corrupt leadership.

Nevertheless, religious discrimination, which is directed against Muslims in Europe, is a fact that should not be overlooked. Some people in many European countries discriminate openly against Muslim immigrants. One of the major factors among others that feeds the discrimination is the Christian religious ethnocentricity. Even the current pope stated openly that Europe is a Christian continent and should stay that way. Despite the fact that the majority of Europeans are less religious than Americans, they still view Muslims in Europe as intruders. Such feelings express themselves in various public forums. It has been reported that a Swedish newspaper depicted the head of the prophet Muhammad on the body of a dog. Such an ugly act caused some young Muslims to lose their rationality and become active terrorists. Depicting the symbol of any religion in such an insulting manner should be condemned worldwide. This is not an act that should be permitted under the freedom of the press. It should not be permitted at all. Religious beliefs should be free and people should not be a target of humiliation because they believe differently than others. This fact unfortunately has been ignored by Europeans in particular and the West in general.

Dec 18, 2010

Iraqi: Barazini Political Statement

Mr. M. Barazani at the general opening of the Kurdish Democratic party's meeting in Irbeel, stated that the Iraqi Kurdish community is ready to decide its own destiny and that Kurkouk is part of Kurdistan and not subject to negotiation. He pointed out that Kurds are one nation and will remain as one at the present and in the future. (aljazeera.net, 12/13/2010)

The Iraqi political group under the leadership of Iyad Allawi, who served as an interim prime minister after the U.S. invasion in 2003, denounced Mr. Barazani's statement. He also said that Mr. Barazni is advocating cessation instead of calling for unity, and that Karkouk is part of Iraq and will stay that way.

The Kurdish conflict in Iraq has been going happening on and off since the 1930s, when Iraq was still under British influence. However, due to Iraq geopolitical location and its oil reserve, which is among the highest in the world, it was a target of interference by world superpowers. Russia, Britain, and the U.S. played significant secret roles in the manipulation of Kurds to create problems for the Iraqi government. Also, since the Gulf invasion of 1991 by the U.S., the Israel Mossad to penetrate the Kurdistan area and has been playing an influential role in training and arming the Kurdish militia "il Bashmaraka". Furthermore, it has been reported by local press that the Israelis have built spying centers in Iraq and Kurdistan close to the Iran-Turkey border. The Israeli government called these industrial and tourist sites.

The Israeli strategy is no longer a secret. It creates political conflicts in some states in the Arab world. Its role in Southern Sudan goes back to the 1950s. It is following the Western strategy of divide and rule to weak the Arab world and keep them busy with internal problems. Nevertheless, when the Baathist political party took control of Iraq, Saddam Hussein granted the Iraqi Kurdish community self-rule. Such political recognition was not given to the other Kurdish communities in Turkey and Iran, which are much larger than the Iraqi one, whose size at the time was between 2.5 and 3 million people out of a total population of 18 million people. The present size is around 25 million people. It has been estimated that the population size of the Kurdish community is between 19 and 21 million out of a total Turkish population of 76 million. They were deprived of teaching their own Kurdish language and even publishing newspapers in their language.

Similar situations exist in Iran where the population size is estimated to be between 6.5 and 7.5 million people out of 77 million people. The Iranian Kurdish community is also deprived of the same privileges that the Iraqi Kurdish community obtained more than 40 years ago.

I wonder about Mr. Barazani's statement "Kurds are one nation and will remain one nation at the present and in the future". If Mr. Barazi is referring to Kurds in Turkey and Iran, he is a dreamer. It is of interest that the leader of the Kurdish Labor Party in Turkey, Mr. Ojolan, who is serving a prison sentence for life, was kidnapped by the Israeli Mossad in Africa and was turned to the Turkish authority. At that time, the Turkish-Israeli relationship was strong; especially when the Turkish military was stronger than it is now.

Dec 16, 2010

Glenn Beck and Islamophobia

As usual, Mr. Glenn Beck of the Fox News Network is poisoning the public atmosphere with his hate, biases and ignorance. Unfortunately, his listeners and followers spread his biases and irrational thinking.

Mr. Beck’s recent ignorant blunder is that 10% of the Muslim population are “terrorists”. Personally, I do not even listen to the Fox News Network at all for a number of reasons that I do not want to go into in this post. Nevertheless, watching Fareed Zakaria’s GPS program (12-13-10) he referred to Mr. Beck’s remarks that “10% of Muslims are terrorists”. I wonder if Mr. Beck is aware of the fact that there are 1.57 billion Muslims around the globe, which is nearly one-fifth of the world population.

If Mr. Beck’s estimate is correct, then he is saying that there are 157 million Muslim terrorists around the world. in previous posts, I have focused on the FBI definition of terrorism to shed light on this topic. During 2009, 11800 acts of terror took place worldwide, according to an FBI report on terrorism against non-combatants resulting in over 54,000 deaths, injuries and kidnappings. 40% of these attacks or 4,600 cases occurred in the Near East, with approximately 5,500 fatalities or 35% of the worldwide total reported for 2008.

On the other hand, violent crimes committed in the U.S. during 2009 was estimated at 15,2441 murders. Mr. Beck should focus on crime rates in the U.S. and the factors contributing to them. By focusing on such problems, he will be doing himself and his listeners a big favor. I wonder if Mr. Beck is objective and capable enough to do that instead of spreading false information about Islam and encouraging Islamophobia.

I regret to say that Beck’s strategy complement R. Murdock’s blue print, that he sets for Fox news network.

Dec 15, 2010

The Three Essential Elements for Life

The three essential elements for life that all living creatures need to survive are air, water and food, and the three are interrelated. Air has been available for all to breathe since the beginning of evolution. However, the quality of air that we breathe began to deteriorate since the beginning of the industrial revolution in Europe. The quality of air in our global environment began to deteriorate at a rapid rate with the advancement of industrialization and modernization, which require the increase in the production of energy. More coal burning as well as fossil energy is used. For example, the U.S., as of 2009, still relies on coal burning for the production of more than 50% of its energy. Other countries like China and India are burning more coal than the U.S. France is the only country that relies on nuclear plants to produce nearly 75% of its energy needs.

This led to more emissions of carbon dioxide, which began to have a negative impact, not only on the quality of the air we breathe, but also on the global temperatures, which have been increasing due to the emission of more carbon dioxide. This has begun to impact the North Pole. More ice is melting, and according to scientific projection, in 40-50 years he Mediterranean Sea water levels will increase by 1 - 1.2 m. Flooding will occur in many low lands especially in the Nile Delta of Egypt and other North African seashore areas.

In a previous post I referred to the projected possibility of flooding in Egypt's Delta Region. Also, the increase in global temperatures has begun to have a negative impact on certain geographical locations worldwide. The Middle East and North African areas have begun to experience less rainfall, more climate dryness and lower food productivity as a result of long durations of drought. The global environmental changes have been an international topic of concern by international organizations for the last few decades. Recently, the United Nations held its annual international environmental meeting in Cancun, Mexico. 190 nations met during the past two weeks (November - December 2010).

