Listening to the Arab Call for “Even-Handed Sympathies” in the Middle East

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al-mirazi.jpgA TWN reader just sent me this interesting article titled “Arab Journalist Knocks U.S. Credibility in the Mideast,” that ran in yesterday’s Daily Oregonian.
The title of the article aside, it’s a very interesting inventory of views of America’s Middle East mess as seen from an Arab perspective. Hafez Al-Mirazi, who was previously Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera and now a senior correspondent in Cairo launching a new 24-hour news channel, Misr TV (and an occasional reader of The Washington Note), was speaking in a series organized by the Oregon World Affairs Council.
It’s important for Americans to do some listening — and to absorb some of the messages people like Al-Mirazi are transmitting.
Among the bullets that writer Ted Mahar garnered from Al-Mirazi’s talk were:

America will face crises in the Middle East for years to come, largely because it has acted un-American.
. . .”Iraq is much worse than it was before the U.S. invasion,” he said. U.S. mistakes included disbanding the Iraqi army, which has evolved into uncontrollable militias. Further, U.S. policies foment sectarian differences instead of seeking compromise.
Ending a dictator’s rule seems a hollow goal, “because there are so many dictators in the Arab world who are friends of the U.S.,” he said. With the Cold War over — and won — the U.S. should reject ties to any government leader not elected fairly.
. . .U.S. backing of Israel seems to be at the expense of Arab interests and will be an obstacle to order until truly even-handed sympathies are clear, he said.
“In the recent political debates, no Democrat said (the word) ‘Islam,’ while the Republicans competed to use anti-Islamic rhetoric,” he said. The administration, he said, has made the word “Islamic” an adjective used mainly with words like “terrorist,” “extremist,” “militant,” “radical” and anything but “religion.”

The short article is a good, quick snapshot of the staggeringly high antipathy in the Middle East towards America, and in my view, Al-Mirazi is smoothing out the edges and being very diplomatic.
But kudos to the Oregon World Affairs Council for hosting speakers like a senior journalist from Al Jazeera. More around the country need to avail themselves of similar opportunities.
— Steve Clemons
Editor’s Note: Thanks to BG for sending the Oregonian article link.

Comments

49 comments on “Listening to the Arab Call for “Even-Handed Sympathies” in the Middle East

  1. Carroll says:

    If I didn’t know better I would think Rosenberg read a little ditty I wrote after the Hamas election called “Hamas Speaks: Truth or Consquences Begin”…except mine was in the then present tense a month or so after the election.
    ” First we demanded that the Palestinians hold elections (Abbas didn’t want them), then we dispatched monitors to certify sure they were “free and fair” which they were, but when we didn’t like the election results we rejected them and promised that the Palestinians would “pay.” Almost immediately Members of Congress rushed to stop almost all forms of aid not just to Hamas-run institutions but to the Palestinian people at large.
    There was another way we might have gone. We could have welcomed Hamas’s participation in the election as a sign that Hamas was implicitly accepting the Oslo framework (which it was), insisted on the complete cessation of violence, and then used carrots and sticks to encourage the Hamas-run Palestinian Authority to mend its ways. But we offered no carrots, just sticks. And we didn’t even make much of an effort to strengthen Hamas’s arch-enemy, President Mahmoud Abbas, with Congress hastening to impose redundant and insulting conditions even on aid that was to be sent through him.
    It was all fun and games, politics as usual. Meanwhile, Hamas looked better and better to a people whose salaries were not being paid, thanks to the US sponsored international boycott of the PA, and whose schools and hospitals were collapsing.
    Today it is almost amusing to contemplate the professions of horror on the part of right-wing Israelis (and their neocon friends) who scream “bloody murder” about an outcome they helped effect and actually welcome.
    The name of their game was, is, and always will be making sure that Israel has “no partner” with whom to negotiate. Their worst fear is of Palestinians like Mahmoud Abbas who is a credible negotiating partner. >>>>>>>>>
    And in my ditty I was saying to Hamas to play it cool, resist all provocations,keep focusing on intergerating into a policial party. And Hamas did that for awhile, they even stayed cool thru their elected reps being arrested by Israel and imprisoned. But when the Israeli incursions began again, the main one being the one that blew up the Gaza power station and water facilities and the “accidential” killings on the beach I knew they would respond sooner or later.
    So now they are back…and a thousand times more pissed cause they did make the effort and they were totaly s*** upon.
    I am sure they expect Israel to come down on them like a ton of bricks eventually…I am equally sure they have a plan that involves more than just holding on to Gaza by their fingernails. Hamas released the Fatah prisoners they took today and said they were ‘forgiving” them.
    One thing Hamas isn’t is dumb sissies.
    Barring a coup in Israel and the US to reverse everything, everyone is in deeper dodo than ever.
    Can we just round up the neos, past and current and excute them all now?…please? The number of lives we would save vrs. theirs would easily justify it.

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  2. Bill R. says:

    Irrationality reigns supreme! The Palestinians elect Hamas and this is what they get. Americans elect Bush and we get a policy in the Middle East of “Christian Zionism.” We have an administration that is captive of the fundamentalist right wing that believes our policy should be one of establishing the Greater Israel, tearing down the Al-Aqsa mosque so the Jewish Temple can be rebuilt. This will usher in Armageddon, the rapture, and the “second coming.” As long as Islamic, Jewish, and Christian fundamentalism are the mindset and policy in the Middle East, “even handedness” isn’t even on the table.

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  3. JohnH says:

    MP wonders, “how does one country “prod” another? what are the instruments of “prodding?” There are only a few, and most of them (from where I sit) are blunt tools.”
    The US government funds a series of democracy building organizations to the tune of tens of millions of dollars per year. Most likely these funds are part of the “non-military affairs budget,” which Scott Paul mentioned on June 12.
    The question is why the US government directs its democracy building tools primarily at governments it does not like? Why did the government not earmark part of the tens of billions of aid to Egypt for democracy building? Is there any evidence the US government even tried to make Egypt more democratic?
    Also, the European Union seems to have found the formula for motivating countries to become more democratic. It involves aid, trade, and the prospect of future prosperity. Why doesn’t the US government study the European model, learn some lessons, and apply them instead of simply coddling friendly dictators and bludgeoning unfriendly ones?

    Reply

  4. Career Diplomat says:

    I also thought M.J. Rosenberg’s analysis was insightful. Thanks, JohnH.

    Reply

  5. MP says:

    Good analysis on Gaza from M. Indyk in Wapo oped today. Very interesting and worth reading.

