Sunday, October 28, 2007

Apologies

for the light blogging. Work is killing me. Will be back soon. Stay tuned.

  Posted by BP at 4:47 pm Comments (9)
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sharp drop seen in Iraqi and US deaths in Iraq

Everybody touch wood!

There has been a sharp decline in Iraqi and US death in Iraq and this is mostly attributed to the fact that more and more Sunnis are turning against the terrorists. This what might have prompted Bin Laden to appear again and give a message to his killers in Iraq.

“I’ve never been more optimistic than I am right now with the progress we’ve made in Iraq. The only people who are going to win this counterinsurgency project are the people of Iraq. We’ve said that all along. And now they’re coming forward in masses,” Lynch said in a recent interview at a U.S. base deep in hostile territory south of Baghdad. Outgoing artillery thundered as he spoke.

Lynch, who commands the 3rd Infantry Division and once served as the military spokesman in Baghdad, is a tireless cheerleader of the American effort in Iraq. But the death toll over the past two months appears to reinforce his optimism. The question, of course: Will it last?

As of Tuesday, the Pentagon reported 28 U.S. military deaths in October. That’s an average of about 1.2 deaths a day. The toll on U.S troops hasn’t been this low since March 2006, when 31 soldiers died — an average of one death a day.

In September, 65 U.S. soldiers died in Iraq.

Of course terrible civilian casualties such as these can very easily turn this hopefully constant trend.

  Posted by BP at 11:39 pm Comments (15)
Friday, October 19, 2007

On the Vatican Response

The Vatican has responded to a letter sent by a group of Muslim religious figures calling for dialogue between the two faiths.

The top Vatican official for Islam has praised a novel Muslim call for dialogue but said real theological debate with them was difficult as they saw the Koran as the literal word of God and would not discuss it in depth.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, in an interview on Friday with the French Catholic daily La Croix, also said Christians would have to discuss curbs on building churches in the Islamic world in the dialogue advocated by 138 Muslim scholars in the appeal.

Well, I don’t understand why he considers the fact that Muslims believe the Quran to be the literal word of God a hurdle to dialogue. I mean why have theological debates in the first place. Everyone is free to believe in whatever book he/she wants to believe in. No dialogue needed here.

Now, what is understandable is the discussion on Christians’ rights in Muslim countries and especially Egypt. This is fair enough.

  Posted by BP at 11:29 pm Comments (17)

Your chance to make history

Memo

To: President George W. Bush

From The Future

Re: Your chance to make history

Dear Mr. President,

I am writing to tell you that you are on the verge of fulfilling something you have long desired ever since you stepped into the Oval Office. You have always wanted to do something profound for the future and change the course of the world’s history with it. I have good and bad news for you. The good news is, as I’ve said, you are on the verge of fulfilling this desire. The bad news is that you can easily miss it and drop down as one of the United Sates most failed presidents.

Mr. President, up till today I personally consider you a colossal failure as far as doing something profound in the world is concerned. The world remembers Roosevelt with World War Two, Kennedy with how he made the US loved around the world, Carter with the peace between Israel and Egypt, Regean with the fall of the Berlin Wall, and your father with the liberation of Kuwait. What will the world remember you for? I am afraid your current score is negative.

You wanted Iraq to be what you’ll be remembered for but unfortunately it seems this will not be the case. Iraq will not turn out to be something good anytime soon and currently it’s the blackest spot on your record. It is your Watergate, your Iran hostage crisis, your Iran-Contra, and your Lewinsky.

Don’t get me wrong. Iraq might turn out to be a big success, but that won’t be happening anytime soon. In fact, all conservative estimates predict that might happen in decades time.

Now, you have one more and final chance to make history. It is called Annapolis, Maryland. The upcoming peace summit between the Palestinians and the Israelis that might incompass Arab countries such as Syria and Saudi Arabia. Every US president, ever since the US decided to search for peace in the Middle East, has dreamt of participating in finalizing a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. You have the chance to do so today.

  Posted by BP at 10:50 pm Comments (12)

Report: Mubarak’s condition undergoes sharp decline

The British newspaper World Tribune reported that according to Western intelligence, Mubarak’s health has undegone a sharp decline and he passed out last week before a scheduled visit to Saudi Arabia.

Well, I don’t know if these reports are true but what is definitely true is that Mubarak is getting older and his condition is declining, if not a result of an illness then surely the result of age.

What really pathetic about this situation is that the entire country’s future depends upon the survival of a single man. Two months ago when rumors about his condition spread across the country, it was said that foreign direct investment took a direct hit. It really sucks when you don’t know your country’s future and it sucks even more when it is tied to the existence of a person.

Mr. President, save us and the world the trouble and tell us what you have in mind. I am sick and tired being worried over this.

