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.

Jan 25, 2010

Very often governments commit organized acts of terrorism to implement their foreign policy. They manufacture reasons to justify their interference or their attacks on other countries. Historically, such type of terrorism has always existed between dominant and subordinate countries.

A recent act of terrorism was the invasion of Iraq (March 3, 2003). President George W. Bush used false intelligent CIA reports stating that Iraq possessed WMD. He further maintained that Iraq would be an eminent threat to USA security despite the fact that Iraq was not connected to the 9/11 attack. He lied to the American people and misled them to justify the invasion of Iraq.

President Bush hidden agenda behind the Iraqi invasion was actually to control Iraqi oil. The Iraqi oil reserve is second to Saudi Arabia.Furthermore, he wanted to assure the safety of Israel. Iraq was the only potential future power in the Middle East region that could threaten Israel. He himself, after the Iraqi invasion, admitted that no WMD were found in Iraq, but that the invasion “made Israel safer”.

The consequences of the Iraq invasion were catastrophic. The oil was not secured for American oil companies. Furthermore, 3,364 American soldiers died in vain and 30,000 were wounded. In addition, many soldiers were mentally affected. This is reflected in the high rate of suicides and divorces among veterans.

Two prominent American economists, Professor J. Stiglitz of Columbia University and Professor L. Blimes of Harvard University, estimated the financial cost of the Iraqi war to the American tax- payers to be more than $3 trillions.
According to a British medical journal ‘Lancet’ and the School of Public Health at John Hopinks University, 1.2 million Iraqi civilians were killed during the war (9/18/2007).

A further calamity to Iraq was the destruction of its economy and its infrastructure, which resulted in 50% unemployment among Iraqis.

A global catastrophe, however, resulting from this war was the training and recruitment of terrorists to attack the US and other western countries. Prior to the war there was no such training or recruitment in Iraq.

One should add here that the USA helped the Iranian government when it removed Saddam Hussein who fought a proxy war against Iran on behalf of the US when Iran kook 400 Americans as hostages.

The moral here is that some members of the Bush administration should be tried for war crimes. In addition, one should not deny the fact that the majority of the members of Congress are also responsible for the catastrophic results of the Iraqi war because they approved Bush’s war act without any federal investigations.

Jan 24, 2010

A Squel on Terrorism

The Christian Science Monitor (1/13/2010) reported on an investigation relevant to the rising power of Al Qaeda in Yemen.

The major factor behind such development is attributed to the Israeli-American policy in the Middle East.

The reporter revealed the views of people he interviewed in Yemen. Those who responded stated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the source that feeds and nurture terrorism, “that Palestine and its Muslim people will always be in our heart until their liberation.”

Saied Ali Aljamhi also supports the above statement in his book (in Arabic) Al Qaeda in Yemen. The author states that the main factor behind young men joining Al Qaeda in Yemen is attributed to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Furthermore, the author states that he hopes the conflict will be settled so that the arteries that feed into Al Qaeda will be severed. This might weakened the terrorists’ activities.

The above statement is not a new revelation. It has been known for years. Indeed, if American politicians are seriously interested in diminishing global terrorism the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should end, and the proposed United Nations Resolutions should be imposed

A Thought on Terrorism

Terrorism has been part of human societies since the dawn of civilization. There is, however, a prevailing impression in the Western world, that Arab countries as well as Islamic countries are the exporters of global terrorism.

What is terrorism? It is an act of violence that causes the injury or death of unarmed people, or a group of people.

The FBI defines terrorism as “ the unlawful use of violence to intimidate or coerce a government or a civilian population.”

Universal type of terrorist acts, which could be committed by a single person, might be attributed to psychopathology, drug addiction, family feuds, poverty, or even crime of passion. There is however, a second type of terrorism. It is the act of violence committed by an organized “ politically oriented group” with a specific agenda. That specific group usually cannot achieve their objectives through peaceful means.