    Reply

  6. JohnH says:

    More Gaza news–
    1) Blowback: how Israel created Hamas and fears negotiations more than it fears Hamas:
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2007/jun/15/hamas_wins_thanks_to_us
    2) Gaza has natural gas that Israel covets and Hamas now controls: http://www.metimes.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20070526-033515-3404r
    Will Israel’s desire for natural gas overcome its aversion to negotiations? Or will Israel find a way to dispossess Palestinians of their natural gas?

    Reply

  7. MP says:

    Very fine analysis of recent events in Gaza from MJ Rosenberg.
    http://www.tpmcafe.com/blog/coffeehouse/2007/jun/15/hamas_wins_thanks_to_us

    Reply

  8. MP says:

    JohnH writes: “What’s interesting about Career Diplomat’s comments is that on the one hand he decries the Arab ME’s failure to widely embrace religious, philosophical and political freedom and debate. Yet he largely refuses to acknowledge the US government’s role in embracing and underwriting the very regimes that stifle freedom and debate.
    ME: I would say that CD is arguing for a BALANCED view of what is and has happened in the ME, instead of simply blaming the US or Israel for all the troubles. This is a view similar to that of Levy and deSoto whom Carroll quotes favorably. To be sure CD at times undervalues the US and Israeli role–but then again, others over value it.
    So, yes, it would be nice if Arab societies were freer and more open. But is that a realistic expectation given the US government’s refusal to play a constructive role in making that happen?
    ME: The US has done a lot to undermine freedom and democracy in the ME. The case of Mossadegh in Iran in 1952 and the installation of the Shah and his repressive regime really stand out. Unfortunately, nations mostly act in what they perceive to be their own national interests and they tend to define those interests narrowly and shortsightedly. In Iran’s case, I believe, it was the US that they/we would lose access to the oil–or rather, we would no longer be able to profit from Iran’s oil.
    Case in point: Egypt. In return for the tens of billions of dollars given to Egypt in the last 25 years, it is not reasonable to expect that the US could have prodded Egypt into becoming more open and democratic by now?
    ME: How does one country “prod” another? I agree with you, but still, what are the instruments of “prodding?” There are only a few, and most of them (from where I sit) are blunt tools.
    I still think that leading BY EXAMPLE and ambundant trade and exchanges are the best and perhaps most effective ways. OTOH, Qutb, the godfather of the current crop jihadis, learned to hate America for her culture and freedoms by spending a few years in, I believe, Kansas and getting to know its people. So there are no sure things.
    From where I sit, it looks less like the US government failed, and more like it never bothered to try, because it’s quite content to deal with totalitarian regimes, as long as they are friendly ones.
    ME: How many choices does it have? Sure, if a totalitarian country is located in a corner of the globe without resources the US needs…or isn’t threatening one of our allies…we can afford not to “deal with” it. But not otherwise.
    I should point that, during the Cold War, the rallying cry on the left was that we SHOULD deal with the USSR (a totalitarian regime if ever there was one), should do business with it in order to lessen tensions, reduce the chance of nuclear war, and, eventually, bring about change.
    Standing up for oppressed minorities within the USSR was something of a sideshow, a distraction from the main game.
    In response to Saif’s post above, I would say the reason the moderates lose is that 1) there really aren’t that many of them and they don’t have a very large or powerful constituency 2) like all liberals, their arguments and POVs are nuanced and don’t translate well into slogans that stir the masses to action and 3) extremists, religious or otherwise, are able to tap into old culture, old mindsets, old prejudices and very, very powerful symbols. They simplify things in ways people can “understand.”
    Bani Sadr’s fate in 1979-80 is a case in point. The liberal students got snookered and pushed aside by their former ally, Khomeini.

    Reply

  9. Carroll says:

    Well finally our policy:
    “Mr de Soto reveals that after Hamas won elections last year it wanted to form a broad coalition government with its more moderate rivals, including Fatah, run by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
    But the US discouraged other Palestinian politicians from joining. “We were told that the US was against any ‘blurring’ of the line dividing Hamas from those Palestinian political forces committed to the two-state solution,” Mr de Soto writes. It was a year before a coalition government was finally formed.
    Has Paid off:
    Mideast Web’s
    The Middle East policy of the United States is suffering an unmitigated catastrophe as I write these words. The U.S. is suffering a policy disaster that may be worse in the long run than the Iraq debacle, but apparently nobody in the state department understands this. The Palestinian national cause is likewise suffering a second Nakba, a disaster as bad or worse than that of 1948. We Israelis too, have a new threat on our southern border. The astounding thing is that nobody at all seems to care very much, and everyone goes about business as usual, as if nothing happened.
    NYT on Abbas dissolving the Palestinian government as Hamas takes over Gaza:
    A resident of a Hamas-dominated neighborhood, identifying himself only as Yousef for fear of reprisal by his neighbors, said Gazans would always back the winner, regardless of ideology.
    “Today everybody is with Hamas because Hamas won the battle. If Fatah had won the battle they’d be with Fatah. We are a hungry people, we are with whoever gives us a bag of flour and a food coupon,” said Yousef, 30. “Me, I’m with God and a bag of flour.”
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Quell Success! Who could have guessed? And all we had to do was void the democratic Palestine elections, set Fatah against Hamas and starve them all.
    Just a few more successes like this and we will have finally “united” all those pesky infighting Arab fractions….against us.
    Memo to US …Starving, humilated people who will fight for a bag of flour will win. Don’t believe it? Ask any one of the Cuban fascist Batista toadies now living in exile in Miami.

    Reply

  10. kotzabasis says:

    Hafez Al-Miragi’s objection that the word “Islamic” is used as an ‘adjective for the words “terrorist”, “extremist”, “militant”,
    “radical”, and anything but religion’, is bereft of logic and is fugitive from reality.
    The trouble is that those who wage this suicidal war against America and the West are clad in the religious and spiritual garments of Islam, and are fighting as holy warriors in the name of the latter against the infidels of Western civilization. Therefore, the word “Islamic” is the inescapable adjective for these words. His umbrage at the use of this word is mere quibbling.