The conference participants concluded the meeting change, by agreeing on posing a modest new plan to combat climate, including a new "Green Climate Fund" to help poor nations. It also reaffirms the goal to raise an annual $100 billion in aid for poor countries by 2020. However, the new agreement does not include a commitment to extend "KYOTO" beyond 2012. (nytimes.com, 12/11/10). Last year, the U.N.'s climate summit in Copenhagen fell short of creating a treaty to slow down the emission of CO2 which is contributing to droughts, storms, heat waves and rising sea levels, all of which scientists claim are caused by global warming. The Cancun conference will simply firm up non-binding deals from Copenhagen, which were endorsed by only 140 nations. Still there will be more work to be done on the agreement that will be dealt with to seal the deal during the next U.N. meeting on climate change in South African in 2011.

Financial support from highly industrial nations who are the major contributors to global climate changes is very important to help developing nations who are dealing with the consequences of such problems. It is unfortunate that so far, the regions most negatively affected by climate change are relatively poor states that lack the financial support and technological know-how to deal with the consequences of climate change.

Dec 14, 2010

The Humiliation of the U.S. President

President B. Obama announced recently that he is no longer demanding that the Israeli prime minister freeze the construction of Jewish settlements – not even for 3 months to start the peace discussions between the Israelis and Palestinians. The U.S. president capitulated to the Israelis’ demands despite the lucrative incentive of$3 billion military equipments as security fund he offered Netanyahu. This rejection is nothing but a big humiliation for President Obama. This Israeli political behavior is not unusual. The Jewish state has gotten used to biting the hand that feeds it. More than $160 billion of American taxpayers’ money has been sent to Israel since 1948, in addition to massive amounts of military equipment. One of the basic reasons behind Israeli political arrogance and the defiance of the U.S. president is the near total support they have from the U.S. Congress. An ex-member of the Senate put it clearly that the U.S. Congress supports Israel on every issue, no questions asked. This is attributed to the power of the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). It is the most powerful lobby in the nation’s capital. Also, many Jewish Zionist organizations are influential in the American political arena, politically and financially. Furthermore, Christian Evangelical Zionist groups are playing a supportive role in Israeli policy regarding the occupation of the West Bank that they consider part of greater Israel.

The tragedy of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been dragging for more than four decades, since Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967. Since then, the Israeli government has built more than 300 Jewish settlements on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, where more than 500,000 Jewish settlers are living. Furthermore, the Israeli government has been following an ethnic cleansing policy by destroying more than 20,000 Palestinian homes. Also, they have cut down more than one million olive trees that were the major economic support of more than 100,000 Palestinians. All such activities were in violations of the U.N. Security Council resolutions and international law. The U.N. has been paralyzed because the U.S. government has been the main protector of Israel at the U.N. Security Council. For that reason, since its creation Israel has snubbed the U.N., which gave it its birth certificate. Israeli leaders have gotten used to letting the U.S. do their dirty work for them, especially at the U.N. The U.S. government has exercised its veto power more than 70 times to prevent the passage of any meaningful resolutions in regard to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

For that reason and others, the Israeli government has not only ignored the U.N., but the rest of the world as well.

The BBC reported (12/10/2010) that a group of 26 ex-EU leaders has urged the union to impose sanctions on Israel for continuing to build settlements on occupied Palestinian land. They said Israel, “like any other state”, should be made to feel the “consequences” and pay a price for breaking international law.

The least President Obama can do is to instruct the U.S. representative at the Security Council to not use its veto power and/or abstain from voting. The supporters of Israel in Congress can’t do anything about it. Another alternative for the president to follow is to develop his own plan to resolve the conflict and enforce it on both sides. The president will receive worldwide support for his initiative.

Dec 9, 2010

Leaks

Leaks (part of this word was left out intentionally) are a non-profit media organization whose main objective is to reveal secret information to the public worldwide. Recently, more than 400,000 military logs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars from between 2004 and 2009 were revealed, reflecting on many negative aspects of both wars, but especially the Iraq war. The secret reports revealed death counts of Iraqi civilians, tortures in prisons and brutalities in Iraqi detention camps. Furthermore, the numbers of dead civilians whose corpses were left on Baghdad’s streets runs in the thousands. All of these atrocities were committed during the war and were not revealed to the American public. This reflects only a few aspects of the war’s negative consequences on the Iraqi population.

In one of the public press the Secretary of Defense Mr. D. Rumsfeld was asked about the number of Iraqi deaths, his response was “We don’t keep records of civilian deaths during war.” From the beginning, the Iraq war was based on lies and deceptions and those who were directly responsible for the deaths of more than 1.25 million Iraqis are free and have not been investigated for their crimes.

Leaks also revealed more than 250,000 secret diplomatic dispatches reflecting on U.S. foreign strategy and communication with heads of states and senior government officials in many countries worldwide. References were made to the heads of states in the Gulf region, where Arab leaders privately urged the U.S. government to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia called on the U.S. government to “cut off the head of this snake”. He was referring to the Iranian Prime Minister Ahmadinejad.

Other Gulf political leaders in Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait and Jordan made similar remarks about the future nuclear threat of Iran to the region. It is unfortunate that such remarks made by some Arab political leaders played a role in strengthening the credibility of the U.S. and Israeli governments, who have been campaigning to stop Iran’s nuclear activities. It should be noted that Arab population at large does not share the views of their political leaders. The Zogby polling which was conducted about Arab views of Iran asked “Which country poses a threat to you?”. 88% said Israel, 77% said the U.S. and only 10% said Iran.
Another diplomatic secret revealed by Leaks concerning a dispatch sent by Elias il-Murr, the Lebanese defense minister, to Israel advising them on how to defeat Hezbollah and avoid the mistakes they committed during their invasion of Lebanon in 2006. In order for Israel to win in the next round, they determined they should avoid bombing Christian areas and infrastructure and focus on Shiaa-concentrated areas. Mr. il-Murr should be prosecuted for such a suggestion, which he made to the U.S. and Israel. It is an act of treason.

Leaks also revealed secret logs and dispatches about the war in Yemen, terrorism, the secret communication between the Gulf Arab states and the Israeli government. Furthermore, it revealed the fact that Egypt follows American dictates, which in my opinion provides al-Qaeda with ammunition to pursue its terrorist activities.
The Leaks secret military and diplomatic dispatches reflect on what has taken place behind closed doors in societies in the Western world, especially the U.S. government who has committed atrocities under the banner of democracy since the end of World War II. The revelation of the Leaks reports is good for democracy.

The Projected Secession of Southern Sudan

During the past few decades there has been a brewing conflict and even rebellion led by people in Southern Sudan against the Sudanese government in Khartoum. Southern Sudan has been an open arena for foreign interference especially by the Israeli secret service and by other American and European Christian Evangelical groups. All of these groups have a common objective, which is the secession of Southern Sudan from the North. These various groups have their own agenda that they want to implement.