  Posted by BP at 10:42 pm Comments (2)
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Farewell King Farouk

Today King Farouk boarded the royal Mahrousa yacht heading towards Italy leaving Egypt for good. Today was the final episode of the King Farouk series. My mom and dad were in tears. When I asked my dad if he was aware of what was happening when the king left 50 years ago, he told me that all what he can remember is him crying so hard. “I found my mother crying her eyes out. I got scared and started to cry.”

  Posted by BP at 12:57 am Comments (2)
Sunday, October 14, 2007

Not just lunatics but ignorants as well

It seems that MB leaders are not just extreme lunatics but they’re ignorants as well. Dr. Essam El Arian, an MB leader whom many consider to be the most moderate, said something that really made me want to scream.

When asked about the MB’s program clause that bars Christians from running for the president office in Egypt, his answer was as follows:

“In America a Catholic cannot become president and this is based upon the understanding of the American constitution. And the first time that a Catholic ruled America, Kennedy, he was killed after a year and half in office.” (Ana Ikhwan; Arabic link)

Now, I am sure all you Americans out there are having a nice time calling this guy an idiot. He simply doesn’t know how to differentiate between the fact that failing to gain enough votes to become president and being barred completely from running in a presidential election. While it might be true that Kennedy was America’s only Catholic, but that doesn’t mean that Catholic Americans cannot run for president of the USA.

The world is marching forward and we’re still dicussing whether a Christian and a woman can run for president in Egypt. What a wretched nation we are. We had a Christian prime ministers, Christian foreign ministers, and a Jewish finance minister in the first half of last century and we, in 2007, in God damned 2007, are still discussing whether a Christian or a woman can become president. *spit*

  Posted by BP at 12:45 pm Comments (12)
Saturday, October 13, 2007

Letter from Abdel Karim

A new letter from imprisoned blogger Abdel Karim is available here.

(h/t The Arabist)

  Posted by BP at 7:53 pm Comments (5)

MB Says Women Can’t Rule

The MB has for the first time laid what they called their political platform. The platform would bar Christians and women from becoming president.

Well, it’s understandable why they barred Christians. Because, well, they’re Christians and the MB are stone-age xenophobic extremists. This we understand. Now why would they think women are incapable of becoming president? They said that the post carries religious and military duties that “contradict with her nature, social and other humanitarian roles.”

I am sure if this Egyptian woman was alive, she would have given the MB her middle finger. And this Israeli woman. And this German woman. And this British woman. And this Pakistani woman. And this Indian woman.

Poor women and religious minorities. They always bear the brunt of religious maniacs.

  Posted by BP at 7:28 pm Comments (2)

The King Farouk Mania

There is a King Farouk mania going on these days in Egypt. Everyone is starting to talk about this monarch who was deposed over 50 years ago. Everyone is praising the series that turned out to be the most successful even though it was not aired on Egyptian TV (the authorities refused) but on the Saudi funded satellite entertainment channel MBC. Even my dad, to whom TV means sports and news, stays at home every night waiting for the King Faroul series. My dad was only 9 when the King make his final trip from Alexandria to Italy.

Just a couple of days ago, 4 of Egypt’s leading independent newspapers ran stories on the former king and printed large pictures of our royal family. The popular weekly El Destour published a huge picture of the king and his second wife Queen Nariman carrying the heir to the throne baby Prince Ahmed Fouad. Beside the picture, the paper wrote “a special issue on King Farouk for the future of Egypt.”

The talk even moved to Facebook. Groups dedicated to King Farouk and the royal family are popping up. One group called The House of Mohamed Ali attracted over 5000 members. And the number keeps growing everytime I log on there.

“If you are descending from Mohamed Ali Pasha royal family or any of the Pashas or Beys of Egypt, please notify one of the following admins (Mahmoud Shteiwey or Youssef Ahmed) with who you are to receive a virtual title “for the fun of it”! ;)”, say the group founders.

The most amazing thing about this group is that nearly all of the members are young Egyptians. Most of them were not even born when Sadat was around! What’s happening? I have two conclusions.

First, thanks to the splendid series, many Egyptians are starting to realize that tremendous injustice was in fact levied on the former monarch. Many are even starting to feel quilty that they have once believed the anti-Farouk tarnishing propaganda disseminated by the coup’s officers.

Second, there is kind of a yearning to Egypt “good ol’ days” when we were definitely a much better nation. People, especially the educated and those who are not tainted by a certain political philosophy, are starting to realise that despite the problems that existed during Farouk’s time, the coutry took a massive downward spiral after his departure; economically, politically, and socially.

I am persoanlly so glad that this is currently happening. It’s refreshing when well established lies get shattered. I’m also glad that Farouk still has living family members (son, daughter, and a very old sister) to witness justice being done to him.

  Posted by BP at 6:04 pm Comments (28)