Across the Bay

Friday, April 30, 2004

Hitch on Iraq Coverage

Christopher Hitchens wrote his regular piece for Slate on the possible -- not quite hidden-- desire of some reporters to see the US fail in Iraq.

He should read the Arabic papers!

The Kho'i Murder Case

Al-Hayat published an interview with the judge investigating the Kho'i murder case possibly involving Muqtada As-Sadr.

The judge said that he was convinced that Muqtada was behind it. On the other hand, see this story posted by Juan Cole.

A Couple on the EU

Slate had a couple of pieces dealing with the EU, one on Slovenia and another on the EU in general.

The one on Slovenia reminded me of the hypocrisy of those who focus exclusively on Israel, accusing it of being an "apartheid state" even when the Palestinians are not citizens in it (they are two peoples at war!). You'll read in this piece how ethnic conflict is certainly not confined to Israel (or Lebanon, for those who still don't want to acknowledge that it was ethnic conflict).

Also, on a related issue, see Michael Young's piece on Cyprus in Slate.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The Saudi Matrushka

Amir Taheri wrote this piece on the Saudi war with the Jihadists inside the Kingdom.

Taheri attempts a rough dissection of Saudi society (the Matrushka!) to show how it's fighting a demon of its own creation.

God Save the Queen

The NYT ran this story Monday on Jihadists in England.

The situation is symptomatic of Europe's "Muslim question" and again raises the problem of liberal democracies faced with an anti-liberal ideology intent on using and abusing its "host" society's values in order to destroy and supplant them. England (and Europe in general) is desperately trying to figure out how to deal with the problem while staying true to its values.

The frustrating thing is that this freak cleric Abu Hamza has openly said on TV, with explicit smugness, that he uses the freedoms provided to him in order to undermine them!

This should also give those who want to educate us on how many islamist groups show some "democratic" behavior a little to think about. Like I said here before, these islamists have no problem using democracy to get what they want, and that includes the demise of liberal democracy itself!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Hot Panel

Earlier today, Book TV (C-Span 2) showed a live debate panel on Iraq that featured Christopher Hitchens, Michael Ignatieff, Mark Danner, and Robert Scheer.

Hitch was his usual self: smart and witty but not always right! Although he did raise an interesting point about leaving Iraq to Uday and Qusay after Saddam. Hitchens argued that the state was going to implode sooner or later and with much bloodshed and chaos. Moreover, once it did, the neighboring countries were going to interfere without a doubt (Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey). This would have prolonged the misery of the Iraqi people and compounded the danger of Iraq. Iraq, as it is clear today, is a failed state. The Americans' presence didn't make it so, Saddam did. Was the US going to gamble with that threat down the line without being an active force there? Many of Hitch's points can be found here.

Mark Danner and Robert Scheer (who served as the anti-war side) were unfortunately quite pathetic, utterly unimaginative and one-dimensional, and seemingly stuck with two points: Vietnam and WMDs.

The person who presented the most sensible view was Michael Ignatieff. He has a book out that I'm going to read after hearing him today. The book's title is: The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror. It deals with the question I raised earlier of how Western societies can remain faithful to liberal values of openness and freedom when fighting Jihadist terrorism? It also argues that a liberal democracy can survive the age of terror only if it takes seriously the political context within which terrorism thrives, and therefore it must act in favor of social justice. This is the reason I believe that Ignatieff does support the war in Iraq and does see it as part of what a liberal democracy must do (i.e. as part of the war of ideas that Clarke fails to even describe!). Similarly, see Paul Berman's book Terror and Liberalism.

I found this recent article by Ignatieff that would quickly introduce some of his positions to those not familiar with them.

This section in particular drew my attention:

"The problem for my side is that if the honest case had been put -- for a preventive as opposed to a pre-emptive war -- the war would have been even more unpopular than it was. But this is also a problem for opponents as well. If they didn't think the case for preventive war was proved this time, what will convince them next time? Unless threats are imminent, democratic peoples don't want to fight..."

This is something I've been thinking about myself with regard to the WMD threat and presentation of the case for war (remember the WMD was only one reason, albeit the most publicized or most urgent or tactical reason). Despite the false (in retrospect) charge of WMD, I find it troubling that the free world wouldn't have agreed to move a finger to help the Iraqis and the peoples of the Middle East gain freedom from tyranny; a freedom that they take for granted. Let alone the long term strategic argument, which it must be remembered, the administration did make.