The major secret player in Southern Sudan has been the Israeli secret service, who started their activities during the early 1950s when Ben Gurion was the Israeli prime minister. The Zionist leadership water strategy began even before the creation of the state of Israel in 1948. The Zionist strategy dates back to 1919 after the end of the World War I, when Britain issued the Belfour declaration. Zionist leaders requested at that time that the British government permit them to divert water from the Nile River to help Jewish settlers develop agriculture in Sinai. At the time, Egypt was under British colonialism. Nevertheless, the Zionist request was rejected by the British government. The Israeli Prime Minister Begin made similar requests in 1978 from President Sadat after both signed the peace treaty. Israel proposed a canal be built to divert some of the Nile water to southern Israel. President Sadat rejected the request. In the meantime, Israeli secret service activities were taking place that would lead to Southern Sudan splitting from the North. When implemented, the Israelis started influencing the flow of the Nile River, which flows to Sudan and Egypt. The scenario here is that the Nile River Basin countries will use their influence to support the Israeli strategy. Israel has been playing an active role in several of the Nile River Basin countries such as Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania and the Congo. The Israeli government provides financial and technical aid to these countries and such moves have begun to pay off for them. An Israeli Mossad colonel, M. Farji, wrote in his book, “Israel and the Movement to liberate Southern Sudan” that when Southern Sudan is liberated, its influence will penetrate into the northern part of Sudan, and it will create a wall that will impact Egypt negatively. The main idea behind the Israeli strategy is to influence the flow of the Nile River to Egypt, which will put Israel in a position to dictate its terms on Egypt regarding its intention of sharing the Nile River water with Egypt. This will happen through the support of the Nile River basin countries.

Also, other foreign powers began to play an effective role in the Nile River basin countries to secure a foothold in that region because of its rich natural resources. The U.S> government has been active in the region for a number of reasons. First, the discovery of oil in Southern Sudan where China is the leading country in oil production there. Also, Southern Sudan, which is underdeveloped, could turn out to be the breadbasket of the African continent. Third, the control of the flow of water in Southern Sudan could give the U.S> government a strategic power that could be used against Egypt whenever it needs it by controlling water flow through Sudan and into Egypt. Fourth, the U.S. and Israel’s main strategy is to prevent any attempt of Arab unity. Divide and rule has been the U.S. strategy in the Arab world. the U.S. came out strongly supporting the secession of Southern Sudan from the north, as was expressed at the U.N. as a matter of fact, Egypt recently proposed playing a constructive role between the north and south by proposing the creation of a federation instead of a secession. The U.S. immediately rejected the proposal. The U.S. foreign policy has also been influenced by various groups in the U.S. the most influential of these groups are Jewish Zionist organizations who have been advocating similar policies to those of the neo-cons, of whom many are fanatic Zionists. Israel developed the strategy and their supporters in the U.S. tend to implement it. Another group of supporters are Christian Zionist groups, who have been playing an active role in supporting Southern Sudan’s secession with the hope of turning them to Christianity.

The Zionist Christian American and European evangelical groups have been playing an active role through their missionary workers in Southern Sudan and other African states. Their role in applying pressure on the American Congress to support their strategy has been very effective. After all, American foreign policy has been influenced a great deal by lobbyists as usual.

In the past, Britain and France played an influential role in fragmenting the Arab world into many political entities. Since WWII, the U.S. replaced Britain and France’s role in Arab society. It has been playing an active role in stopping any attempts of Arab unity and the creation of the state of Israel was its first blunder.

IF the inhabitants of Southern Sudan will decide in January 2011 to split from the north, this might lead to an internal conflict among various Sudanese tribes. The election outcome January may produce positive or negative consequences.

Dec 8, 2010

The Importance of Democracy

Recently the British Economist’s report on the practice of democracy in 167 states worldwide for the year 2010 was released. Egypt ranked 138 on the international scale and 12 among the 22 Arab states.

Furthermore, the report revealed that democracy is not practiced by governments in the Arab world. The recent elections for parliament in Egypt and Jordan reflect solid evidence in support of the Economist report. Legal institutions (courts) issued an order to cancel the outcome of the election due to solid evidence of voting irregularities and fraud. For that reason, some of the major political parties like al-Wafd and the Muslim Brotherhood withdrew from the election. The election results reflect that the ruling government party “The National Democratic party” won more than 95% of the parliament seats. The national and foreign press reported that buying votes in Egypt and Jordan was widespread.

Al-masry-alyoum (12/4/10) reported that the Egyptian National Democratic Party spent more than 500 million Egyptian pounds on the election to advertise, bribe and buy votes. The report continued to note that recently Susan Mubarak officially opened 761 new schools in rural Egypt at a cost of 58 million Egyptian pounds. Imagine how many thousands of schools could have been built with the 500 million pounds that were spent on fraudulent elections. There are severe shortages of schools in Egypt that run into the tens of thousands.

The Egyptian society is facing a serious crisis in almost all walks of life and not only in education. In another international report issued by the Earth Center for Human Rights, the following stated: there are 48 million Egyptians who are poverty stricken and living in more than 1,109 poor residential neighborhoods in Egypt. These people are deprived of basic social, health and economic services. Furthermore, the report revealed that 46% of Egyptian families don’t have enough food to eat and 29% of children are anemic due to malnutrition. In addition, more than 9 million Egyptians have been infected with virus C. In addition, the report also included high figures of people who are suffering from diabetes, cancer, drug addiction and high unemployment rates. The major factor contributing to the Egyptian social and physical ills is the wide scale of corruption at all governmental levels, which has been estimated to exceed 390 billion Egyptian pounds per year. Those who are running the government are the corrupt business owners who are getting filthy rich at the expense of the vast majority of the Egyptian population.

The only solution to get Egypt and its population out from the dirty swamps is through the institutionalization of democracy. Free elections are essential. There are many capable and honest people in Egypt who have the talent, the knowledge and the capacity of setting the country on the right path for positive economic and social development. This can be achieved only through democratic institutions, where transparency and accountability will be the basic rules that will lead to the prevailing justice for all and not only for a privileged few.

Dec 4, 2010

The Ethiopian Nile River Water Treaty

Recently, Prime Minister Zenawi made a public statement regarding Egypt and the Nile Water Sharing Treaty. He aid that Egypt can never win a war with Ethiopia and that Egypt is still living in the 19th century, which meant that the 1929 and 1956 treaties between the Nile River Basin countries and Egypt is no longer effective. According to these agreements, Egypt should receive 56.5 billion cu. met. of water per year. Most of that water (85%) comes from the Blue Nile, which starts in Ethiopia. The Nile River basin countries have been meeting over the past ten years to reevaluate the previous water agreements. As of the summer of 2010, no agreement was reached. However, five of the nine Nile River basin countries have signed a new agreement rejecting the previous ones. Ethiopia was among the ones who signed the agreement.

In the meantime, Ethiopia has been building dams to generate electrical power and use Nile water for agricultural irrigation. The International Monetary Funds and other international financial institutions do not support Ethiopia’s request for financial loans to build more dams. Since Egypt depends almost completely on the Nile River for its survival, international financial institutions are taking this into serious consideration. Such policies apparently antagonize the Ethiopian prime minister, which led him to state publicly that Egypt can’t win a war against Ethiopia.

Another factor that also didn’t sit well with the Ethiopian prime minster is the improving of relations between Eritrea and Egypt. Ethiopia and Eritrea have been conducting hostilities against each other for a long time. In addition, some of the Ethiopian opposition political groups to Prime Minister Zenawi have bases in Eritrea. Nevertheless, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak came out and stated publicly that Egypt has no intention of starting a war against Ethiopia. He further stated that there has been a discussion regarding the Nile river water sharing treaty and hopes that the treaty will continue to be the rule that the Nile River Basin countries abide by.

