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.
September 29, 2001
Flowers, said poet Ralph Waldo Emerson, "are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. " It should not matter from where those floral rays of beauty took root or who designed the garden. It should not matter. But in these sad days of toppled towers and families-turned-survivors, it seems to. The Philadelphia Flower Show this week announced that an exhibit of garden concepts from the United Arab Emirates was being pulled from the March event in the aftermath of the Sept.
September 14, 2001 |
This morning the cleanup and grieving continue, and America is getting back to work. Talk also continues about retribution and war. Some Americans are feeling impatient to strike back at those who participated in any way in these horrific events. There is mounting public pressure to retaliate against our enemies, to demonstrate our power and resolve. Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says the American military stands ready. But it's still not clear exactly what the military stands ready to do, or should do. We don't know for sure who was responsible, although evidence points to Osama bin Laden, apparently still headquartered in Afghanistan.
July 17, 2001 |
Amatzia Baram knows the streets of Baghdad so intimately that he can draw you a map from memory. He can describe in exhaustive detail a stroll along the banks of the Tigris River. But in fact, Baram has never been to Baghdad or anywhere else in Iraq, and is unlikely to go in the foreseeable future. That is because Baram is an Israeli, one of a unique breed of scholars who specialize in countries they are forbidden to visit. Israelis are keenly interested in their neighbors in the Middle East.