Monday, December 06, 2004

Some Light in the Darkness Perhaps?


Free Elections in the Arab World Occur Only in Occupied Iraq and Palestine.

In an article titled 'Democratic Occupation?' columnist Salama Ni'mat, the
Washington, D.C. bureau chief for the London Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat,
"The Arab concern for … the legitimacy of Iraq's upcoming elections,
and for the representation of [Iraq's] entire political, ethnic, and religious
spectrum is outrageous. Anyone who watches what is going on could, if he did not
know the truth, almost believe that the Arab countries – which throughout their
history have never known what elections are – have become the [countries] most
keen that Iraq's upcoming elections will reflect the will of the Iraqi people,
with all its elements – and will particularly [reflect the will of] the Sunni
minority that in Saddam Hussein's day was, for well-known reasons no one even
questioned, [considered] a 'majority.' .....

'What Prevents Arab Regimes from Holding Free Elections is Fear of the Will of the Peoples'

"It is well and good for the Arabs to demand the right of political
representation for the Sunni Arabs out of concern for them in the face of the
tyranny of the other Iraqi groups and out of concern for national unity and the
ideal relative representation. But we do not understand why this concern does
not apply to the many Arab countries that do not permit their minorities to
announce their existence, let alone their right to [political] representation.

"Although the Taliban's regime of darkness has become history, and
Saddam Hussein sits in his cell awaiting trial on charges of war crimes and
crimes against humanity, the Arab regimes still act as if nothing has happened.
Further, [they act] as if history is not happening as long as they do not
acknowledge its existence and do not announce it in the papers and on the
television channels, [all of] which they control. Can anybody ask the Arab
League why the media in occupied Iraq and Palestine enjoy freedom under the
occupation, while the media in the other Arab countries do not? .....

The Iraqi Regime Is More Legitimate than Most Arab Regimes

In a similar vein, Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, former editor of the London
Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and now director-general of Al-Arabiyya
TV, wrote in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat:
"Some of the members sitting at the
conference table [at Sharm Al-Sheikh, and some] of the commentators and
conferees in the halls maintain that the Baghdad government is not legitimate.
Why? They argue that it is not elected and was appointed by the American
"This widespread view has some basis… However, the talk of the
illegitimacy of the [Iraqi] government … allows us to raise questions regarding
[the legitimacy] of most of the regimes in the region......

'This Country Will be a Platform for Liberties in the Whole Region'

Egyptian journalist Nabil Sharaf Al-Din also spoke on Al-Jazeera TV about the
future of Iraq. The following are excerpts from the program:
Nabil Sharaf
Al-Din:"We are not being fair to the current Iraqi government. Not me, nor you,
nor the other guest on this program, not even the viewers, but history will do
justice to them. These people are establishing the first democracy in the Middle
East. This country will be a platform for liberties in the whole region. In
Iraq, the days of a leader who remains on his throne until he dies are gone.
This is over. For the first time the Iraqi leader will be elected by Iraqi
Interviewer: "We've heard that [head of the Sunni Clerics Council
in Iraq] Sheik Al-Dhari says the purpose of [Sharm Al-Sheikh] summit aims to
assist the occupation…"
Nabil Sharaf Al-Din: "This Al-Dhari is a mufti of
terrorism and slaughter. This Al-Dhari is the military branch of the murderers,
the military branch of terrorism and televised slaughtering This Al-Dhari … and
his group… Sir, please…
"First and foremost, the claim that this summit was
meant to save America… When have the Arabs succeeded in resolving their own
crises and conflicts?" .....

Read the whole thing .