Water experts have already warned that Egypt will start experiencing serious water shortages by the year 2017 and the continuous flow of the Nile River is essential for Egypt’s survival.

Dec 3, 2010

Recent Elections in Egypt and Jordan

The recent parliamentarian political elections in Jordan and Egypt (Nov. 2010) reflect nothing but political charade. During the past sixty years, there has been no real and free political election in the Arab world. A clear indicator that reflects the abuse of democracy in the Arab world is the fact that not a single Arab head of state left his political position willingly. Those who left did so as a result of being assassinated, died in office or being forced out by a military coup d’├ętats. The only exception was in Lebanon, where the political parliamentarian elections have been taking place since the end of French colonialism during the 1940s. However, the Lebanese election is still based on sectarian divisions of the population and not on a popular voting system. This gentlemanly agreement was set by the French before their departure from Lebanon. For that reason, political conflict among the various groups (Christian, Sunni Muslims, Shiaa Muslims and Druzes) has been going on since independence.

Nevertheless, Democratic institutions in the Arab world do not exist and no political head of state is held accountable to his people. Political parliamentarian elections take place in the Arab world as rituals to reflect that the government in power is still legitimate and has been officially elected by the people.

The press, foreign and national, that has reported on the Jordanian and Egyptian elections for parliament, has pointed out the irregular procedures and fraud used by the authorities in both countries. Some political parties were banned from participating in the election. The members of other political party members faced difficulties or were unable to get clearance from the authority to run. In addition, certain procedures were used by the government in allocation of the number of parliament seats in certain districts, which affected the result of the election in favor of the ruling party. The pres reported that some candidates were buying votes from participants, which is illegal according to state laws. However, it took place without opposition. In the meantime, social and political unrest took place among the political supporters of candidates in both Jordan and Egypt. This led to few cases of death in both countries.

As usual, the result of the elections for the parliament or heads of state can be predicted in advance. The government’s party has always won the election. In the Egyptian case, the National Party won all the seats in parliament (12/2/2010). Hence, it will be in a position to nominate president Mubarak for another term!

Political elections in the Arab world are based on fraud and irregularities. They are acts of deception and the public is aware of it. For that reason only a small percentage of the population goes to the polls to exercise their rights to participate in the election of their representative.

Dec 2, 2010

Turkey: New Political Strategy

Turkish Prime Minister Mr. R.T. Erdogan’s recent trip to Lebanon is a reflection on the new role that Turkey is playing in the Middle East region. During his official visit, Prime Minister Erdogan emphasized the strong relationship that Turkey has begun to develop with Arab countries during the past few years. He extended Turkish help and support to the Lebanese people and condemned Israeli aggression against Lebanon. The Prime Minister urged the Lebanese people to overcome their differences, especially in regard to the investigation of the international court of justice of the assassination of the late Prime Minister Al-Hariri. He also commended Syria and Saudi Arabia’s role in maintaining peace and stability in Lebanon.

Mr. Erdogan urged the Lebanese people to unite against the continuous Israeli aggression, which led to the deaths of women and children. He continued to urge the Lebanese to keep the freedom of religion, in order to maintain the strength and stability of their society. Mr. Erdogan’s visit to Lebanon was not received positively in Western societies in general and the U.S. in particular, due to the recent Turkish emergence politically and economically in the Middle East.

Recently, Turkey and Syria lifted border restrictions between the two countries. Citizens on both sides can cross borders without visas or other restrictions and this has increased the movement of people in both directions. The new agreement has enhanced and increased trades and other economic activities, which is beneficial to both Turkey and Syria.

Furthermore, the new Turkish policy reflects a new political strategy: to strengthen its ties to Arab and Muslim states in the region. This new policy of removing border restrictions has been extended to Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. Also, Turkey is proposing the creation of a free trade zone with other Muslim states in the region.

This new political trend on the part of Turkey towards its Arab and Muslim neighbors in the Middle East is influenced by the European Common Market members’ refusal to admit Turkey in to their club.

However, I commend Prime Minister Erdogan for his innovative strategy and hope Arab political leaders learn from the Turkish new departure and have the courage to initiate a similar strategy.

Nov 14, 2010

Freedom or Suppression of the Press

A report issued by the United Arab journalists pointed out that journalism and the freedom of the press in most Arab countries are experiencing increasing government restriction. Some journalists have been arrested and others experienced restrictions on their freedom of expression. Some TV networks were even closed. The report also revealed that foreign press and journalists, irrespective of their journalistic reporting, are treated differently from Arab journalists. Is the question that Arab governments fear Western governments, or do they want to send a message that the press in the Arab world is free? (www.aljazeera.net, 10/21/10).

The degree of freedom of the press varies among Arab states. It fluctuates from strict government control to a lesser control in some Arab states. International Journalists Without Borders created a scale reflecting the degree of freedom of the press in 2002. In their latest report, references were made to the ten worst countries in terms of press control. Three of the ten worst countries were Yemen, Syria and Sudan. The best and most free press were Finland, Iceland, Holland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Other countries that were classified as bad and suppressive toward the press include China,Burma and North Korea.

Recently, some Arab countries increased their restrictions on both the print and electronic media. It was reported that the Egyptian government canceled the permits for 17 private TV stations to curtail the spread of ill information and sectarian and religious hate. The free Arab Journalists Association stated that the Egyptian government wants to control the press prior to the election of the Egyptian parliament. The government is preparing a sweeping victory for the ruling party as has been the case for the last thirty years. The Egyptian government press policy has been criticized by the International Journalists Without Borders and some leading American newspapers like the Washington Post. On its front page, the Washington Post referred to the increasing restriction on the freedom of the press in Egypt (Washington Post, 10/29/10).

Recently, the Moroccan government ordered Aljazeera TV Network to close its offices in Morocco. According to official sources, Aljazeera is broadcasting false reports about the Moroccan government. For that reason, the TV network was cancelled. The rationale given by the Moroccan government is not valid. The aljazeera.net offices have been closed before in a number of Arab states because of its influence on Arab public opinion. In my judgment, Aljazeera TV is the most credible station in the Arab world, with a very large group of followers even beyond the Arab region. For that reason and others, Arab governments and high-ranking politicians are concerned about the influence and impact of the free broadcasting on their population. After all, the vast majority of Arab states are run by authoritarian dictators. Democratic institutions are absent in Arab society and as a result there is no accountability, which encourages corruption at all levels. The Arab governments in general have ignored the principle of democratic institutions and instead of progressing they are regressing.

Nov 12, 2010

The Arab Annual Environmental and Development Water Report

The Arab National Environmental and Development Annual meeting that was held in Beirut, Lebanon during the first week of November 2010 concluded with a very strong warning regarding shortages of water in the Arab world (aljazeera.net, 11/5/10).

The report revealed that the Arab world region is the most dry area in the world and water shortages will increase rapidly and will negatively impact the more than 360 million people in the region. The individual water share will drop below 500 cu.met. per person per year. The world average is 6000 cu.met. per person per year.

Furthermore, the Environmental Report revealed that due to global climate changes and the increasing world temperature, there will be a negative impact on rainfall in the Middle East and North African region. It is projected that rainfall in the area will decrease at least 25% and evaporation will increase by 25%.

