Tuesday, February 28, 2006
The Final Nail?
Dubai ports firm enforces Israel boycott
The parent company of a Dubai-based firm at the center of a political storm in the US over the purchase of American ports participates in the Arab boycott against Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
“Yes, of course the boycott is still in place and is still enforced,” Muhammad Rashid a-Din, a staff member of the Dubai Customs Department’s Office for the Boycott of Israel, told the Post in a telephone interview.
US law bars firms from complying with such requests or cooperating with attempts by Arab governments to boycott Israel.
Oh no. Is this is the final nail in the coffin of the Dubai ports deal?
I am so disappointed at how this issue developed. A recent poll found that 70% of Americans are against the deal. A quick look at the cartoons published in American print media show how nowadays anything Arab is being associated with Osama Bin Laden. And what have we done to correct this? Nothing.
Update: It seems that Dubai ports does in fact deal with a large shipping company in Israel.
AgoraVox is a cool cool cool project that started in Europe. It looks like the European version of Pyjamas Media. The project enables regular internet users to become “citizen journalists” who report news from their local areas. This blog is one of their reporters. You can also listen to blog posts!! That’s the coolest thing. I loved listening to what I wrote. Check out AgoraVox here.
Mousa or Abu Hamza?
Arab League chief says cartoons part of anti-Islam battle
AMMAN – Arab League Secretary General Amr Mussa on Monday considered the Prophet Mohammedâ€™s cartoons as part of a â€œbattle against Islamâ€? rather than a symptom of conflict among civilizations, and urged Arab parliamentarians to put pressure on the United Nations to come up with a â€œstrictâ€? solution to this problem.
â€œI donâ€™t think the issue pertains to an inter-civilization conflict. We have to mention the issue in its real perspective – it is a battle against Islam,â€? Mussa said at the opening session of the Arab Parliamentary Union (APU) conference at the Dead Sea resort in Jordan.
I just can’t figure out whether these words were actually said by Amr Mousa or by the radical imam of the mosque in the slum outside Cairo. Mousa’s comments will only add to the radicalism we’re suffocating from and fuel the all-the-world-wants-to-destroy-Islam conspiracy that 99.99% of the people believe in.
And what kind of “strict” punishments does he want? Burn the cartoonists at stake? Well, Mr. Mousa, Europe left that history behind and they won’t return back to it just to appease you (ummmmmm I hope they won’t!).
Amr Mousa knows he is popular in the region because of his big mouth. Yet his big mouth will only keep us in this terrible abyss of stupidity and ignorance.
Global Opinion on The War in Iraq
A poll was carried out in several nations and found that the unanimous majority in these countries believed the war in Iraq has increased the threat of terrorism.
There are other interesting findings though.
In Iraq itself, opinion is evenly divided with 49% favoring an early withdrawal and the same number wanting US-led forces to stay.
I’ve always said that Iraq was the most pro-war country in the world. The vast majority wanted Saddam out and the vast majority welcomed coalition troops as liberators. However, fatal mistakes by the US, the ruthlessness of the terrorists, and other reasons have squandered the “joy” of Saddam’s removal and the goodwill the US could have garnered from Iraqis.
The poll also found out that 74% of Iraqis say that Saddam’s removal was the right decision. That’s amazing. Despite all the daily hardships, such a huge percentage still believed it was worthwhile to remove him.
However in Iran, perhaps surprisingly, support for the US-led forces remaining jumped from 36% to 74% in response to an Iraqi request.
Now that’s interesting. It is time for us to learn how to differentiate between the Iranian people and their rulers. They are the complete opposite. Opposite in everything. They share nothing in common. Even religion, the Iranians, especially the youth, are becoming less and less religious.
To download the survey results click here.
Putin’s Dreams of the Soviet Union
Israel will rethink its bilateral relations with Russia after it invited Hamas to Moscow. In addition, Israel is also concerned about Russia compromise position regarding the Iranian nuclear issue.
It appears that Vladimir Putin longs for the days when the Soviet Empire was a major player in the Middle East and often sided with whomever the West opposed. I don’t believe Putin is a friend of Hamas nor Iran, yet he only wants to increase Russia’s political influence in the region and simply make his country more important and influential through relations with hated entities. By opening a dialogue channel with Hamas, he will make Russia the only country the US and Europe are forced to turn to in case they wanted to send “undertable” messages to Palestine’s new leaders. The same goes with Russia’s relation with the Iranian Mullahs.