    Reply

  11. Carroll says:

    And in any discussion of the Israel – Palestine issue in the ME, once again the British National Archives are the most factual material.
    You can order all the documents referenced directly, and at one time you could pay a fee and read them online, you may still be able to do that but the bound editions are easier for those interested. This company has a extensive collection of documents and titles on all aspects of the ME.
    http://www.archiveeditions.co.uk/Leafcopy/A050-2.html
    ARCHIVE EDITIONS
    The Zionist Movement and the Foundation of Israel 1839–1972
    Editor: B. Destani
    Links
    Bibliographic data
    Resumé of the work
    Breakdown of volume dates
    Highlights from the documents
    Link to the Introduction
    Leading Personalities
    Related titles
    Title: The Zionist Movement and the Foundation of Israel
    1839–1972
    Extent: c. 8000 pages, 10 volumes including maps
    ISBN: 1840970502
    Paper: printed on acid free paper
    Binding: library bindings with gilt finish
    Price: see separate price list
    Resumé of the work
    These ten volumes draw together documents found in the British National Archives to trace the origins and development of the Zionist movement in the 19th and 20th centuries, with specific reference to the idea, and eventually the goal, of establishing a Jewish homeland. Material is relatively sparse in the 19th century and volume 1 is rather an historical volume covering the rise of Zionism, including the work of Theodor Herzl and the first Zionist Congress at Basle, ending in 1916 with the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The bulk of the material, volumes 2 to 8, relates to the years 1916-1948 when the Zionist debate raged, the movement became factionalised, split, and eventually, partly because of events surrounding World War II, achieved its goal of the creation of Israel. Volume 10, like volume 1 ranges over a greater number of years in less detail, covering the period after the creation of Israel in 1948 to the most recent releases by the British government from 1972, when the main question for Zionism, perhaps, was whether it still had a role to play beyond the inception of the State.
    Breakdown of the volumes by date
    Volume 1: 1839-1916
    Volume 2: 1917-1918
    Volume 3: 1919-1928
    Volume 4: 1928-1934
    Volume 5: 1935-1937
    Volume 6: 1937-1940
    Volume 7: 1941-1945
    Volume 8: 1945-1946
    Volume 9: 1946-1948
    Volume 10: 1948-1972
    The following list summarises key documents from the collection. Also shown (in brown) are events of particular importance in considering the development of Zionism.
    l Herzl’s view is that the Jews are partly accused of living off host nations and he raises the argument for a Jewish Homeland from The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl (c.1896)l [1:1]
    l 1914 Ottoman Turkish Empire destroyed, Middle East now full of opposing factions/interests
    l Husain–McMahon Correspondence 1915-1916 hoped for a greater Arab Kingdom
    l Sykes–Picot secret arrangement between British, French and Russians 1916 to divide the Middle East into their respective spheres of influence
    l 1916, Lucien Wolf, respected journalist and leading member of the Conjoint Foreign Committee of British Jews, writing to James de Rothschild, argues against Zionism which sees “Jews as aliens in foreign lands” as being similar to anti-Semitism in insisting that Jews will never be integrated into other cultures [1: 86]
    l Weizmann, influential Jew living in Britain, secured the help of Judge Louis Brandeis, Principal Advisor to President Woodrow Wilson, in bringing the USA into the War on the Allied side, 1917
    2 November 1917 Balfour Declaration of principle of support for the Jews
    l April 1917, Sir Mark Sykes, under instructions from the Prime Minister and Mr Balfour has been assisting Nahum Sokolov in looking for a solution to the Jewish problem and invites Mr Weizmann, another prominent Zionist to join them [2: 12]
    l August 1917, E.S. Montagu, Secretary of State for India, circulating a memorandum criticising “The Anti-Semitism of the Present [British]Government” explaining that by suggesting a Jewish National Home they will increase anti-Semitism in every country where Jews presently reside [2:65]
    l March 1918, Lord Curzon forwarding a copy of the programme which Suleiman Bey Nassif and the Arabs are going to present to the Zionist Commission as a basis for mutual understanding between Palestinians and Zionists, particularly that land sales should be suspended lest due to the general impoverishment caused by the war they become exploitative [2: 114]
    l April 1918, Dr Weizmann to Louis Brandeis, reporting the reaction to the Balfour Agreement in Palestine itself among the population. He states that the British Army who know little of the politics are informing the people that they have come to liberate the country from the Turks and hand it over to the Jews [2:116]
    l April 1918, Military Governor of Jerusalem reporting on a dinner party at which Dr Weizmann and the Grand Mufti were present, Weizmann is reported as explaining Zionist aims to dispel misconceptions and the Mufti as looking forward to a spirit of co-operation [2:118]
    l June 1918, Brigadier Clayton to the Political Officer of the Zionist Commission regarding excisions required from the notes of the 17th Meeting of the Zionist Commission before they can be passed by the British government for public view [2: 135]
    l Zionists (1919) defined (the Jewish home) as including southern Lebanon, Jordan valley up to the outskirts of Amman, south as far as a line from el Arish on the coast in Egypt, to Sharm el Sheikh on the Gulf of Aqaba
    l April 1919, letter from Lord Balfour to Dr Weizmann, regarding the future of Zionism and current anti-Zionist propaganda in Palestine [3:33]
    l San Remo Conference 1920; League of Nations decisions: 1920 French Mandate troops in Damascus; 1920 British Mandate awarded for Palestine and Transjordan
    l Britain grants Transjordan to Emir Abdullah, 1921
    l 1922, Terms of the British Mandate agreed with the USA (not a member of League of Nations) before agreeing at the League of Nations: restatement of Balfour agreement principles; also provided for “an appropriate Jewish Agency” to co-operate with the Palestine Authority and develop the country – the Mandate suggested the Zionist Organisation as suitable
    l November 1921, leaflet published by the British Committee of the Palestine Arab Delegation [3:93]
    l Jewish population in Palestine in 1923, 56000
    l January 1927, comments respecting Zionism, by the Polish Press, during a visit by Sir W. Deedes, such as “Zionism is a reactionary movement supported by the Jewish bourgeoisie and British Imperialism” [3: 106]
    l February 1928, evidence of 3 major individual Zionist donors: Warburg, Rosenwats, and Rockfeler, promising some $10,000,000 to the Russian Government in return for assurances in respect of Jewish colonies to be set up in Siberia [3: 120]
    l Arabs bitterly opposed the Balfour declaration and land sales to Jews. Arab violence broke out in 1922 and 1929, Arabs found themselves in conflict with the Mandatory government
    l February 1933, Cabinet paper expressing disquiet at the growth of a new class of poverty-stricken Arabs, caused by the sale, by Arab landowners, of land they had previously cultivated as tenant farmers [4: 66]
    l March 1934, Extract from the Jewish Chronicle, reporting the reception of Dr Weizmann by Mussolini [4: 87]
    l October 1934, Jewish Telegraphic Agency Bulletin, expressing opposition to the formation of a Legislative Council under current circumstances given that the present circumstances would condemn the Jews to be a minority population [4: 92]
    l August 1935, 19th World Zionist Congress: David Ben Gurion draws a comparison between the treatment of Jews in Germany and conditions under the Spanish Inquisition; the Misrachi Orthodox wing of the movement announces a refusal to participate in the conference because of their view that there is irreligion in Palestine; Dr Weizmann, who had resigned as President of the World Zionist Organisation in 1931, was elected President of this 19th Congress [5: 13]
    l Four British Commissions of Enquiry and two White Papers were issued between 1920 and 1936
    1936–1939 Arab strike and rebellion