The water shortages at the present in the Arab world should also be viewed in connection with the rapidly increasing population, which is projected to reach at least 600 million people by the year 2050. The Environmental and Development report strongly recommends a drastic change in governmental policy toward the regulation of water use in addition to the creation of a new strategy to increase the availability of water to meet at least the minimal required human needs. Without such changes, the Arab world will soon start experiencing dangerous and negative economic, political, social and health consequences. In previous posts on water, references were made that large percentages of the water used in cultivation, which is estimated between 80 and 85%. Most of this is wasted. Irrigation by flooding the lands is an outdated method that has been used for thousands of years. The new scientific irrigation method is through water dripping. For example, the present amount of water used in Egypt, according to scientific estimates, could irrigate at least 27 million feddan. Since many Arab governments are not working on plans to provide new sources of water, then at least they should start implementing a new policy of water usages. Furthermore, not only do Arab farmers misuse and waste water resources, but individual consumption affects the situation as well. One of the main reasons behind such water waste is attributed to the low cost of water to the consumers. In many Arab states, human water consumption is subsidized by the government. A new rate of water consumption prices should be created that will take into consideration the economic abilities of the various groups to pay the new rates. In general, water consumers do not pay attention to water consumption until they start paying for it.

I have personally seen in different locations in Egypt where water has been left running while someone is washing a car or tending to a garden. Furthermore, the water pipes network should be checked to prevent water leakages. Even in the most advanced countries water leakages from old pipe networks is not unusual. Nevertheless, Arab states can’t afford such water loss. In addition, the majority of Arab states do not have a complete nor efficient water treatment system. More than 80% of the untreated water is wasted. Such waste should be seriously considered in light of the present water shortages. At least some recycled water could be used for irrigation of golf courses and agricultural cultivation instead of fresh water.

The Arab population constitutes 5% of the world population, but has only 1% of the world’s fresh water supply. As a result of such situations, the Gulf region, which is the driest part of the Arab world, has been depending more and more on water desalination for water consumption. Nearly 70% of water desalination in the world takes place in the Gulf region. It is an expensive method to get fresh water, but most of the Gulf states have resources of energy and the public consumers hardly pay a fraction of the water cost. For that reason, water consumption in the Gulf region is among the highest in the world.

Nov 11, 2010

Jordan Parliament Election

The Jordanian election (Nov. 9, 2010) revived old memories of my senior year in Salt High School during the 1950s. At the time, most of my peers were extremely nationalistic and eager to witness a free election for the Jordanian parliament. Some of us volunteered to help people who came to the voting place. During that time, other people who were supporting their candidates were paying one to two Jordanian pounds, which was equivalent at the time to $3 - $5, for each vote. As an idealist, I tried to stop it, but was arrested by the attending officer for disturbing the peace. A few hours later I was released. That incident never disappeared form my memory. During the past few days (Nov. 5 – 9, 2010) aljazeera.net did an interview with some people in Jordan in connection with the election. The interesting part of that interview was the fact that some political candidates hired brokers to recruit voters in their district and pay them at the rate of 30 – 50 Jordanian pounds per vote ($40 - $50). I was stunned and amazed at the same time that what I experienced sixty years ago in Salt-Jordan regarding paying voters to vote for a specific candidate took place during the present at the last election. A substantial number of people are poverty-stricken and may be in need of financial help. Some voters may think that it makes no difference who wins the election because the end result will be the same. At the same time, I have started thinking about the financial resources spent on the election in the U.S. For example, the midterm election for the American Congress came to an end (11/2/2010) and the mass media (both print and electronic) expressed the huge amount of money that was spent on publicity for and by the candidates who ran. It has been estimated that the recent election cost was $4.2 billion, which is double the amount of money spent in previous midterm elections. It was also reported that one candidate for governor of California spent $143 million of her own money during the campaign period. Each vote ended up costing $47.

The tragedy of all such campaign tactics used during an election, irrespective of where it takes place (U.S., Jordan or Timbuktu), added to the corruption of the democratic institutions. At least when it happens in non-Democratic Jordan it is understandable. However, when it happens in the U.S., this is viewed as part of free speech permitted under the first amendment. Personally, people have the right to express themselves, but when financial resources in many ways are used to mislead the public or smear a candidate with lies, then this type of expression is an immoral act. But it takes place under the banner of democracy.

In respect to the Jordanian parliament election, it was reported that nearly half of the eligible voters exercised their rights. The press reported on the widespread buying of votes in many parts of the kingdom, which will further complicate the functions and the credibility of the newly elected politicians.

Parliament is under the authority of the king and that higher authority could dissolve it at any time the king sees appropriate. Furthermore, the government can always change the law without the approval of parliament. This is one of the reasons that some political parties boycotted the recent election. Since the king assumed the throne, he dissolved the parliament twice before it finished its 4 year run. The impact of this political conduct on voters is negative. Regardless, Jordan is no different from the rest of the Arab countries. Governments and rulers exercise their political rituals under the slogan of democracy. Furthermore, they think they are wise and knowledgeable to form policy and make decisions on behalf of their population!

Nov 10, 2010

The Qattarah Depression Proposal

The almasry-alyoum newspaper published an interesting article written by Ali Zalat (11/3/10) that focused on an old idea that dates back to 1912 to turn the depression of “al-Qattarah” into the largest man-made lake. In 1912, the German scientist Mr. Penk began his study on how to dig a canal to connect that Mediterranean Sea into the Qattarah Depression. In 1927, he proposed constructing a canal or tunnel between the Mediterranean Sea and the Qattarah Depression near the area of al-Alamain. The purpose behind the proposed project then was to generate electrical power. At the time, the project looked simple to implement, but it was not seriously considered.

Nevertheless, the new scientific reports that have been published during the past few years about the global climate changes, temperature increases and their negative impact on certain regions worldwide. Mediterranean countries with low land levels like Egypt will be in danger. The reports already projected that the North Pole ice has been melting due to the increasing world temperature. As a result of ice melting, the water level of the Mediterranean Sea will rise and this will cause low land flooding. Some Egyptian scientists have stated that one third of the Nile Delta region will be under water during the next four to five decades.

Such projection began to revive the old Khattarah Depression Project, not only to generate power but to save the Nile Delta region from the projected future flooding. Recently, the Asyout University and the Egyptian Engineering Society sponsored a meeting to discuss the impact of the global climate changes and their impact on Egypt (almasry-alyoum.com, 11/4/2010). At the meeting, Dr. K. Oudah pointed out that
Egypt will be one of the most endangered countries in the world due to its lowland level from the rising sea level and the projected one meter rise of sea level as a result of ice melting will flood more than one third of the Delta region. He also called for the revival of the Khattarah Depression to save the Delta region from flooding. Scientists projected that during the 21st Century, Egyptian sea levels and shores will be covered by more than 2.5 trillion cu.met. of seawater. The Khattarah Depression will absorb at least half of that amount of the projected water level increase. The Khattarah Depression area size has been estimated at 206,950 square kilometers and it is located at 58.9 meters below the Mediterranean Sea level. Furthermore, according to the scientific study, it will take 60 years to fill the Qattarah Depression. The study also revealed more benefit from the implementation of the project. From an environmental point of view, the evaporation of the water of the biggest man-made lake will increase rainfall in the surrounding region, which will enhance the possibilities of agricultural cultivation. Also, the water evaporation will have a positive impact on big urban areas such as Cairo, since the northwestern winds usually pass over the proposed lake region and carry some of the water evaporation to the east and clear the air pollution in the urban region.