Ignatieff continues:

"While I thought the case for preventive war was strong, it wasn't decisive. It was still possible to argue that the threat was not imminent and that the risks of combat were too great. What tipped me in favor of taking these risks was the belief that Hussein ran an especially odious regime and that war offered the only real chance of overthrowing him. This was a somewhat opportunistic case for war, since I knew that the administration did not see freeing Iraq from tyranny as anything but a secondary objective."

I disagree with Ignatieff's final assertion. I do believe that for a rare moment, long term Realpolitik and ethical policy did converge in this case. This is certainly Paul Wolfowitz's argument. For another view of the history of the Bush war cabinet, see James Mann's book, The Rise of the Vulcans.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Follow up on Chalabi

An-Nahar ran this report claiming that the US is "re-evaluating" Chalabi and several other members of the CPA.

According to the report (which is the same as this one in the Washington Post mentioned by Juan Cole), the White House was quite displeased with Chalabi's comments after the US partially reversed the de-Baathification policy. Chalabi likened the hiring of former low-key Baathists to Nazis returning to power in post-war Germany.

This validates Cole's suspicions that the de-Baathification plan was a powerful tool in Chalabi's hands which enabled him to blackmail and muscle people. Therefore, its reversal does sting him (which would explain his comments!), and might signal a potential sidelining, although we'll have to wait and see.

Buying Time in Syria

Ashraf Fahim wrote this analysis for The Daily Star on Syria in the aftermath of the Iraq war. Supplementing Fahim's analysis is the following piece in the same paper.

The latter piece debates the issue of Arab and Muslim troops that could be sent to Iraq. Every time I read this, I can't help but reminisce about the Rade' forces (ADF) in Lebanon. They worked real well, and some of them are still there; nearly 25,000 of them! But those would be "brotherly" troops, so it's alright! That region just baffles me beyond words.

Arabs and Democracy

Lee Smith wrote this piece in Slate that reflects much of what I have been posting here on the Arabs' positions on democracy in the wake of the Iraq war.

Iraq and Elections

Mohammad Ali al-Atasi wrote a piece in An-Nahar's "Culture Annex" on Moqtada as-Sadr. Al-Atasi seems to agree that the best way to pop Sadr's bubble is to allow the Iraqis to vote him into his place. This is what Juan Cole has been arguing for, as evident from his testimony and his website.

Cole also featured a guest commentary by William Polk of the Carey Foundation. Polk made the usual gloomy remarks but again pointed to elections as the best way to go. The interesting bit though is that he talked about local government and local elections (as well as local development) as the most productive strategy:

"I think the best approach would be to reverse our emphasis on a national council and provide money and other forms of recognition and support to neighborhood groups. They can be helped to provide clean water, dispose of waste, open clinics and schools, provide protection against robbers, etc. and represent their constituents to the higher authorities. If the current situation is to be more than a hiatus between dictators, self-determination must begin there, at the grass roots.

For this, there is an old Middle Eastern – Muslim, Christian and Jewish – tradition. Quarters of towns and cities were expected to be self-governing and to maintain such facilities as schools, markets, public baths, clinics and places of worship. They taxed themselves and paid a lump sum to the government; they had their own police forces; and their leaders represented them to the rulers. That system has been weakened and partly supplanted by modernization, but elements of it remain and could again become vigorous in proper circumstances
."

I agree that the issue of sovereignty (local being the most tangible form) is crucial, especially in light of the very shady behind-the-scenes deals involving Chalabi and "soft" dictatorship (see Ackerman's post on his blog). I still hold that no way will people like Sistani let that happen and neither the US nor Chalabi can (or can afford to) muscle him (see this post by Juan Cole). The opinions quoted here suggest that the same medicine that will work with Chalabi will work with Moqtada, and that is elections. However, what exactly is the extent of Sadr's popularity on the local level, and how would that translate in areas that would fall under his control? Can this be divorced from national law and consensus should he decide to run shari'a in those areas?

Friday, April 23, 2004

On Clairvoyance and Pre-emption

Cathy Young wrote a very nice piece in Reason magazine on the 9/11 commission. In that piece she quotes Gregg Easterbrook's excellent post on his diary on TNR.