    l January 1936, private meeting between David Ben Gurion, Dr Weizmann, Mr Shertok and Sir A. Wauchope, High Commissioner of Palestine: this meeting is in reaction to the British Government proposal to setting up a subsistence area for small owners, a measure to allay Arab fears over the extent of Jewish land purchases. Dr Weizmann sees it as “his life’s work ruined” [5: 30]
    l April 1936, Presidency of the New Zionist Organization to the Colonial Secretary voicing concerns about the recent murder of Jewish settlers, and further to that stating that the underlying cause of the murders is the misconception in Arab minds that settlement growth should be subject to Arab agreement. The offer by the British Government of a Legislative Council to run the country, in their view, only adds to this misconception. [5: 43]
    l April 1936, V. Jabotinsky, New Zionist Organization, to Sir Josiah Wedgwood thanking him for his concern to reunite the split Zionist organisation but repeating the reasons for the rift as being of supreme importance, for example the Zionist Organisation supported the mass sale of German goods in Palestine [5: 44]
    l 1939 On the eve of War, third White Paper was issued stalling everything while the Britain concentrated on the war. Details: no significant increase in immigration; curtailment of immigration after a further 75000 and self-governing institutions to be set up after 5 years, which would have preserved the Arab majority in the country and its legislature.
    l April 1939, Report from German Embassy, Washington on Aryanisation in Germany. Deliberate removal of Jewish businesses and property into German hands. Document presenting it as a lawful exchange [6: 10]
    l September 1939, V. Jabotinsky, President of the New Zionist Organization to Prime Minister N. Chamberlain, openly stating the aspirations of the New Zionist Organization, “the most uncompromising conception of State” and suggesting the reformation of the Jewish Legion as a recruitment drive to Jews worldwide to get behind the allies [6: 55]
    l September 1939, reaction of V. Jabotinsky to the 1939 White Paper: he suggests that on the eve of war and in the face of the situation for Jews in Europe, that the British Government should either ignore illegal immigration or increase the immigration quota [6: 56]
    l March 1940, the question of an alternative Jewish Homeland, perhaps in British Guiana is raised but the British Government decides “the problem is at present too problematical to admit of the adoption of a definite policy and must be left for the decision of some future Government in years to come” [6: 64]
    l June 1941, Antony Eden Foreign Secretary admitting that “the situation in the Middle East has now passed the point when a conciliatory move by the Jews…would have any chance of success”
    [7: 1]
    l October 1941, secret despatch from the High Commissioner for Palestine to the Colonial Secretary concerning terrorist activities of the Irgun Zvaei Leumi [7: 3]
    l 1942, During WWII Jewish regiment fights with British against axis powers
    l 11 May 1942, Zionism revises itself in response to Nazi policy – the Biltmore (hotel) Programme: demands that the Jewish Agency be in control of immigration into Palestine: and that Palestine is declared a Jewish Commonwealth
    l August 1942, Foreign Office admitting the removal of documents from the luggage of David Ben Gurion on his recent trip to the USA. According to notes in the documents, Zionism now has two objectives: a Jewish Army and a Jewish State, with a Jewish Army being the main means of achieving a Jewish State [7: 19]
    l June 1942, Special Operations Executive has been working in Palestine and judges that the Jewish population would work with the allied forces to deny an invading force but that they would also be working to further their “parochial nationalist aspirations”. Nonetheless, the High Commissioner of Palestine accepts this duality in the face of occupation by axis powers. [7: 24]
    l April 1943, King Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia speaking out against the opportunistic propaganda activities of American Zionists and claiming that even were there no Arabs in Palestine there would not be room enough for the Jews of the world [7: 30]
    l December 1944, after the murder of Lord Moyne, Lord Halifax, British Ambassador in Washington sends a telegram with extracts from the US Jewish press, for example: “What is it that leads to a despair so bitter and hopeless, that it leads even so small a minority as the Palestinian [sic] terrorists to the extremity of taking human life, knowing that their own life almost certainly will be forfeit too?” [7: 108]
    l August 1945, World Zionist Conference, Dr Weizmann reserves particular criticism for the 1939 White Paper that restricted immigration of Jews into Palestine and saved too few from the holocaust in Europe. He warns that while the war was on the Zionists fought with the British but now the rift caused by the policies in the 1939 White Paper threatens to open again. [7:139]
    l September 1945, Chargé in Iraq writes expressing the concern among Arabs at the pressure being exerted by the USA upon the British government “…President Truman is urging the British Government to open Palestine to Zionist immigration, thereby promoting the interests of Zionists and the realisation of their ambitions.” [8: 8]
    l 1946 As well as civil administration, the Jewish Agency has formed its own Military Organisation, the Haganah, strengthened by troops who had fought with the British in the War
    l Extremist groups the Stern Gang and Irgun Zvaei Leumi work to make the Mandate unworkable and to impose the Biltmore Programme
    l Jewish population in Palestine in 1946, 608000
    l Transjordan becomes independent in 1946. Many Arabs fleeing Palestine go to Jordan.
    l January 1946, British Consul, New York reporting a mass demonstration for Jewish freedom put on by the New Zionist Organization of America. “It was constantly patrolled by the Betarim, the new Jewish Youth Army, attired in a Hebrew version of the old Nazi Bund uniform.” “Great Britain was public enemy no. 1 of the Jewish people, more dangerous and shrewder than the Nazis…” [8: 44]
    l February 1946, formation of B’rith Trumpeldor of America or Betar, affiliated with the NZO. “there is noticeable similarity in the organisation’s character, structure and aims to those of the Hitler Youth…”, reported by British Embassy, Washington [8: 65]
    l March 1946, British Foreign Office memorandum on the situation in Palestine: “The belief that the fundamental cause of the Jewish tragedy is Jewish homelessness gains a widening currency… and banishes historical perspective. [8: 76]
    l April 1946, Outline Report of the Anglo-American Committee of Enquiry. Expected hostile reactions from both the Jewish and Arab sides [8: 103]
    l January 1947, one of a series of at least 5 meetings between representatives of the Jewish Agency and the British Cabinet, Foreign and Colonial Offices. Those present included, on the British side: the Foreign Secretary, Colonial Secretary, Prime Minister, the Cabinet Minister; and those present for the Jewish Agency included: David Ben Gurion, Moshe Shertok, Professor Brodetsky, Nahum Goldman and Mr Neumann. [9: 26]
    l Jewish population in Palestine 650000 in 1948
    l May 1948 the State of Israel was declared
    l January 1949, Mr Bevin, Prime Minister of Britain considering the present need to recognise the Government of Israel, and diplomatic moves to get the USA to recognise Transjordan [10: 48]
    l West Bank Arabs agree to join Jordan 1950
    l October 1967, from the British Postmaster General’s speech on behalf of the British Government in Israel at the 50th Anniversary of the Balfour Declaration: “Only the creation by Adolf Hitler of mass Jewish homelessness made reconciliation of Arab and Jewish nationalism impossible … It was now clear that the Jewish nation could not be re-born except at the price of Arab nationalism –
    Related titles
    Palestine Boundaries 1833-1947
    Israel: Boundary Disputes with Arab Neighbours 1946-1964
    Palestine and Transjordan Administration Reports 1918-1948
    Political Diaries of the Arab World: Palestine and Jordan 1920-1965
    Records of Jordan 1919-1965
    Survey of Western and Eastern Palestine 1882-1888
    Records of Jerusalem 1917-1971