In addition to the environmental benefits, there will also be significant economic benefits. The proposed Qattarah project will generate electrical power and some of the Egyptian scientists equate it to the Aswan Dam. Furthermore, the shores of the Qattarah Depression will enhance tourism in the area since it will be the biggest man-made lake. Additional benefits will be created, since the lake will be an important area for sea fishing, which Egypt needs badly.

The report also estimated that the total cost to implement the proposed project will be around 55 billion Egyptian pounds. This includes the construction of 4 – 5 electrical power generation stations and the transfer of power.

Specialists estimated that the stretched shore lands along the Mediterranean Sea and the projected land shores around the lake of the Qattarah Depression will be sold to private investors, which will generate more than 1.2 trillion Egyptian pounds (www.almasry-alyoum.com, 11/3/10).

Journalists, scientists and Egyptian engineers and academicians have been urging the Egyptian government to consider the project seriously before it is too late, at least to save the Delta region from the projected sea flooding.

Nov 9, 2010

The Decrease of Water Supply in the Arab World

The Arab National Environmental annual meeting was held in Beirut, Lebanon on November 4th, 2010. The preliminary report written by Dr. Muhamad al-Ashari, reflects that there are 19 countries worldwide who suffer the most from the shortage of fresh water. 13 of these are Arab countries. Also, 19 out of 22 Arab countries are classified as water poverty stricken. Nevertheless, the 13 Arab states the report listed tend to have nearly 700 cu. met. per person per year. The world rate is 6,000 cu.met. per person per year. The Arab environmental report reflects that the 13 Arab states will have a severe shortage of water by the year 2025, which is projected to be around 500 cu.met. per person per year. According to the report, the global climate changes will have a negative impact on many regions around the world. The Middle East and North African regions will be among the hardest hit areas. Scientific projection revealed that there will be less rainfall, higher temperatures, dryness and more desertification in the Arab world. Yemen is classified at the bottom of the water poverty scale.

Recently, UNESCO issued a report reflecting that nearly 7.6 million Iraqis are suffering from the shortage of fresh clean water to drink. Furthermore, 83% of its sewage water finds its way into rivers. The Iraqi invasion in 2003 destroyed most of the infrastructure, especially in urban areas. The reconstruction and repairing of the damage caused by the war is progressing at a very slow pace. The UNESCO report revealed that 24% of the Iraqi population cannot get clean fresh water to drink. Furthermore, the decrease of water flow in both the Euphrates and Tigress rivers added to the shortage of water. Also, the drought Iraq has been experiencing for the past 7 years has added to the problem. (aljazeera.net, 11/2/10).

Egypt is also classified as a water poverty stricken state, where the average water available is around 700 cu.met. per person per year. The Arab Environmental Report noted that by the year 2025, the availability of water will drop to 500 cu.met. per person per year.

The agricultural sector consumes 83% of the water in Egypt. The rest is consumed by industry and human use (www.ahram.org, 11/4/10). It is very unfortunate that the government is moving at a very slow pace reforming the irrigation system in Egypt. The Egyptian farmer is still using the same method of irrigation as his ancestors did thousands of years ago. Agricultural experts stated that the same amount used in agriculture at the present time could irrigate around 27 millions feddan if the modern irrigation system is applied. These statistics should be viewed in light of the continuous population increase, the global climate changes and temperature increases. Furthermore, Egypt imports nearly half of its wheat from abroad. As I have indicated in previous posts, none of the 22 Arab states are food sufficient. Political leaders of the Arab world are in a deep sleep and those who are planning to do something about these challenges are moving at a very slow pace.

Nov 8, 2010

Islam Supplants Communism

Since the turn of the 20th century, the U.S. has been actively involved in wars and covert activities by the CIA globally. The U.S. fought World Wars I and II, the Korean War, The Vietnam War, the 1991 Gulf invasion and the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the Afghanistan war. The covert war activities that were made public took place in many countries, fighting regimes that were Socialist or trying to implement that type of economic model or were not supporters of the U.S. One of these regimes was in Afghanistan during the 1980s. The attempt to remove the Socialist regime under Najib Allah led to the invasion of Afghanistan by Russian troops. This led the U.S., through its CIA, to recruit Muslim Mujaahideen from Islamic countries, especially in the Arab world, to fight the atheist Communist forces in Afghanistan. It was estimated that the CIA with the help of Saudi’s government, was able to recruit more than 12,000 young Muslims. Bin Laden was among them. That war bled the Russian forces to death and contributed at the end to the collapse of the old USSR and its Communist ideology. On the negative side, it led to the creation and development of al-Qaeda, which has been a major national problem for the U.S. government, especially after the 9/11 attacks that caused the death of more than 3,000 Americans. Furthermore, the rise of al-Qaeda replaced the old demon “Communism”. The new demon has been “Islam” and some Muslim countries, like Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and others were targeted as countries that harbor terrorists. The American military industrial complex has been playing a very influential role through their lobbyists in shaping American policy at both the national and international levels.

During the past century, the U.S. extended itself all over the globe, where the Pentagon has established more than 900 military bases. All such activities by the military industrial complex have created a concept of fear about America’s national security, which strengthens U.S. defenses. Over many decades, the Defense Department established a policy for the Pentagon budget, which was hardly challenged by Congress. Those few who did that were labeled “soft” on the defense of the U.S. This reflected negatively on them and threatened their elections. The lobbyist for the military industry complex played an important role in support of the defense budget. This policy has been criticized by President Eisenhower and in his farewell speech to the nation at the end of his term during the 1950s he warned of the abuse of the American military industrial complex and pointed out that he “pitied the American people if they elected a president who will not be aware of how the Pentagon operates”. President Eisenhower’s prophecy turned out to be true. The American people elected President Reagan in 1980. At that time, the U.S. was the biggest creditor nation in the world and its debt was less than one trillion dollars. By the end of Reagan’s time as president in 1988, the U.S. became the debt nation of the world. Its debt exceeded $3 trillion. President Reagan spent trillions of dollars on defense as a necessity to fighting the “Evil Empire”, communist Russia. The military industrial complex thrives on instability and conflicts around the world and used it as justification for military contracts from the Pentagon. As of 2009, the U.S. military spending almost equaled the defense spending of all 22 NATO members, plus China and Russia combined. After the collapse of the old USSR (communism) the new military industrial complex strategy was to create a new demon. Islamic terrorism replaced communism as the new threat for the American national security and its interests abroad. Former President G.W. Bush declared war on “terrorism” which he used as justification for the incursion in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the fact that neither were a threat to the U.S. During his tenure as president, the defense budget more than doubled to exceed $700 billion dollars per year and the U.S. national debt more than doubled to exceed $9 trillion. The U.S. government is borrowing billions of dollars to finance its wars and as of 2010, the total debt was over $14 trillion. U.S.A. Today (2/3/2010) noted that the share of the U.S. debt equals $40, 065 per person in the U.S.A. or equal to $770 a week for a year per person or $110 a day for a year per person.