It's worth repeating here:

" ... the same politicians and commentators who say Bush failed because he did not take decisive military action in August 2001 after a general warning about Al Qaeda also say Bush was wrong to invade Iraq because there was only a general warning.

...

Had decisive military action been taken in August 2001, and had that action been successful--September 11 avoided and thus its possibility never even known--there would now be a carnival of recriminations about why we invaded Afghanistan 'unnecessarily.' A presidential commission into the Afghanistan invasion might now be demanding to know why George W. Bush and his advisors paid too much attention to intelligence warnings about Al Qaeda
."

There is something very disturbing in the accuracy of these remarks if you think about it. Among other things, it says a lot about the two-faced hypocrisy of some self-proclaimed anti-war "liberal" figures who don't deserve that label. Theirs is a very self-consumed, condescending, and nihilistic attitude.

For a critique of a very similar attitude in Eco-circles, read Paul Driessen's book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death.

But the question does remain: how do you fight an anti-liberal Jihadist ideology while operating within that same liberal democratic framework that the Jihadists have no problem using in order to undermine!? It's a tough question.

Kaplan on Woodward

Fred Kaplan wrote a review of Bob Woodward's new book in Slate.

The main failure that Kaplan points out is the total lack of treatment of President Bush's strategic reasons for going to war in Iraq and dethroning Saddam Hussein. Why the President (and Cheney, who in '91 opposed the idea) thought it imperative to do so now is completely absent from the book according to Kaplan.

This is significant because the possible long term strategic positive repercussions of the Iraq war need to be considered seriously beyond the simplistic "Iraq is a distraction from Al-Qaeda."

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Islamic Reform

I came across this article by Brian Whitaker on Juan Cole's site.

The article attempts a "balanced" analysis, correctly cautioning readers not to make quick jumps linking Islam as a religion to the problems facing Muslims today, yet honestly pointing out those problems caused by Muslims to themselves and others.

There are three main points I would like to address that I think Whitaker did not treat properly.

First, concerning the oft-used argument of comparison with Christianity and "Christian" nations, as this paragraph demonstrates:

"Before jumping to conclusions about why this might be, it is worth noting that the same could have been said of Roman Catholic countries about 35 years ago. A look at the world map then would have shown numerous countries, in Latin America, eastern Europe and elsewhere, that had predominantly Catholic populations ruled by authoritarian regimes.

It might have been tempting at the time to suggest a connection between their religion and their politics, but it was more a matter of history and circumstances, and events since then have shown that Catholic countries are as capable of adapting to democracy as any others
."

Besides the different dynamics between Christianity and Islam and the way they play out in their respective societies, Whitaker neglects a crucial point (which he somewhat tries to pick up on later), namely that Christians since the Enlightenment, have had alternative models to work with, models that have embraced and interacted with modernity, and thus Christians were not restricted intellectually to uncritical and fundamentalist models. These models not only are easily accessible in secular universities (as well as religiously affiliated ones or seminaries) even in Latin America and Eastern Europe or the Middle East, and in easily accessible critical books and journals at any library, but also they have become part of the culture and the Christians' parlance. Such is not the case with regards to the Qur'an in the Islamic world overall. Whitaker acknowledges as much when he says that progressive readings of Islam all originate (or end up) in the diaspora, written mainly in western languages (with the exception of Nasr Hamid Abu Zeid who publishes in Arabic) and not always translated into Arabic. This is not to mention the problem of censorship in the Middle East.