    Reply

  12. Carroll says:

    This also another excellent edition for a factual study of the ME and the various events and changes brought about by European influence as well as the war.
    http://www.archiveeditions.co.uk/Leafcopy/077-3.htm
    Diplomacy In The Near And Middle East 1535-1956
    J. C. Hurewitz
    Hurewitz is the prime authority on the historical evolution of relations between the Arab States and the rest of the world
    The historical period
    Professor Hurewitz’s work is designed “to unfold European diplomacy in and on the Near and Middle East in modern times”. His collection of documents covers more than 400 years, from the 1535 Ottoman-French treaty, to a Soviet-Iranian exchange of notes in 1955. The work illustrates the history of diplomacy in the Middle East while recording the evidence of the great events and cycles of Arab political development. In the 17th and 18th centuries, European influence in the Near and Middle East grew steadily behind a commercial facade. European imperial supremacy started with Napoleon’s occupation of Egypt in 1798 and lasted for 150 years.
    Diplomacy in the Middle East changed its course abruptly at the time of World War I. Before 1914 only three states dealt in diplomacy with the European powers: Persia, the Ottoman Empire and, in part, Egypt. The peace settlements after World War I prepared the way for the future independence of the Arab States – a process to last 50 years

    Reply

  13. Carroll says:

    But again, if you believe that the Arab ME’s failure to widely embrace religious, philosophical and political freedom and debate, along with egalitarianism is entirely or even largely a result of our policies, you are simply wrong.
    The history of the region tells a very different story.
    Posted by Career Diplomat at June 14, 2007 07:20 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    I am afriad I can’t take you seriously and
    I question your historical knowledge of Arabia.
    You speak in generalizations without any references to specfics for your statements or any outline of events in the ME as it evolved from the 1500’s to present day. You appear to be skipping over several centuries of history as well as, as I said, having no specific facts to back you opinions.
    I recommend you study the most authoritave history, out side of Arab records, available to the West. That would be
    the official British documents and historical reporting done both before and after the several colonizations of the ME by Europe.
    You can order from this site:
    http://www.archiveeditions.co.uk/Leafcopy/726-
    ARCHIVE EDITIONS
    Political Diaries of the Arab World:
    Persian Gulf 1904-1965
    Let me recommend you do some study

    Reply

  14. Career Diplomat says:

    I agree with you, John, but I’d argue that you are making one incorrect assumption: In much of the Arab ME, democracy does NOT translate into social freedom and egalitarianism. unfortunately, in many instances, the opposite would be true, as is the case with Hamas, Hizballah, and other very popular wahabbist movements which are vehemently opposed to social freedom, tolerance and egalitarianism.
    That being said, I will agree that this administration has bungled our response to the Palestinian elections.

    Reply

  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “What better way to nip freedom and democracy in the bud than to annul an election that was widely considered to be free and fair? The authoritarian regimes of the region breathed a sigh of relief at the US stance for now they were off the hook–the US was not serious about freedom and democracy after all.”
    Don’t forget Haiti. And the bastards are working on Venezuela as well. These monsters only like democracy in the puppet booths whose strings lead straight to Washington.

    Reply

  16. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “As a career diplomat you must certainly know exactly what I’m talking about.”
    Now THATS funny!

    Reply

  17. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its interesting that Steve feels compelled to air Al-Mirazi’s reflections, yet has not mentioned Ron Paul’s parallel views. I guess its laudable to decry America’s approach to its Middle Eastern Foreign policy if you are an arab, but not if you are a Presidential candidate. Ron Paul has consistently criticized, with good reason, our policies in the Middle East, as well as our pandering to Israel and its agents and spy networks masquerading as “lobbys”.

    Reply

  18. JohnH says:

    It’s funny how old stereotypes die. For the longest time it was said that Muslims were incapable of democracy. With the rise of democratic regimes in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Turkey, that line became untenable. So it was said that Arabs were incapable of democracy. But then Palestinians had an election and voted out the US/Israeli backed party. So the US and Israel declared the election illegitimate.
    What better way to nip freedom and democracy in the bud than to annul an election that was widely considered to be free and fair? The authoritarian regimes of the region breathed a sigh of relief at the US stance for now they were off the hook–the US was not serious about freedom and democracy after all.
    Yet somehow Career Diplomat can disagree with any assertion that US policies “are even peripherally to blame for preventing a “flowering” of freedom throughout the region.”
    Methinks he needs to continue his studies of the Middle East, perhaps more vigorously and more rigorously…

    Reply

  19. hazmaq says:

    Neglect leads to a more massive rebel forces, also very prevalent in Mexico and Latin America.
    And like Hizb’allah, who won over much of Lebanons populace by offering simple necessities like food and shelter while it’s government fought over trivialites, so too will nationalists around the world rise up to defend their individual god given rights if their governments ignore their pleas.
    The days of cowering under U.S. or British rule are over.
    And Israel has had it’s sheeps costume removed.
    All three leaders will leave in shame.
    May we all walk in proud harmony soon.

