March 7, 2004 |
Slowly, haltingly, political reform is shouldering its way into what once was the most conservative and autocratic part of the Arab world. While Iraq struggles to rebuild and Saudi Arabia churns with fundamentalist tumult, most of the small, stable oil sheikdoms of the Persian Gulf have expanded political and economic rights for their citizens. In Oman three decades ago, it was illegal to own a radio. Last fall, this country held its first election open to all, for an advisory body.
December 15, 2003 |
Saddam Hussein may be under lock and key, but experts warn that the anger at the United States that he came to symbolize in the Arab world and Iran is far from contained. It still seethes in every capital from Rabat to Tehran, in the streets if not always in government. "To some extent, Saddam was a measure of the depth of the region's alienation from the West," said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute in Washington. "He symbolized the anger; he symbolized the divide.
May 9, 2003 |
Fresh from victory in Iraq, President Bush today will challenge the Arab world to embrace political and economic freedom as the fastest path to peace and stability in the Middle East. In a commencement address at the University of South Carolina, Bush also will outline plans for a Middle East free-trade zone that could ultimately link the economies of Israel and its Arab neighbors. The address signals Bush's determination to use the overthrow of Saddam Hussein as a catalyst for economic and political change throughout the region.
July 10, 2002 |
MONEY CAN'T buy happiness - even, it seems, in oil-rich Arab countries. Though a new U.N. report shows that the Arab League nations have reduced poverty over the last decade, their lack of political freedom and educational advancement prevents them from keeping pace in terms of growth and per-capita income with even the poorest nations. It is precisely this lack of freedom that make such nations a ripe breeding ground for terrorism. "Poverty doesn't cause terrorism," President Bush said in his remarks to the Inter-American Development Bank in March, but when governments fail their people, "these failed states can become havens for terror.
April 26, 2002
I RESENT the pro-Palestinian propaganda that is trying to intimidate the U.S. because we support Israel. The majority of the Arab world is behaving like a mass of spoiled brats. Their hatred of Israel is nauseating and should not be rewarded by giving in to their demands, otherwise evil wins. Having lived in the Olney section of Philadelphia many years ago when I was a child, a number of neighbors and classmates were Jewish. We played together and got along very well. They became our doctors, nurses, our surgeons, our dentists, our lawyers and professionals in every phase of society and government - they excelled.
April 12, 2002 |
On the day Secretary of State Colin L. Powell consulted with Jordanian leaders about conditions in the Middle East, hundreds of angry men and women marched through this Arab capital yesterday, chanting "Where is the Arabic army?" and "No peace negotiations. " The raucous but orderly protest was one of two sizable gatherings in Amman, the latest in a series of anti-Israeli and anti-American protests across the Arab world that are growing larger, bolder and more violent. The unrest is putting pressure on moderate governments such as Jordan's that could make cooperation with America more difficult.
January 2, 2002 |
The world news is different on Channel 645. And that is the way Anan Zahr likes it. Beamed into her western Delaware County home via a satellite dish on the roof is Zahr's idea of Must-See TV - the Arab-language network al-Jazeera. The nightly reports she watches are heavy with stories on the destruction wreaked on Afghanistan by American bombs, with footage of dying civilians. Since the tape of Osama bin Laden laughing about the Sept. 11 destruction surfaced last month, she has seen a succession of commentators call it an American trick - a suspicion she herself harbors.
December 2, 2001 |
The war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban is beginning to stir up some fascinating debate in parts of the Arab world. You've heard of Arab newspapers filled with anti-American columns, and rumors that Israeli agents organized the bombing of the World Trade Center. But you probably haven't heard about a meeting of the Kuwaiti Graduates Society two weeks ago, in which 3,000 people came to hear liberal parliamentarians debate whether democracy could coexist with political Islam. The liberals argued that Kuwaiti Islamists were using democracy to achieve nondemocratic ends.
October 16, 2001 |
IF YOU can't beat 'em, give 'em an interview. The White House's announcement yesterday that National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice was to be interviewed on Arabic-language satellite news channel Al-Jazeera suggests a shift in attitude - or at least strategy - toward the Qatar-based outlet. It was just last week that Rice was calling on U.S. TV network executives, asking them to exercise caution in replaying Al-Jazeera-aired video of Osama bin Laden, arguing that it might contain coded messages to other terrorists and that at the very least it shouldn't be broadcast before being viewed in its entirety.
October 4, 2001 |
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, beginning a tour of what could become the front lines of a war against terrorism, acknowledged yesterday that key allies in the Muslim world are worried about the consequences of military action against terrorists. Some Muslim leaders, even those friendly to the United States, fear a violent reaction from their citizens, and have told American officials that they cannot fully back a U.S.-led military strike. The four nations on Rumsfeld's itinerary - Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt and Uzbekistan - are crucial to Washington's campaign to seize suspected terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, dismantle his al-Qaeda network and punish his protectors in Afghanistan.