Secondly, there is the issue of "reform emanating from within." While this is partially true, there is something very troubling and dangerous in the way this argument is used. Whitaker mentions Omid Safi's book which I admittedly haven't read. However, take this other book (Approaches to Islam in Religious Studies, edited by Richard C. Martin) which deals with the issue of how Islam is approached and taught in western schools. There are some really terrible Occidentalist views in there, that are all too often masked with the excuse of "western colonialsm" or "Orientalism." There are two problems (at least) with this attitude: One, which Whitaker notes, is that this same argument is used by the salafis themselves (see for instance, for Iran, Hazem Saghieh's book Thaqafaat al-Khumayniyya) to demonize anything that comes from "the West."
The second problem is that this is in fact fallacy and hypocrisy. Muslim academics cannot simultaneously ridicule the theory of "clash of civilization" and talk about "dialogue of civilization" while refusing to acknowledge the debt they now have to the west, and that their ideas on reform are at the least a response to the challenge of western modernity. Even talking about finding arguments from within their own tradition is also half-baked, because it does not mention the methods, the Western methods, with which those ancient texts are re-read.
Furthermore, how is adopting that approach (of a reform exclusively from within) any different from what the salafis are doing? Both are reverting to the past, while not acknowledging the debt of the present (in fact both are effectively demonizing it). To all of a sudden hail the Mu'tazala as the islamic equivalent of modern critical scholarship is counterproductive as much as it is inaccurate (not to mention that Orthodox Islam views them as heretics, just as it does Sufis).
Not being able to dissociate the benefits of western culture from colonialism is intellectually dangerous as much as it is infantile. Again, I bring back Michael Young's article on the Napoleonic campaign and the "Arab Renaissance." The 19th c. Nahda would not have taken place had it not been for the encounter with Europe.
Many of those so-called "progressive" Muslim scholars are more "pseudo-progressive" than anything else. You can't keep trying to have it both ways.

Finally, the third point concerns the position which sees "elements of democracy" in many Islamist organizations and in their willingness to use elections and to even recruit women in campaining (imagine that!). As Michael Young once pointed out (I'll have to find that reference again, but it's there!), most of those organizations have no problem using democratic means to reach power. It's another story to see whether they will agree to them when it's time to relinquish it.

We have to move beyond this truly fruitless post-colonialist fixation with the "ugliness" of the western encounter with the East. I don't see any of that talk when discussing the Andalus, even when by all accounts that counts as Islamic colonialism.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Frenching Mubarak

For those suffering from constipation, I recommend reading this laxative interview in Le Monde with Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Take this highly "original" excerpt for instance:

"Q: Les Etats-Unis pensent que le terrorisme émane du statu quo et qu'ils doivent faire quelque chose pour le briser.


A: La première cause du terrorisme, c'est l'injustice. Regardez ce qui se passe en Palestine et en Irak. Là où il y a pression et injustice, il y a terrorisme et attentats. Pourquoi les gens se font-ils exploser ? Prenez l'exemple de cette jeune Palestinienne, tout juste diplômée de l'université américaine, qui, du fait de la pression israélienne, de l'injustice, d'un horizon bouché, est allée se faire exploser au milieu d'Israéliens.


Q: C'est vrai pour les Palestiniens. Mais comment expliquer les attentats de New York et de Washington, dans le monde arabe, en Europe ?


A: Ce qui se passe en Palestine touche tous les peuples. Après l'assassinat d'Al-Rantissi il y a eu d'énormes manifestations en Egypte et ailleurs qui réclamaient la vengeance, la guerre... Les gens ressentent une sorte de frustration. C'est le désespoir qui pousse certains à commettre des attentats contre tel ou tel intérêt américain. Il existe aujourd'hui une haine des Américains jamais égalée dans la région
."

How illuminating! The cause of terrorism is the injustice inflicted on Muslims by the US (in Iraq!!!) and Israel.

Arab Reform vs. Stability

Joshua Stacher wrote this commentary on Arab reform for The Daily Star.

He highlights the vague and farcical initiatives by Arab regimes, but also the equal ambiguity of the US Greater Middle East Initiative (an amibguity that the Arabs and some Europeans had a hand in).

Stacher concludes:

"In times of crises, Washington consciously promotes stable political orders over freedom. In the meantime, both the US and Arab regimes will continue to talk, meet and publish documents on reform, while buying time to avoid it."

This is a real danger. However, Stacher does not deal with the self-defeating attitude of Arab masses and "intellectuals" who insist on adopting an Occidentalist approach, and stand by their own represseive leaders in rejecting any US initiative. Once again, they have no one to blame but themselves.

Breakthrough for Rami Khoury! Well, not quite...