    Reply

  20. Career Diplomat says:

    A stubborn case of insomnia here…
    JohnH:
    I do agree with your first point. US policies in the arab ME have done nothing to foster social reform, but I disagree with the point you seem to imply up-thread that these same policies are to blame for this lack of Arab civil liberty in the first place, or that they are even peripherally to blame for preventing a “flowering” of freedom throughout the region.
    Nor do I think that the absence of US influence in the region would dramatically alter the social landscape of the Arab ME.
    In short, these cultures and social mores are much older than our country and they were certainly entrenched long before oil was discovered and our meddling began.

    Reply

  21. JohnH says:

    Inept and oftentimes counterproductive policies are not what is at issue here. What is at issue are core US policies that embrace and bolster totalitarian ME regimes, reinforce reactionary elites, and jail those promoting human rights and democracy. All this in countries where the US has enormous soft power and could push for constructive change.
    As a career diplomat you must certainly know exactly what I’m talking about.
    A period of benign neglect may be what the Arab world needs. It certainly seems to be working in Latin America, where popular, democratically elected regimes are increasingly prevalent.

    Reply

  22. ChaChaCha says:

    Hey Steve,
    I covered the Middle East as a journalist, thus it would probably help you to read what I have to say. But I am not allowed to post. So this is testing 1-2-3.
    Prove that you are open to all facts and allow me to post this, which would be a good guide for your readers to get firsthand reports from the Middle East:
    If you want to truly get a bearing on the Middle East, read AntiWar.com ‘s news section daily.
    For news directly from Lebanon, the Daily Star is excellent.
    From Syria, I would suggest the Syrian Arab News Agency:
    http://www.sana.org/index_eng.html
    From Palestine — this is the best wire service:
    http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php
    And again, each weekday on a program called Mosaic, LinkTV broadcasts news from the Middle East (including Israel) translated into English — it is INVALUABLE.
    LinkTV is DirectTV channel 375, DishTV channel 9410.
    You can also watch Mosaic online at :
    http://www.linktv.org/mosaic

    Reply

  23. Career Diplomat says:

    “What’s interesting about Career Diplomat’s comments is that on the one hand he decries the Arab ME’s failure to widely embrace religious, philosophical and political freedom and debate. Yet he largely refuses to acknowledge the US government’s role in embracing and underwriting the very regimes that stifle freedom and debate.”
    C’mon, JohnH. I’m NOT excusing our inept and oftentimes counterproductive policies in the ME, nor our current or past support of various Arab tyrants.
    But again, if you believe that the Arab ME’s failure to widely embrace religious, philosophical and political freedom and debate, along with egalitarianism is entirely or even largely a result of our policies, you are simply wrong.
    The history of the region tells a very different story.

    Reply

  24. JohnH says:

    What’s interesting about Career Diplomat’s comments is that on the one hand he decries the Arab ME’s failure to widely embrace religious, philosophical and political freedom and debate. Yet he largely refuses to acknowledge the US government’s role in embracing and underwriting the very regimes that stifle freedom and debate.
    So, yes, it would be nice if Arab societies were freer and more open. But is that a realistic expectation given the US government’s refusal to play a constructive role in making that happen?
    Case in point: Egypt. In return for the tens of billions of dollars given to Egypt in the last 25 years, it is not reasonable to expect that the US could have prodded Egypt into becoming more open and democratic by now? From where I sit, it looks less like the US government failed, and more like it never bothered to try, because it’s quite content to deal with totalitarian regimes, as long as they are friendly ones.

    Reply

  25. MP says:

    Also an interesting site and article on 40 years. Well worth reading…
    V1967 + 40 — Years of Deepening Spiritual Disorders: Can We Heal Them?
    Israeli-Palestinian Collision
    By Rabbi Arthur Waskow
    [As we approach the fortieth anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and the beginning of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, it is clear there have been ethical disasters on all sides.
    [Taking them into account, I want to ask: What spiritual disorders led to this series of ethical disasters? What might help to heal them?
    [The war itself, the 40-year occupation, and the frequent choice of terror attacks on civilians to “resist” the occupation were all both the results and the causes of disastrous ethical and practical choices by the Arab states, the Israeli government, and the Palestinian leadership.
    [Yet some events taking place now to mark the 40-year period have celebrated one “side” and focused on the misdeeds of the other. The Shalom Center has refused to take part in such one-sided events (for example, uncritical celebrations of the “reunification” of Jerusalem, which ignore the oppressive and destructive behavior of the Israeli government toward Palestinians in East Jerusalem, and uncritical attacks on the occupation that do not mention the way in which terrorist forms of “resistance” to it have actually strengthened it).
    [Instead, this essay tries to unearth the deep spiritual roots of the ethical disasters on both sides.
    Continues at….
    http://www.shalomctr.org/node/1264

    Reply

  26. Carroll says:

    http://www.tonykaron.com/
    Yes, thumbs up…someone who evidently knows what he is talking about.

    Reply

  27. saifedean says:

    Thanks all for all your comments.
    I wish there were more fora where people could actually talk about such issues intelligently. Steve Clemons provides us with one place; but so many are terribly awful.
    Another interesting source, particularly on the new developments and on Israel in general is Tony Karon on http://www.tonykaron.com
    I highly recommend this site.