To put it in a clear way, the U.S. government is using its credit cards to fight foreign wars. In the meantime, the national infrastructures are deteriorating at a rapid rate due to the lack of financial resources needed.

Nov 6, 2010

Medal of Shame

Former president George W. Bush should be tried for misleading the American people and for the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Also, he is responsible for war crimes committed in Iraq as a result of his blunder and irrational foreign policy. The American Congress is as guilty as George W. Bush by not checking on his fabricated intelligence reports that claimed that Iraq was a threat to the U.S. Even the director of the CIA at the time did not support President Bush’s views about Saddam Hussein’s WMD and the idea that Iraq was a threat to the U.S. The chance of the American Congress reexamining the intelligence reports that Bush used to justify the war is zero. At the least, Bush deserves a medal of shame for creating the opportunity for Iran to extend its influence politically and economically in Iraq. To put it in simpler terms, Bush put Iraq on a silver platter and handed it to Iran.

The Wikileaks secret documents on the Iraq war revealed a great deal of information about what happened during the seven years of the Iraq war. In one of many areas, the secret documents revealed the role that Iran played in the Iraq war. Iran played an important role in the training and arming of Iraqi Shia militia forces, who also played a very critical role in the killing of many Sunni Iraqi political leaders. Also, many leaders of the dismantled al-Baath National Political Party who were targets of assassinations by the Iraqi Shia militia groups and Iranian National Revolutionary Guards who were operating secretly in Iraq.

It is unfortunate that Bush’s war opened the door for Iran to extend its influence in Iraq. Among other things, the Iranian influence in Iraq is reflected in the stalled political arena and the obstacles Iraq is facing now by the failure of its politicians to form a government even 8 months after the election of new members of the Iraqi parliament. The ex-Prime Minister Al-Maliki is the Iranian choice to form the government, despite the fact that his political party was ranked second after Mr. E. Allawi’s political party. Mr. Allawi, a Shi3a secularist, is an ex-member of the Baath party who fled the country due to political conflict with Saddam Hussein. Furthermore, Hussein and his Baath party fought a proxy war on behalf of the U.S. during the 1970s and 1980s. The U.S. supported the Iraqi invasion of Iran in revenge for the more than 52 American prisoners who were taken as hostages by Iran during President Carter’s administration. American politicians quite frequently tend to lack the ability to see beyond their nose. The destruction of the Iraqi regime under S. Hussein led to the disaster which the region is facing, and the rise of new threats to the U.S. in particular and the West in general. The Arab national aspiration for unity, at least theoretically speaking, ended with the collapse of the secular political regime of Saddam Hussein. Despite the fact that he was corrupt and a vicious dictator, he was able to maintain stability in Iraq. He eliminated many of his opponents, which the U.S. politicians used as justification for his removal. Seldom does anyone ask about the deaths of Iraqi civilians as a result of the American invasion, which is by far more than the number killed by S. Hussein’s regime. Plenty of information on the Iraqi civilian casualties was revealed recently by Wikileaks secret Pentagon documents. Furthermore, it reveals the possibilities that war crimes were also committed in Iraq with the knowledge of the American military authority. No political Islamic movement was permitted in Iraq. As a matter of fact, bin Laden offered his help prior to the invasion to the Saudi government and the U.S. to help removed the Hussein regime from power in Iraq. Bin Laden viewed Hussein as more dangerous to his Islamic militant group than the U.S.

The American foreign policy in the Middle East region in general and the Arab world in particular reflects nothing but one disaster after another since the end of World War II. The militant powers in the region are reflected by the Israeli government, the Iranian government and Islamic militant groups all over the Middle East and N

Nov 4, 2010

Christians Status in the Middle East

Recently, the pope invited 185 Middle Eastern high-ranking Christian priests to a meeting in Rome to discuss the problems of the Christian community in the region. (al-jazeera.net, 10/26/10). One of the major problems discussed is that the number of Christian communities in the region has been decreasing on a continuous basis. This is attributed to Israeli’s suppressive policy in the occupied West Bank. An example is the barrier erected by Israeli forces that makes it difficult for people to move from place to place. Furthermore, the destruction of Palestinian homes, farms and businesses to pressure the natives to move out. This Israeli policy of ethnic cleansing is a planned strategy to remove Arab Palestinians and replace them with a Jewish population. This policy has been the core philosophy of the Zionist ideology since the creation of the state of Israel. The Israeli historian Illan Pappe reflects on this in his book, Ethnic Cleansing of Palestinians

The tragedy of such rationale is the fact that Jewish Zionists and some Christian evangelical Zionists ignore historical facts about the “promised land” by not referring to the indigenous people who lived in the area for thousands of years before Semitic tribes immigrated eastward to the area from the Arabian Peninsula during the second millennium. At the meeting, the participant stated that Israel should not use and misinterpret the New Testament to justify its suppression of the Palestinians in the occupied lands and the continued construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Nevertheless, through history, nearly all religions have been poorly interpreted to justify the implementation of political ideology by fanatic religious bigots. The percentage of Christians who are still living in the area has been estimated to be around 5.6%, reflecting a significant decrease from what it used to be. The construction of Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands and the destruction of thousands of homes in Jerusalem in particular and the West Bank in general and the destruction of farms is part of the Zionist strategy. It is a plan to gradually remove the Palestinian Christian and Muslim identity from Palestine under the pretext of the misused religious interpretation of the New Testament.

The participant at the Vatican meeting criticized and condemned the Israeli government’s suppressive policy used against the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli reaction to the Vatican statement was as usual negative and stated that the “meeting was controlled and stolen by the enemies of Israel”. AT the meeting, the pope also urged Muslim governments in the region to guarantee the freedom of religion in the Middle East. Shortly after the meeting was over, it was reported that a Christian church in Jerusalem was burned. It is not the first incident of a burning or destruction of Christian and Muslim places of worship in the occupied territories. The Israeli government always looks the other way when attacks take place against the Palestinians.

While the meeting was in progress in Rome, it was reported that the Israeli forces demolished several water wells in Dair Abu Thauf Village, east of the city of Jenin and also bulldozed an olive oil processing plant. Such an aggressive and destructive act reflects the Israeli government’s political strategy, which is to make life unbearable to the native Palestinian and in the long run, force them to leave the country.

Nov 2, 2010

Haaretz Negative Remarks Regarding Wikileaks

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz published an article (10/24/10) regarding the expected nonchalant reactions by the Arab governments and Arab populations towards the Wikileaks about the Iraq war. The article viewed Arab governments and the media to be less critical of the U.S. despite the fact that the information revealed in the secret documents of the possibility of war crimes having been committed against Iraqi civilians. None of the political Arab officials in Iraq in particular demanded the withdrawal of American troop from Iraq. The general response was that most of the information revealed by the Wikileaks was already known to them.