In a rare, albeit incomplete, departure from his usual riffraff, The Daily Star's Rami Khoury actually had the decency to concede that the content of the plan that Bush endorsed during the last visit by Israel's Ariel Sharon to the US, does not in fact depart from the Clinton outline:

"A close reading of the American text of April 14 reveals that Bush merely stated in public and gave official US support to long-standing assumptions that are universally held among those who are involved in, or closely follow, Palestinian-Israeli negotiations: (a) that only a symbolic return of some Palestinian refugees to Israel proper would occur, while the majority would repatriate or settle elsewhere and receive compensatory economic and political rights that would be negotiated by them and acceptable to them, and would affirm relevant international law and UN resolutions; and (b) the large Israeli settlement towns along the former border between Israel and the West Bank, such as Maale Adumim, Ariel and Givat Zeev, would be permanently incorporated into Israel, in exchange for territory of equal value that Israel would cede to the new Palestinian state. These assumptions were first articulated in the parameters that President Clinton issued in late 2000, after the failure of the Camp David negotiations (parameters which Israeli and Palestinian leaders accepted, with some reservations)."

However, after stating this fact, Khoury reverts to his usual nonsense, essentially blaming the US for the Arabs' incompetence and pathology:

"There is a very small likelihood of success for the Sharon unilateral withdrawal plan and its support by Washington. This is mainly because Palestinians, Arabs and most other people around the world interpret this development as a reaffirmation of long-standing Israeli colonial designs to retain much of the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, and also of relatively recent American neo-colonial tendencies that are most evident in aggressive US policies in Iraq and Palestine. The actual text is not very decisive on this argument. It will be interpreted in different ways, according to the reader's preconceived perceptions of the US as either a noble or a predatory actor in the Middle East."

I'm still not sure what the "aggressive neo-colonial" US policy in Palestine is!

Schooling Shaaban

Syrian Minister Buthaina Shaaban, the "Muslim woman from the Middle East", might want to better familiarize herself with what a Madrassa really is, before she home-schools Condoleezza Rice on its definition.

This article in The Daily Star might help.

The Kalashnikov and the Koran

Juan Cole pointed out this piece on Sadr by Edward Wong of the New York Times.

It's a depressing account on how, at least for now, the young cleric is managing to outduel his seniors by cleverly manipulating religious symbols and young people's hormones. And hormones always beat brains, or as Wong puts it:

"... in this volatile atmosphere, the voice of Shiite radicalism can trump that of moderation."

Readers might also want to check out this piece by Kenneth Katzman pondering the issue of which Shiite leadership will eventually prevail.

Wolfowitz under Fire

Spencer Ackerman responded to Paul Wolfowitz's testimony yesterday by posting the following two excerpts (1 and 2) on his blog on The New Republic Online.

The excerpts are previous statements made by Wolfowitz regarding Saddam and the Iraq war.

If they had just finished this business in 1991, how much better off we'd all be. Speaking of which, according to Kanaan Makiya (I will find the exact reference and post it), Paul Wolfowitz was the only person after the abandonment of Iraq in '91 who came up to Makiya (not having met him before) at a talk of his, and apologized for leaving the Iraqi people under the mercy of that brutal tyrant after the first Gulf War.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Iraqi Constitution

A friend of mine brought this site to my attention. It has links to copies (Arabic and English) of the new Iraqi interim constitution, as well as a commentary by Prof. Nathan Brown of Georgetown University.

Berger's Advice

Former Bill Clinton National Security Advisor, Samuel Berger, has written this essay in Foreign Affairs outlining the foreign policy that a Democratic president should adopt, in comparison and contradistinction to that of the Bush administration.

Readers might want to take a look and compare Berger's outlines with John Kerry's statements that I posted earlier.

Hitch looks back on Iraq

Christopher Hitchens jumps in on the fashionable retrospection in this piece in Slate.

The best thing about Hitchens is how he nails the hypocrisy of the anti-war so-called leftists. (The classic Left, Hitchens has argued before, would have supported the war!)

Pathology 101

Here's the transcript of the interview with Hamas' Damascus-based leader, Khalid Mashaal, on the BBC's Hardtalk with Tim Sebastian.

It's a textbook presentation of the pathology and total bankruptcy of that organization's line of thinking. The problem is that a huge percentage of Arabs actually agree with most of Mashaal's logic, if you can call it that.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Fareed Zakaria on Iraq

Readers would do well to check out this sober piece by Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria on the US' critical position in Iraq.

Unlike most critics of the US war in Iraq, Zakaria at least understands what's at stake.

Green Light?

The reactions in the Arab world have predictably made the link that the US green lighted the hit on Rantisi.

What is surprising (but equally predictable?) is Juan Cole's certainty that the US gave the green light, and therefore, that Bush doesn't give a "fig" about US lives in Iraq.

