Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

After Cairo, It’s Clinton Time – By Thomas L. Friedman, NYT

June 7, 2009

COMMENTS POSTED ON NYT WEBSITE OVER THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN’S ARTICLE: AFTER CAIRO, IT’S CLINTON TIME:

 

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June 7th, 2009 1:46 pm

Like a true Jewish tactician, Friedman is following the Netanyahu line of prevarication, derailing and using diversionary means to try to shift Obama’s peace focus on Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio to yet another alternative trouble spot, after Iran is now more or less defanged as diversion. According to him, peace in Iraq should have priority and Hillary Clinton should not waste her time and energy on any peace moves in Israel-Palestinian sector, as it is, according to him, beyond diplomacy.

One fails to fully grasp the meaning of the phrase -‘beyond diplomacy’, if the alternative suggested by him is that only war in the region will bring peace. Another interpretation of his brushing out diplomacy in Israel/ Palestinian peace effort, could be that he gives out a hint to Israeli hawks to tone down or else? But reading his columns over the time, I doubt if he has guts to risk the flak from his own community, in the US as well as in Israel.

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

—    Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai, India

 

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http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/07/opinion/07friedman.html?th&emc=th

 

OP-ED COLUMNIST

 

After Cairo, It’s Clinton Time

 

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN

Published: June 6, 2009

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry after reading the reactions of analysts and officials in the Middle East to President Obama’s Cairo speech. “It’s not what he says, but what he does,” many said. No, ladies and gentlemen of the Middle East, it is what he says and what you do and what we do. We must help, but we can’t want democracy or peace more than you do.

 

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Thomas L. Friedman

What should we be doing? The follow-up to the president’s speech will have to be led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This will be her first big test, and, for me, there is no question as to where she should be putting all her energy: on the peace process.

No, not that peace process — not the one between Israelis and Palestinians. That one’s probably beyond diplomacy. No, I’m talking about the peace process that is much more strategically important — the one inside Iraq.

The most valuable thing that Mrs. Clinton could do right now is to spearhead a sustained effort — along with the U.N., the European Union and Iraq’s neighbors — to resolve the lingering disputes between Iraqi factions before we complete our withdrawal. (We’ll be out of Iraq’s cities by June 30 and the whole country by the close of 2011.)

Why? Because if Iraq unravels as we draw down, the Obama team will be blamed, and it will be a huge mess. By contrast, if a decent and stable political order can take hold in Iraq, it could have an extremely positive impact on the future of the Arab world and on America’s reputation.

I have never bought the argument that Iraq was the bad war, Afghanistan the good war and Pakistan the necessary war. Folks, they’re all one war with different fronts. It’s a war within the Arab-Muslim world between progressive and anti-modernist forces over how this faith community is going to adapt to modernity — modern education, consensual politics, the balance between religion and state and the rights of women. Any decent outcome in Iraq would bolster all the progressive forces by creating an example of something that does not exist in the Middle East today — an independent, democratizing Arab-Muslim state.

“The reason there are no successful Arab democracies today is because there is no successful Arab democracy today,” said Stanford’s Larry Diamond, the author of “The Spirit of Democracy.” “When there is no model, it is hard for an idea to diffuse in a region.”

Rightly or wrongly, we stepped into the middle of this war of ideas in the Arab-Muslim world in 2003 when we decapitated the Iraqi regime, wiped away its authoritarian political structure and went about clumsily midwifing something that the modern Arab world has never seen before — a horizontal dialogue between the constituent communities of an Arab state. In Iraq’s case, that is primarily Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

Yes, in a region that has only known top-down monologues from kings, dictators and colonial powers, we have helped Iraqis convene the first horizontal dialogue to write their own social contract for how to share power.

At first, this dialogue took place primarily through violence. Liberated from Saddam’s iron fist, each Iraqi community tested its strength against the others, saying in effect: “Show me what you got, baby.” The violence was horrific and ultimately exhausting for all. So now we’ve entered a period of negotiations over how Iraq will be governed. But it’s unfinished and violence could easily return.