    Reply

  28. Carroll says:

    Levy also recommends reading the outgoing UN Envoy de Soto’s report on how the US has blocked all UN ME peace efforts.
    He links to the Guardian article in which you can find a link to the entire report in pdf.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,,2101630,00.html
    “He cites overwhelming influence exerted by the US and an “ensuing tendency toward self-censorship” within the UN when it comes to criticism of Israel.
    “At almost every juncture a premium is put on good relations with the US and improving the UN’s relationship with Israel. I have no problem with either goal but I do have a problem with self-delusion,” he writes. “Forgetting our ability to influence the Palestinian scene in the hope that it keeps open doors to Israel is to trade our Ace for a Joker.”
    Mr de Soto reveals that after Hamas won elections last year it wanted to form a broad coalition government with its more moderate rivals, including Fatah, run by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But the US discouraged other Palestinian politicians from joining. “We were told that the US was against any ‘blurring’ of the line dividing Hamas from those Palestinian political forces committed to the two-state solution,” Mr de Soto writes. It was a year before a coalition government was finally formed.
    The US also supported the Israeli decision to freeze Palestinian tax revenues. “The Quartet has been prevented from pronouncing on this because the US, as its representatives have intimated to us, does not wish Israel to transfer these funds to the PA [Palestinian Authority],” he writes. “There is a seeming reflex, in any given situation where the UN is to take a position, to ask first how Israel or Washington will react rather than what is the right position to take.”
    Mr de Soto opposed the international boycott placed on the Palestinian government after Hamas won elections last year. He argued that it was wrong to use pressure and isolation alone, and proposed retaining dialogue with Hamas. He wanted tougher criticism of Israel as well, but came up against a “heavy barrage” from US officials.
    The effect of the boycott was to seriously damage the Palestinian economy and promote radicalism. It also lifted pressure from Israel. “With all focus on the failings of Hamas, the Israeli settlement enterprise and barrier construction has continued unabated,” he writes.
    The US, he argues, was clearly pushing for a confrontation between Fatah and Hamas but Washington misjudged Mr Abbas, who he argues had wanted to co-opt rather than defeat Hamas. Fighting between Fatah and Hamas has intensified in recent months. He quotes an unnamed US official as saying earlier this year: “I like this violence … It means that other Palestinians are resisting Hamas.” Since December at least 600 Palestinians have been killed in factional battles.
    The report criticises the Palestinians for their violence, and Israel for extending its settlements and barrier in the West Bank. But he also argues that Israeli policies have encouraged continued Palestinian militancy. “I wonder if the Israeli authorities realise that, season after season, they are reaping what they sow, and are systematically pushing along the violence/repression cycle to the point where it is self-propelling,” he writes.
    In his 52-page report, Mr de Soto refers to a meeting at which two senior US officials, deputy national security adviser Elliott Abrams and assistant secretary of state David Welch, exerted pressure through “ominous innuendo” about Congress’s ability to curb its funding of the UN”
    >>>>>>>>
    Of course most of us recongized this as it was happening but confirmation from a source who was in the thick of it with more information than we will ever have removes any doubt whatsoever.

    Reply

  29. Career Diplomat says:

    In addition to the excellent Galloway article (below), I was appalled to read this morning’s McClatchy’s news that Karen Hughes is to head up a new State Department (dis)information effort to improve the United States’ image abroad. God help us!
    Posted by Sandy at June 14, 2007 04:20 PM
    God help us is right, Sandy!! Karen Hughes has been “employed” in this respect for the last several years. She’s done us a world of good, huh (please read this with dripping, biting sarcasm)?!
    As far as I can tell, this woman is an incompetent sycophant, who owes her entire career to riding the coat tails of W. But, don’t worry, everyone at foggy bottom already knows this. The question is: what is left of our positive public image in the ME OR abroad that is left for Karen Hughes to destroy?
    I’m typing this on my personal laptop, so I can be honest 😉

    Reply

  30. Career Diplomat says:

    John, oh, John, oh, John.
    C’mon, buddy. I’m not spewing stereotypes. And yes… I HAVE spent time studying, travelling and working in Arab “cultures.”
    are you telling us that there is a widespread notion of egalitarianism throughout the Arab ME?! Are you telling us that there is a widespread embrace of religious, philosophical and political freedom and debate throughout the Arab ME?!
    if so, then you betray a serious naivete, or worse!

    Reply

  31. Sandy says:

    Well said, saifedean (3:39 p.m.)! Thank you for your informative and balanced posts.
    In addition to the excellent Galloway article (below), I was appalled to read this morning’s McClatchy’s news that Karen Hughes is to head up a new State Department (dis)information effort to improve the United States’ image abroad. God help us!
    http://tinyurl.com/3xff89

    Reply

  32. JohnH says:

    Interesting how the Career Diplomat cannot claim to have lived in any Arab culture yet is comfortable spewing stereotypes about them.
    So let’s look at an independent source: the Global Peace Index. http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/05-30-2007/0004598231&EDATE Arab countries are represented at all levels from Oman at #22 to Sudan and Iraq at #122 and #123. Other rankings include #39 Tunisia, #48 Morocco, #58 Libya, #63 Jordan, #73 Egypt, #77 Syria.
    Surprise! All but four Arab countries rank as more peaceful than the United States, which ranks 96th. Israel is #119, right down there with Iraq and Sudan.
    Career Diplomats who live in glass houses should be careful about throwing stones.

    Reply

  33. Career Diplomat says:

    Thanks for the response, saifedean. I agree with everything you write. Just as I have always maintained, the political and social situation in the ME is extremely complex and nuanced.
    The problem is that too many people, on both sides of the issue, want to make it an either or proposition, i.e. the Israelis are “Nazis,” who are the root of all evil in the ME, or the Arabs are violent and backward “evildoers” without morals or the capacity to live in peace.
    Here’s hoping that this ongoing debate will be as constructive as the one taking place here in this thread.
    Thanks again.

    Reply

  34. MP says:

    Interesting post, Saif.
    Thanks.

    Reply

  35. saifedean says:

    CareerDiplomat,
    I do largely agree with you, and nowhere did I say that Arab societies are perfect except for American and Israeli intervention. This position is as bankrupt as saying that all the problems of the region are domestic and have nothing to do with America or Israel. It is of course, a bit of both.
    But what perhaps gets missed so often is how the American and Israeli influence has in itself stoked the flames of the worst elements in Arab societies, and how it has directly encouraged all these evils to surface all across the Arab world.
    Case in point: in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s it was the American idea to use Saudi money and influence to build mosques, radicalize the masses and spread Saudi Wahhabi fundamentalism all across the Arab world as the antedote to pan-Arabism. While Israel and America were fighting Nasser militarily, diplomatically and economically, they were also festering the Islamic internal opposition to him that would weaken him internally, and turn people towards the inactive religious calls of Wahhabism.
    Also, bear in mind how America’s best allies in the region: Israel, Saudi, Mubarak’s Egypt and Jordan have worked for decades on suppressing internal dissidence, progressive ideals and politics and calls for change. This meant the smartest and brightest Arabs, the ones who would’ve been the vanguard against the social ills you mention, ended up in prison, murdered and exiled. Add to that the brain drain that this encouraged, along with the money to fund fundamentalism, and no wonder you get these societies with all these ills.
    It’s not internal nor external: it’s a complex interaction of the two. Israel and America have played an enormous role that can not be dismissed by just showing some examples of Arabs doing wrong things to each other.