Putin still believes Russia today can still have the same influence the Soviet Union once had. Or at least a small part of it.
Another thing. By being the first European country to invite Hamas, Putin befriended and extended his hand to a very popular Islamist organization in the Muslim world. This action will intercede for him when he fights his own Islamists in the south.
No one can say he’s not being smart especially with the tremendous influence Islamists have across the region.
An Israeli journalist went to watch one of Egypt’s soccer games during the African nations championship. He took a video camera to the stadium. If you want to experience how it was like, check out the video here.
I just finished reading The Davinci Code.
Blasphemy!!!! How dare him Dan Brown say that about Jesus who is revered by both Christians and Muslims? Where are the protests, the riots, the fire bombs, the flags burning??
It is worth mentioning that the book was banned by the Lebanese church yet I heard it is still available there anyway. The Arabic edition of the book was banned in Egypt. The government might have done so to avoid yet another problem that involves religion or simply at the request of the church in Egypt.
Welcome Back Lurpak
Yesterday I went to buy some stuff from Metro supermarket. The Danish products boycott sign was still at the entrance. I went to the butter section to see if anything changed. The sign announcing the removal of Lurpak butter was gone. And right in the middle of all Dutch and French butter I found a box full of small Lurpak cubes sheepishly displayed and saying “I’m baaaaack”.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Ancient Sun Temple Uncovered in Cairo
CAIRO, Egypt – Archaeologists discovered a pharaonic sun temple with large statues believed to be of King Ramses II under an outdoor marketplace in Cairo, Egypt’s antiquities chief said Sunday.
This is amazing. They just discovered an untouched tomb in Luxor (south of Egypt) and now this temple in Cairo. They’re still uncovering ancient Egyptian stuff after all those years of excavation!
Bill O’Reilly Throws in The Towel
It appears the Bill O’Reilly has thrown in the towel of Iraq. During the February 20 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Bill O’Reilly suggested that the United States “hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible” because “[t]here are so many nuts in the country — so many crazies — that we can’t control them.” O’Reilly then claimed that the “big mistake” was actually “the crazy-people underestimation.”
Ladies and gentlemen, if Bill O’Reilly has thrown in the towel then we have to presume that Iraq is getting pretty desperate. I have a way out though:
1. Withdraw all US and coalition troops to Kurdistan in the north. Declare the creation of the state of Kurdistan.
2. Turkey will go nuts and remind the US that it has betrayed US-Turkish relations. Remind Turkey that Turks are one of the most anti-American people in the world and a single Kurd is more pro-US than a 70 year old stars and stripes banner waving farmer in rural Oklahoma.
3. Support rebel movements in Iran. Arabs, Baluchis, Kurds, all these hate the Mullahs. Finance them. Drop weapons from the air. Keep the Mullahs busy so they won’t occupy South Iraq and swallow it (along with its oil fields). The Iranian people will not be happy with the US creating internal trouble in Iran? Well, with all my due respect to the Iranian people, the world can’t wait any longer until they start a second revolution to overthrow the Mullahs.
4. Take the 3 brothers of Iraq The Model, Zeyad, and the other bloggers out of Iraq and into the US or Kurdistan. If they refused, sedate them, put them in a bag, and transport them. Don’t forget their families though.
5. Release Saddam Hussein and issue an apology letter to the great tamer of Iraq.
6. Bring lots of beer, pizza, and enjoy the civil war waging down there.
My word to Mr. O’Rielly: sir, Iraq is not the only country that has crazies. We have crazies here to. So please, if you have access to the Bush administration, just beg the president to halt his “democracy crusade” a little. Just ask him to pause a little and ponder if there is any other possible way to develop the greater Middle East besides slamming a ballot box in our faces. Ummm, just tell him that you can’t have elections while crazies are anticipated to be the biggest victors. There must be some other way. If not, ask him to sedate me, put me in a bag, and transport me to a place where I won’t find those crazies.
(/above post written out of anger)