On what exactly does Cole base such an assertion? It's left unexplained, to be assumed, à la Arabs. I find it more likely to believe that Sharon took advantage of the recent victory he scored in Washington to go futher (isn't that what he's famous for? Always going a step further than initially stated?) and lock the US in a de facto reality.

Remember, the US reaction to Yasin's assassination wasn't the warmest, so there is no reason to believe Rantisi's case is any different (unless of course, it's actually less appreciated) especially because of the state of affairs in Iraq.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Heating Up

The negotiations to end the Sadr rebellion have hit a wall it seems. Juan Cole writes today that Sadr has been going back and forth on basically signing his own marginalization, which is understandable. What is confusing however, is the claim that the US has seemingly set a condition that was refused by the religious leadership. That condition remains unclear.

Cole further stated:

"In another blow to the hope of a negotiated settlement, Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi backed off earlier statements that Iran was willing to mediate between Muqtada and the Coalition. He now says it would be better if the US just left Iraq as soon as possible. Kharrazi's boss, President Mohammad Khatami, has probably been over-ruled (yet again) by Supreme Jurisprudent Ali Khamenei, who clearly did not like the idea of Iran saving the US from a disaster of its own making."

Cole has to always make the comment that the US is screwing up. How one-dimensional. What I see in this is that Khamenei might have sniffed the potential Trojan horse that could boost Khatami and the reformists' standing in Iran, and their future ties to his ideological rival Sistani in Iraq, by removing the troublesome Sadr, the self-proclaimed ally of Khamenei's superstar Hasan Nasrallah in Lebanon.
Therefore, he decided to take his chances by letting this thing play out (perhaps, to see where this new puppy love between Sadr and Hizbullah might lead? cf. Michael Young's recent piece on Hizbullah's invovlement), and see if the US can get out of it without a full-blown rebellion.

While the possibility of an all-out rebellion remains, Cole's own reporting of Abdul Mahdi Karbala'i's, Sistani's representative in Karbala, Friday sermon, shows that this decision is still the last resort, in case of a complete disaster. Karbala'i reportedly said:

"The situation has reached a serious juncture in past days, and reports indicate that the Occupation Forces will violate the sanctity of Karbala and Najaf, shedding in them much blood, and destroying what the people of those two cities have built. He said the religious leadership could forestall such a move, and that if the Coalition forces moved on the cities it would have grave consequences. He said that after so many years of state terror, every effort should now be made to find a peaceful way forward, and one that the US could not refuse. He said these peaceful methods must be used to end the occupation and return sovereignty to competent persons who represent the independent national will. He warned that if the religious leadership concluded that there was no escape from launching an armed uprising, it would not hesitate to do so."

I don't see this as the gloom and doom that Cole sees. Basically, nothing new has emerged in the rhetoric of Sistani! This has been his position from the beginning, that the US entering Najaf is crossing the red line. That he added the "armed uprising" bit towards the end is an emphatic insistence on the intial point. I'm sure the US will heed. We've heard before how the US lost the Shiites who are rebelling all over the place. That calmed down. Now there's another bump because Sadr is having a last minute change of heart. Whatever that unacceptable condition the US set, I wouldn't be surprised if in the coming few days, we'll hear that it was settled. Let's wait and see.

As for the Iranians, it just shows how pathetically tied up that country is, and how insecure the conservatives are. But in my view, it's a delay of the inevitable.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

The Lone Ranger

It seems that a Kuwaiti writer shares my initial reaction with regards to slogans and the Arabs. Mohamad Al-Rumaihi wrote a self-proclaimed contrarian (vis a vis Arab opinion) piece in the English version of Al-Hayat yesterday, and made the following sober statement:

"The most dangerous thing which might happen to Iraq today is to fall in front of the terrorism of the slogans."

Al-Rumaihi further attempted to counter the most prevalent cliches of the Arab media (as well as of students, intellectuals, and statesmen...)

Wait till he reads Nahid Horr!

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

After realizing that I spend quite a bit of time gathering and forwarding news and interesting opinions dealing mainly with the Middle East, I decided to post those pieces, as well as my own take on them, on a blog of my own!! Why not after all!?
Being swamped with work most of the time, I might not be able to regularly update the blog. But considering that only my "regulars" will likely be checking this site, I'm sure they'll forgive me!
So here goes, from across the bay...