    Reply

  36. Carroll says:

    Daniel Levy also spot on on the unifying theme of Arab conflicts.
    http://www.prospectsforpeace.com/
    “Yet it is possible, perhaps, to discern at least one unifying theme: each of these conflicts is, in part, the pushback against the neocon transformationalist agenda for the Middle East.
    I am not suggesting that the US is solely responsible for the woeful state of the region, but the contribution of a mistaken and rigid ideological dogma applied to the region has been dramatic and devastating.
    On Iraq, the case hardly needs to be made — it is self-evident. On Lebanon, the isolation of and regime-change rhetoric towards Syria exacerbated an already tense situation, and has clearly failed to “correct Syrian misbehavior.” In Gaza, the Bush administration policy of “no meaningful peace process under our watch,” combined with support for Israeli unilateralism and, most recently, the destabilizing of the PA government, are all crucial to understanding the current Fatah-Hamas debacle. ”

    Reply

  37. Carroll says:

    Posted by Career Diplomat at June 14, 2007 02:39 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    My politically correct troll reply:
    “So What?”
    What the Arabs do among themselves, to themselves has nothing to do with the discussion of what American is doing in the ME except to point out how we are minpulating these Arab fractions for our own advantage.

    Reply

  38. karenk says:

    Both saifedean and career diplomat are correct. It is a combination of bad ME foreign policy on the part of the US government and the continued ignorance of this policy by the American people(we aren’t completely off the hook), plus the intolerance, repression and nonegalitarian(I assume against women) nature of those societies, that contribute to the problem. Neither Jews nor Muslims believe in forgiveness from what I gather, which is a huge issue.
    Also, I discovered al jazeera dot net english just after sept 11th 2001. I was desperate for a “their side of the story” take on that one. I found it no more biased toward their views than, say Fox 5 is towards ours-perhaps even less so!

    Reply

  39. daCascadian says:

    Oregonian writer Ted Mahar >”…the U.S. should reject ties to any government leader not elected fairly…”
    “We the people…” need to start this process by rejecting ties to the selected (“…not elected fairly…”) individuals now in office, Bush Handlers, Inc.
    Mature responsible behavior begins at home
    [thanks to saifedean; here`s hoping “We the people…” do better in our future]
    “…Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy goals…” – Iraq Study Group

    Reply

  40. Career Diplomat says:

    JohnH:
    In fact, you are wrong. I have lived and worked in many foreign countries. In fact, I’m writing today from overseas.
    And no, JohnH, I do “recognize” Arabs as “real people.” But, as we should all acknowledge the fact that “real” people are full of contradictions.
    I did NOT intend to define the entirety of Arab societies in the context I did above, nor did I intend to make a sweeping genralization about the entirety of any single culture, although to deny that there is a mainstream trend of “violent intolerance, religious, political, philosophical repression and non-egalitarianism.” throughout the Arab world is naive, to say the least.

    Reply

  41. JohnH says:

    Saifedean can speak with authority because he has had the opportunity to live in both Arab and American cultures. Career Diplomat clearly has not. Otherwise he would not simply dismiss Arab culture as one of “violent intolerance, religious, political, philosophical repression and non-egalitarianism.” Career Diplomat is simply repeating a government and media generated stereotype that fails to recognize Arabs as real people, ruled by repressive elites most of whom are aided and abetted by the US government.

    Reply

  42. Career Diplomat says:

    “The policies this country (America) pursues in the ME are just so bloody awful, misguided, criminal and unjust that it is fascinating to imagine they would come from a democracy like America, the majority of whose population are really good people.
    But these policies are not only ruining the lives of Palestinians, Iraqis, Lebanese and Arabs, but are beginning to come back to haunt Americans and ruin America’s stature.”
    Posted by saifedean
    Yes but… I’m sure that you are not implying that it is ONLY U.S. or Israeli policies which are ruining the lives of palestinians, Iraqis, Lebanese and Arabs in general, right?
    Isn’t the culture of violent intolerance, religious, political, philosophical repression and non-egalitarianism also ruining the lives of these people?
    As problematic, counter productive and inept as some of this country’s ME policies HAVE been, surely you must admit that the above realities have also existed in the ME for centuries through NO blame of the U.S. or Israel.
    It’s not enough to blame the U.S., Israel or the U.K. alone. Just as we do, Arabs also need to take a hard look in the mirror and hold themselves, their culture and their leaders accountable for their ruinous plight.

    Reply

  43. ... says:

    thanks saifedean… that is mildly encouraging!
    excellent short article steve.. but you realize when you mention that he worked for Al Jazeera immediately the ordinary american will view him as a terrorist! that is how bad propaganda has gotten in the usa.

    Reply

  44. Carroll says:

    Posted by saifedean at June 14, 2007 11:30 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Thank you..also spot on.
    It’s our bloody awful congress and politicans.

    Reply

  45. Carroll says:

    “Listening to the Arab Call for “Even-Handed Sympathies” in the Middle East”
    >>>>>>>>
    Spot on…exactly.

    Reply

  46. saifedean says:

    As a Palestinian who recently moved to America, the most sobering realization I have found, and one that most my friends back home will find hard to believe, is that America is NOT as bad as its policies in the Middle East make it out to be.
    For me, I am now realizing more and more that America really isn’t that awful of a country, it is a largely good (though admittedly imperfect (but who is)) country with a horrible policy in the Middle East.
    It will take many years for anyone whose main view of America is through its involvement in the Middle East to be able to fathom that America is indeed not that bad of a place.
    The policies this country pursues in the ME are just so bloody awful, misguided, criminal and unjust that it is fascinating to imagine they would come from a democracy like America, the majority of whose population are really good people.
    But these policies are not only ruining the lives of Palestinians, Iraqis, Lebanese and Arabs, but are beginning to come back to haunt Americans and ruin America’s stature.
    For the sake of Arabs as well as Americans, these policies have to change.

    Reply

  47. JohnH says:

    A few years ago I attended a World Affairs Council that featured Arab journalists. A Tunisian journalist’s statement stood out for me: “For Arabs the Axis of Evil consists of the US, UK and Israel.”

    Reply

  48. GoRonGo says:

    If you want to truly get a bearing on the Middle East, read AntiWar.com ‘s news section daily.
    For news directly from Lebanon, the Daily Star is excellent.
    From Syria, I would suggest the Syrian Arab News Agency:
    http://www.sana.org/index_eng.html
    From Palestine — this is the best wire service:
    http://www.maannews.net/en/index.php
    And again, each weekday on a program called Mosaic, LinkTV broadcasts news from the Middle East (including Israel) translated into English — it is INVALUABLE.
    LinkTV is DirectTV channel 375, DishTV channel 9410.
    You can also watch Mosaic online at :
    http://www.linktv.org/mosaic

    Reply

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