And that brings me to Secretary Clinton. I do not believe the argument that Iraqis will not allow us to help mediate their disputes — whether over Kirkuk, oil-sharing or federalism. For years now, our president, secretary of state and secretary of defense have flown into Iraq, met the leaders for a few hours and then flown away, not to return for months. We need a more serious, weighty effort. Hate the war, hate Bush, but don’t hate the idea of trying our best to finish this right.

This is important. Afghanistan is secondary. Baghdad is a great Arab and Muslim capital. Iraq has something no other Arab country has in abundance: water, oil and an educated population. It already has sprouted scores of newspapers and TV stations that operate freely. “Afghanistan will never have any impact outside of Afghanistan. Iraq can change minds,” said Mamoun Fandy, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

You demonstrate that Iraqi Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds can write their own social contract, and you will tell the whole Arab world that there is a model other than top-down monologues from iron-fisted dictators. You will expose the phony democracy in Iran, and you will leave a legacy for America that will help counter Abu Ghraib and torture.

Ultimately, which way Iraq goes will depend on whether its elites decide to use their freedom to loot their country or to rebuild it. That’s still unclear. But we still have a chance to push things there in the right direction, and a huge interest in doing so. Mrs. Clinton is a serious person; this is a serious job. I hope she does it.

Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich are off today.

 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE TIMES OF INDIA

July 24, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

 

A LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE TIMES OF INDIA

 

According to MINT, The New York Times, noted in 900-word story that “even after the tortuous road to the nuclear agreement, Indian strategic relationship with the United State remains troubled by several major disagreement, including Indian policy on Iran and Myanmar.”

 

Will the day ever dawn, when The Times of India, runs a similar story, reporting the real sentiment of the people of India with words like:

 

“Even after the tortuous road to the nuclear agreement, Indian strategic relationship with the United State remains troubled by several major disagreement, including US policy on Iran, Myanmar, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Sudan among several issue centering on war and peace, the role of United Nation, the reshaping of International Monetary Fund and World Bank, the issues of Human Rights of Guantanamo Bay captives and their torture in captivity, et al.”

 

Not till the present oligarchs are roundly defeated and India freed from their stranglehold.

 

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

Further comments posted on Pipes article: The enemy has a name

June 21, 2008

FURTHER COMMENTS ON GM POSTING:

 

 

Thank you, Ghulam

 

Reader comment on article: The Enemy Has a Name

in response to reader comment: Two different world views

 

Submitted by Anne Julienne (Australia), Jun 20, 2008 at 18:12

 

 

You’ve expressed the truth as seen by a Muslim in a few well chosen words.

 

To me, as a non-Muslim, your view fails to explain sep 11 and fails to acknowledge that Bush’s wars were a response to that unprovoked attack. Through incidents like the Rushdie novel and the Danish cartoons, we now know that Muslims feel threatened or “subjected to stress and trauma” at the very slightest of slights.

 

We in the West will not continue to tread carefully as if on egg shells. We in the West might be more capable of uniting against Islam than you give us credit for. Good clear statements disclosing the Muslim mentality are useful to us.

 

So, thank you for your comment.

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Comments are screened for relevance, substance, and tone, and in some cases edited, before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome, but not hostile, libelous, or otherwise objectionable statements. Original writing only, please.

 

 

 

GM responds to the comments of Anne Julienne (Australia):

 

Dear Julienne, You are correct when you write that I have completely ignored 9/11.

 

Personally, I with other millions across the globe and across the great divide of communities are yet to be convinced that any organised Muslim group had the capacity to carry out such a scale of terror act and that too on US soil, and without internal help. There are any numbers of discrepancies and the debate on technical level is still on.

 

On a personal basis, I found two events reported while I watched the live telecast of 9/11 attack, that were completely ignored by media and investigating agencies.

 

One: dancing of some Jewish persons on the terrace of a building overlooking the twin towers while the carnage was in progress. Second, the possibility of advance knowledge of the attack by Israeli sources, who were able to caution Jewish people working in different firms in the Twin Towers and make sure they do not report for their duties on that fateful days.

 

As for Bush’s war on terrorism, on the pretext of 9/11, Bush has undertaken so many aggressive steps, that have clearly focused more on controlling and holding territories to exploit them for their resources (IRAQ) or their strategic position on world map (AFGHANISTAN), rather than to address the possible dangers of 9/11.

