Amr Musa, the new secretary general of the Arab League, has announced reforms that he claims will transform the moribund 55-year-old organisation into an effective agency that is less bureaucratic and more responsive to the needs of the ‘Arab nation’.
Question: What does a great power do when it suffers an unexpected defeat and a major setback in its plans for achieving an acceptable solution to a problem? Answer: It sits back, regroups, deflects public attention to other issues, and works quietly behind the scenes to prepare the ground for a new attempt to achieve its objectives by some other strategy in future.
Three more Israeli spy rings were uncovered in Lebanon leading to the arrest of several persons last month bringing the total to nine arrests over the year. Three persons—two Lebanese and one Palestinian—were arrested on April 25. The Lebanese were identified as Ali Mantash and Robert Kfoury, and the Palestinian as Mohammad Awad.
Israeli soldiers. That the Palestinians, the direct victims of Israel’s crimes, and much of the rest of the world knew this because this was so clearly evident from television footage provided by Al-Jazeera and Press TV, Israel and its apologists, especially in the West, continued to insist that Israel not only had the “right” to defend itself against Hamas rockets (regardless of how ineffectual they were) but that Zionist Israel carried its operations with utmost regard to civilian life.
If someone mentioned spiritual poverty in Saudi Arabia, it would surprise few given the rigid literalist Wahhabi ideology that is imposed on people in the archaic kingdom. After all, women are prohibited from driving and the mutawwa, religious police go around beating people for no apparent reason except that these religious zealots presume people are not following their literalist ideology.
Representatives from nearly 55 countries will convene in Tehran in early March to help lodge a case for war crimes committed by Israel in its war on Ghazzah. Iranian Prosecutor General Saeed Mortazavi announced early last month “the summit will explore legal and judicial ways for an international investigation into acts of genocide and crimes against humanity that Israel committed in the Gaza Strip.”
There has always been something rotten about the manner in which the House of Saud conducts its affairs. Deeply secretive, its palace intrigues often seep into the public domain because there are so many competing interests vying for power and influence.
Political commentators have advanced numerous reasons for Israel’s onslaught on Ghazzah. From the official Israeli line to stop Hamas rocket attacks to Israeli politicians’ need to act tough before next month’s elections to presenting a fait accompli to the incoming US president have all been trotted out.
History has a habit of returning with a vengeance to reveal the behavior of unsavory characters. The Israeli onslaught on Ghazzah launched on December 27 that resulted in the cold-blooded murder of thousands of Palestinians is not the first dastardly crime perpetrated by the zionists.
“The dogs did leave one single part of the poor baby’s body intact,” said a tearful Abu Aukal. “We have seen heart-breaking scenes over the past 18 days. We picked up children whose bodies were torn or burnt, but nothing like this.”
For 18 months my people in Ghazzah have been under siege, incarcerated inside the world’s biggest prison, sealed off from land, air and sea, caged and starved, denied even medication for our sick. After the slow death policy came the bombardment. In this most densely populated of places, nothing has been spared Israel’s warplanes, from government buildings to homes, mosques, hospitals, schools and markets.
The 20-day perseverance that you, the courageous resistance fighters and the people of Ghazzah demonstrated against one of the most atrocious war crimes in the history of the world has hoisted the flag of glory over the head of the Islamic Ummah. You have proven that Muslim hearts filled with confidence in Allah, glorified be His name, and the Day of Judgment, which will not bow to oppression, can create such heroism that will bring the arrogant powers of the world and their well-equipped armies to their knees.
There was always something surreal about Dubai’s fantastic development plans. Skyscrapers were rising in the desert faster than anybody imagined was possible. While some wondered about such rapid growth, others marveled at the plucky Dubaians’ go-get attitude. Nothing was considered out of reach;
November saw both an intensification of Israel’s low-level war on Ghazzah, and a further murderous tightening of its economic blockade. But hopes for healing the breach between Fatah and Hamas failed yet again, largely as a result of internal political pressures on Fatah and the Israelis. IQBAL SIDDIQUI reports.
When a government official announced on November 5th that 21 people sentenced to long prison terms for belonging to a banned “Islamist party” had been released as part of celebrations to mark the twenty-first anniversary of President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali’s rise to power in 1987, the irony in the announcement could not have been lost on the Tunisian people.
Last month the Lebanese army smashed an Israeli spy ring and discovered something that may have far reaching implications for another terrorist operation: the 9/11 attacks on the US. Two brothers, Ali and Youssef al-Jarrah, operating in Jlela region of the Beqaa Valley near the Syrian border, were found in possession of spying equipment while operating under the cover of the National Association for Medical Services and Vocational Training and claiming to run a humanitarian mission.
If anyone hoped that the security pact being negotiated between the US and Iraq was rising above the cycle of frustrations and false starts, then such fanciful thoughts can now be dismissed. On September 17 Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki told a group of Iraqi journalists that “there are very serious and dangerous obstacles facing the deal.
Algeria is no stranger to violence: Islamic groups and the armed forces engage in deadly confrontations that extend over long periods and cause huge loss of life. It is not, therefore, surprising that the recent bombing attacks – attributed to al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) – have led to widespread fears that the country is about to be engulfed in another civil war similar to the one in the 1990s, in which more than 150,000 people lost their lives.
In recent months, Muslims around the world have watched with consternation as Israel has tightened its economic blockade of Ghazzah, subjecting its people to intense hardship, while Western powers have done next to nothing to stop them, despite the fact that the use of starvation and deprivation as a weapon of war is explicitly forbidden by international law.
In 2003 the US invaded Iraq on the basis of a fabricated threat of “weapons of mass destruction” (WMDs), backed up by the dubious misinterpretation of intelligence materials. Last year, the US’s military intelligence community effectively vetoed a White House and administration plan to attack Iran using similarly dubious claims about its nuclear program.