According to the FBI, “there has been nearly 500 terrorist acts on US soil over the past two decades (1980’s-1990’s) The FBI further states that” these acts have not come from the Middle East at all, but from our own citizens. This is terrorism ‘American Style’.”(Christian Science Monitor, 10/23/2002).

Organized group terrorism was also prevalent in Latin America, Asia, Western Europe and the Middle East. However, the most predominant terrorism on the global stage during the past decade is that of Al Qaeda group. This group has a political agenda in mind and wants to implement it. Bin Laden, himself, publicly declared war against the US in 1996 and1997. According to him it was due to the fact that the US has declared war against Muslim countries. Furthermore, he says, because of the US total support of Israel against the Palestinians.

For terrorist acts to end, the US government’s foreign policy needs to be revised. Above all it should stop interfering in other countries internal affairs, and play an evenhanded role in the Palestinian Israeli conflict. This will be of great benefit to American national interest.

Jan 18, 2010

Remarks on Thomas Friedman’s article

In his article, “What’s Our Sputnik” (NYT, 1/16/10), Thomas Friedman was absolutely right saying that Dick Cheney’s attacks on President Obama are not worth responding to.

His suggestion for the United States to withdraw from Afghanistan and to let both Pakistan and Afghanistan solve their problems, is excellent. This is the best way to end that deadly struggle.

His suggestion that the Israelis and Palestinians should figure out on their own how to make peace is not realistic. Israel has been an aggressive state from the first day it was created. Until the eve of the 1967 war, Israel was in full control of 76% of what used to be Palestine. Israel has been in full control of the West Bank since 1967 and has built more than 300 Jewish settlements, where more than 400,000 Jewish settlers are living. Each time the United Nations Security Council tries to pass resolutions forcing Israel to leave the occupied lands, the United States uses its veto power to neutralize any resolution passed by the UN. Furthermore, Israel is the fifth military power in the world. This is due to the fact that America provides Israel with the most advanced military hardware and tens of billions of American taxpayers’ money.

What Friedman should have recommended is for the United States to play an even-handed role toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and allow the United Nations to implement its Resolution 242, which requests that Israel evacuate the West Bank. If Israel persists in annexing more Palestinian lands, then the Palestinians should be incorporated. Mr. Friedman should have called for the creation of a bi-national state where Jews, Muslims and Christians could live in a secular state as they used to live many generations ago.

Would Thomas Friedman support such a suggestion that might finally bring peace to the Middle East?

Jan 12, 2010

Israel's Interference in USA Foreign Policy

A month ago the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz published an article titled "US officials face pro-Israel background check" written by Stephen Walt and Robert and Renee Belfer professors of international relation at Harvard University. The authors state that every appointee to the American government must endure a thorough back-ground check by the American Jewish community.

The article referred to Chas Freeman, former senator Hagel, and Hanna Rosenthal who were nominated for federal government positions. However, the Zionist Organization of America succeeded in derailing their appointments because they have made mild criticisms of Israel, or because they have been involved with JStreet. The latter has been vocal in advancing the peace process in the Middle East.

The Jewish community in the US, through their various Zionist organizations, as well as AIPAC and their lobbyists in congress, continues to have a strong control of American foreign policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian and Arab states.

One should stress here that American foreign policy, over the years, has been in the hands of pro-Israel officials.This has been "a steady recipe for failure" according to professor Walt.It should also be added that the continuous uneven handed policy of US government has encouraged the Israeli government to commit atrocities against Palestinians on a regular basis.

Israel is a major power that contributes to the rise of 'global terrorism' which affects innocent people and the USA is paying the price.

Ada Yunath an Israeli chemist and a Noble Prize winner (2009), stated publicly in an interview aired by the Israeli military broadcasting that "Israel produces Palestinian terrorists. Desperation and hopelessness push Palestinians to commit suicide missions, and that those who have hope in their future, would not commit such act of terror." (al-masry al yom, 10/12/09).