 

For Bush himself, in fact, 9/11 and even Osama is just a sideshow. So, I should be excused for taking up the lead from Bush over 9/11 and Osama.

 

Your contention: “We in the West might be more capable of uniting against Islam than you give us credit for” — is not tenable in the present context, as Bush had to invade Iraq, without UN, much less other Christian countries’ support for his illegal invasion. Even though the world mourned the death of innocents in 9/11 terror attack, Bush could not convince them to unite against Iraq or Afghanistan, much less against Islam. Media propaganda is just that.

Good clear thinking and good clear actions based on good clear thinking is welcome by all sides in the global conflict scenario.

 

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

 

ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com

www.ghulammuhammed.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

BBC and MUSLIM-BAITING

March 12, 2008

Sunday, March 09, 2008 

BBC and MUSLIM-BAITING  

Once again BBC is on its very subtle and very sophisticated exercise of continuing Muslim baiting by choosing a very offensive motion to be debated at the Doha Debate telecast last evening: ‘This House believes that Muslims are failing to combat extremism.’ Why should Muslim be answering to this question, and why not the US and Israel are openly and publicly brought into the picture by the BBC to complete the picture of the world of extremism.’ (http://www.bbcworld.com/Pages/Programme.aspx?id=48).  By restricting the definition of extremism to only the so-called Muslim extremism, is it not an utterly motivated exercise to put Muslims in the dock, while letting free BBC’s main clients, the US and Israel on whose behalf, the state funded BBC is organizing these pet projects, to bring out their own concerns, without giving the other side of the story, the full impact of monstrosity of the terrorism of the both sides.  Why it is Kosher for US to bomb Iraq and Afghanistan, on concocted pretext, put out on lies and propaganda, while the entire world Muslim community of over a billion strong, is being painted with a single brush of the high crime of ‘extremism, terrorism, fundamentalism’ while US goes scot free with its daily bombings and killings of innocent civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan. The debate was heavily doctored from the very beginning, by placing complaint participants within the group of about 350 participants, who overwhelmingly voted, naturally, in favour of the motion.  Qatar is a small country. Its old emir was deposed through US intervention and the new emir was placed at the helm of a defenseless tiny emirate, as the new entrant into oil boom. The first act of the new emir was to recognize the state of Israel. Nobody can fool the whole world that the clock and dagger drama of ‘regime change’ was under extreme duress from the US. Now US has major military establishment in the country. The small Qatari population had been lifted from the old desert life of scrapping their hard living, through fishing, diving and other trades that was the hallmark of all Gulf States in the old century. The Qataris are now living a life of luxury, thanks to oil income and their new found friendship with the US and Israel. Can BBC find any majority in any panel discussion in the vulnerable state of Qatar who will dare to go against the chosen line of the US and Israel. If the US is spending millions of dollars to propagate its demonizing of terrorists as well as the whole Ummah and even the religion of Islam, why one of the panelists should be so worked up about the budget of Saudi charities. After all it’s the same devalued dollars that both sides are using. And nobody can be fooled that the US is not playing a double game of running with both the hounds and the hare, when it can make easily life difficult for Saudis, if they want to. After all they are the super power and they can dictate their writ on the Saudis. Even in Qatar, the continuance of Shaikh Qardawi is to give the false impression that Qatar is an independent country and if Qataris want Shaikh Qardawi to remain in Qatar, the US cannot do anything.  This is a false picture and it cannot fool the world. The world is fully aware that Qatar is the same way an ‘occupied country’ as any other Arab and Muslim country, where the US dominates through proxies — be that Egypt or Pakistan. So to celebrate the outcome of the current session of Doha Debate, where under the expert management of the artful manager from the BBC stable, the formidable Tim Sebastian is to insult the intelligence of both the East and the West. Credit should be given for the few courageous souls, mainly womenfolk in Hijab, who brought out the barest minimum of true mainstream Muslims concern over massacres of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, till Tim cut them out in the nick of time at each instant.  It is shameful for BBC to be still behaving like the poodle, even though the most infamous of them, Tony Blair, has left the scene in total disgrace. Lessons should have been learned.  

Ghulam Muhammed, Mumbai

<ghulammuhammed3@gmail.com>