Friday, August 31, 2007

Thought of the Day

In Islamic jurisprudence, or Fiqh, the onus of proof is on the accuser while the accused is requested to swear his innocence. English law also demands that an accuser produce proof. I am now told that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and laws of the country are not as clear cut. Is this true? And if it is, does it not mean that an innocent man can suffer unimaginable, or irreparable, damage before he can prove his innocence? A bank manager is accused by a disgruntled customer of being a paedophile. Should it not be the responsibility of the accuser to produce the molested children? I think this easier and more practical than expecting the bank manager to produce statements from all children of the city, or country, that he has never molested them.
I am inclined to support English law on this point but would also like to read the views of other people on the subject, especially Americans.

Bush in Reno

George W Bush cannot find his way to his ranch in Crawford and he is expected to lead the world.
I only accuse the U.S. president of ignorance, the kind of overwhelming ignorance that allows the war party in the vice president’s office to pursue sick and impossible dreams of empire and American-Israeli hegemony over the Middle East.
President Bush addressed the American Legion in Reno, Nevada, last week and his speech reminded me of his talk to members of the Chamber of Commerce in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 10. Then he spoke selectively about extremism and terrorism without a single reference to their origins or America’s role in nurturing terrorists. Last week, the speech was a variation on a theme with the added mistake of threatening Iran. Even the venue was wrong; a man who escaped active military duty talking to people who risked their lives in the service of their country.
President Bush said, ”America is engaged in a great ideological struggle – fighting Islamic terrorism across the globe.” I say that the U.S. is more responsible than most for this terrorism, first by supporting extremist Islamic groups to confront the Soviet Union during the cold war, and second by supporting Israel against the Palestinians and all Arabs and Muslims to the point that this administration is partner in Israeli crimes.
He goes on to declare modestly “Once again, America finds itself a nation at war. Once again, we’re called to assume the mantle of global leadership.” May I ask who called you? Certainly, not the Arabs and Muslims. Equally certainly, not the Russians and Chinese. Even the Europeans are innocent of this call as they consider the U.S. a greater danger to world peace than Iran or North Korea.
The president is dreaming on behalf of the war party in Dick Cheney’s office and neoconservatives everywhere. He continues, “We toppled two regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq that gave harbour to terrorists.” This, of course, is a half truth. His administration fought half a war against Taliban and Al Qa’eda where a full war was just and necessary then fought an illegal and unnecessary war against Iraq, country which harbored no terrorists then. George W brought them in after the 2003 invasion.
The president then goes into detail, talking about Sunni terrorism and Shiite terrorism, once again not hinting once at his country’s pivotal role in spreading this terrorism.
“In the long term,” he declared, “we are advancing freedom and liberty as the alternative to the ideologies of hatred and repression.” Is he? In the long term we will all be dead. Meanwhile, a million Iraqis have died, directly or indirectly, in his illegal war and there is no liberty or freedom, no security and no hope for the future.
From lies and half truths, the president moved into threats. He accused the Iranian regime of helping the terrorists and insurgent against the coalition, read American, forces, and said, “I have authorized our military commanders in Iraq to confront Tehran’s murderous activities.” This is a declaration of war and I warn the president that he will lose this war as well. He will ignore my warning so I tell him: Put up or shut up, and we’ll all see the result.
W declares “Together, our coalition has achieved great things in Iraq.” They achieved a hell of death and destruction, with 2.5 million Iraqi refugees outside their country and 2.1 million inside. A civil war is raging and all Iraqis suffer from the absence of a minimum of potable water and electricity. I can go on forever.
President Bush claims that in January he laid a new strategy. I say he ignored the advice of the Baker-Hamilton report and accepted the warmongering report of Frederick Kagan from American Enterprise which pushed him towards war in the first place.
Poor W. He talks about the success of the surge in place like Baghdad and Anbar. He may even believe himself. There is no success. The terrorists and insurgents simply melted away after the arrival of additional American troops and they will return once the troops are withdrawn as they cannot stay there forever.
The president is so bankrupt that he quotes Senator Joe Lieberman, a warmongering Israeli apologist. I have always regarded him as an enemy of the Arabs and Muslims who encourages Israeli extremism at the expense of Arab and Jewish lives.
I was very worried after the president’s speech in Cleveland and I have more reason to bite my nails and pray after his Reno speech. God help us all.

Jihad Khazen

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thought of the Day

I haven't written anything for my blog since July 3. I have been travelling and my laptop failed me. I was partially successful in using it to follow the news but could not do much else with it and had to rely on hotels to fax my daily column to Al Hayat. The news, by definiton, is bad news and it is the worst in the Middle East. I will not start as I won't be able to finish.
Most of the holiday was spent with my family in the South of France where we have many friends, but I used to go back to London to work and rest. The most beautiful area in the whole Mediterranean remains Capri and the Amalfie coast. Also Saint Tropez. The next best thing to being rich yourself is to have rich friends who take you on their super yachts. In Saint Tropez the women were so poor they didn't have enough money to buy clothes. As I saw them in advanced stages of undress I emptied my pockets trying to help them cover up.
Enough of the silly season. I'll be back with something more serious within a few days.