Nevertheless, the Arab Gulf Council issued an official statement asking the U.S. government to investigate the possibilities of war crimes committed in Iraq from 2003 – 2009. Also, the Iraqi human rights organization and the Arab League asked the U.N. to investigate the information revealed by Wikileaks about the Iraq war. There was some truth to the Haaretz article, that the reaction of Arab governments, populations and the press in the Arab world was minimal. None of these Arab politicians want to upset their masters in the U.S. Furthermore, the freedom of the press in the majority of Arab countries does not exist, according to the International Journalists Without Borders. The political leadership in the Arab world has lost their dignity and gotten used to Western governments humiliation and indirect interference in their internal affairs. This situation also created a passive attitude among the population in the Arab world. The majority of the population has detached themselves from what takes place in the arena of foreign policy.

This is the result of the absence of democratic institutions, which the vast majority of world states have already acquired. This situation in the Arab world led to political corruptions at all levels. Authoritarianism encouraged Western interference in the internal affairs of the Arab world. A quick look reflects that at the present, the U.S. government is interfering in the internal affairs of Lebanon on behalf of the Israelis. The assassination of the previous Lebanese Prime Minister Mr. al-Harriri suddenly became of major concern to the U.S. Let me remind American politicians of their history of presidential assassinations, from Lincoln to Kennedy. Also, the frequent attempts of assassination against Reagan and Ford reflects the American type of violence against their political leadership, which the whole world views as an internal matter. The U.S. government has a long history of using certain incidents as a means to justify their interference through the United Nations in the internal affairs of some foreign countries. Lebanon’s case is not an exception to their political behaviors. Also, the U.S. is interfering in Sudan and encouraging the fragmentation of the country into smaller entities in order to control its natural resources. Furthermore, these interferences in Iraq lead to the destruction of the country politically, economically and socially.

Another Western power that interferes with North African governments is France, under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Such situations encourage terrorist groups like al-Qaeda to recruit young people to attack and commit acts of terror against the West. Recently, al-jazeera.net (10/27/10) broadcasted taped messages from bin Laden in which he referred to the French government’s hostile activities against Muslims and Arabs. He stated that “When you kill our people, we will kill your people, when you put our people in prisons, we will kidnap your people and when you threaten our securities we will threaten your securities.” He continued to say that in order to protect your security you are required to stop interfering in Arab-Islamic affairs and pull out from the Bush-led war. Such remarks by the leaders of al-Qaeda tend to influence the political and nationalistic views of some young people and entice some to join his organization to carry out acts of terror against the West. Those foreign powers that are involved in the Middle East are a major contributing cause to the instability of the region. They are also the major protectors of the corrupt regimes in the Arab world.

Netanyahu’s Peace Intentions Being Questioned

In his article, “Crunch Time” (NYT 10/29/2010), Roger Cohen questioned the intention of Prime Minister B. Netanyahu in regard to his plan to achieve peace with the Palestinians. He pointed out that “the Palestinians have stated their position: the 1967 borders plus or minus agreed land swaps, meaning a state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital”. Unfortunately, the Israeli prime minister is stalling and refused to extend the freeze on the construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, despite President Obama’s request to do so. The result was a direct humiliation to the president of the U.S. The president of the U.S. and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, are both stating publicly and on the record that the Palestinians should have their own state before the end of 2011. In a way, President Obama has set a deadline for the prime minister to sober up and stop stalling. The discussion of two states side by side has been going on for more than four decades without getting anywhere. In the meantime, the Israeli government has been building and expanding Jewish settlements during the past four decades. More than 250 Jewish settlements have been built, accommodating more than 500,000 Jewish settlers. During that time, Israel destroyed thousands of Palestinian homes to replace them with new ones accommodating Jewish settlers. The destruction was not only limited to homes but also it was extended to the agricultural sector of Palestinians. More than one million olive trees have been cut by Israel to deprive more than 100,000 Palestinian families of their main source of income.

Such an Israeli policy is not a secret anymore. The whole world is aware of Israel’s savage treatment of the Palestinians. President Obama’s statement of the creation of a Palestinian state is a sincere one. However, his congress has warned him not to pressure the Israelis. What President Obama has failed to do is to appeal to the American public by explaining to them that achieving peace between the Israeli and the Palestinians is in the best interest of America. Those members in the American Congress should stop holding American foreign policy hostage to Israeli interest. The American public will understand the dilemma, and in most cases will support the U.S. president to protect and safeguard the American national interest.

At the same time, Arab states lead by Egypt and Saudi Arabia in particular, have failed to do the least in protecting the Palestinian’s human rights and dignity. There are twenty-two Arab states that are members of the U.N. It is about time that they pushed the implementation of the U.N. resolution of 1948, which called for the creation of an Israeli and a Palestinian state. More than sixty years have passed and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. The Palestinian-Israeli conflict is the major cause of international terrorism. Even bin Laden himself stated so publicly before the tragic 9/11 attacks. The U.S. has paid a heavy price while shielding and protecting Israel since its creation in 1948. It is about time for the American congress to sober up and put American national interest ahead of the Israeli one, as it was publicly stated by the late ex-Senator Fullbright more than 3 decades ago.

Oct 27, 2010

The Widows and Orphans of Iraq

The American invasion of Iraq in 2003 has led to the destruction of the Iraqi society, physically, economically, politically and sociologically. All of this was the result of President Bush’s deceptive political policy and the manufacturing of false intelligence reports to use as justification for the invasion of Iraq. Not only should Bush be tried as a war criminal, but so should the majority of the members of the American Congress, who failed to demand valid intelligence reports that Iraq posed a threat to the U.S. Nevertheless many of these members who are under the thumb of lobbyists were pushing for the invasion to start with that will meet their objectives. Among the many negative consequences of the American invasion is the destruction caused to millions of Iraqi families who are paying heavy price at the present because Bush wanted to prove to everyone, especially his father, that he was a tough man. After all, he stated publicly that Saddam Hussein tried to kill his father. It is a cowboy type of mentality. This reckless policy lead to, among other things, the deaths of more than 4,400 American soldiers. Furthermore, there have been many reports published about the Iraqi causalities that exceeded more than 1.2 million people. Also, there are millions of Iraqi widows and millions of orphans.

Recently, the UNESCO issued a critical report about the dangerous living conditions of Iraqi children. The report noted that more than 15 million children have been impacted by the war and are suffering deprivation of many of their basic needs. The report noted that more than 360,000 children are suffering from psychological personal problems. Furthermore, more than 50% of school age children are not attending schools and more than 40% can’t get clean water to drink. In addition, many of these children are put to work to help support their families. It has been stated that due to economic hardship some families resort to selling their children to strangers who smuggle them out of Iraq. The tragedy is that some of these children are used for prostitution. (al-jazeera.net, 10/19/10).

The dilemma of Iraqi children also extends to the period of the 1990s when the U.S. through the U.N. imposed an economic embargo against Iraq which lasted until the U.S. invasion of 2003. According to another UNESCO report, the embargo caused the deaths of more than 500,000 Iraqi children due to shortages of medications for their basic needs. During the Clinton administration, when Secretary of State Albright was asked about the UNESCO report, her response was, “Go and blame Saddam Hussein for it”. The tragic thing is when people die due to American policy, the deceased are viewed as collateral damage in order to implement their policy.

Unfortunately, the Iraqi government is not extending enough assistance to the millions of widows and their children who have lost the heads of their family. The present government of Iraq is driven by corruption and very few get benefits from the sales of Iraqi oil.