As long as the government of the United States of America is zionist, and as long as the government in Iran is Islamic, there can be no common ground between the two. It is only when the government in Washington begins to de-zionize itself (which is a pipedream) or when the government in Tehran begins to secularize itself (which is the dream of secular Iranian nationalists and Shi‘i traditionalists who cannot stand the word wilayat-e faqih) that we will have diplomatic pouches exchanged between Tehran and Washington.
Code Name: Deciphering US Military Plans, Programs and Operations in the 9/11 World by William M. Arkin. Pub: Steerforth Press,Hanover, NH, 2005. Pp: 608. Hbk: $27.95. By Leila Juma For all the US’s claims to champion universal ideals of freedom, democracy and human rights, its global power is in truth built on much more mundane and less idealistic bases: the power of its military and the reach and influence of its intelligence services.
The election of Mahmood Ahmadinejad as the new president of Iran in the second round of the presidential polls on June 25 can be interpreted in a number of different ways, virtually all of them positive. For one thing, clear to all those observing the elections from outside the country, it rendered the Western enemies of Islamic Iran virtually speechless.
It is very painful to say it, but the bitter truth is that sectarian tensions in Iraq are getting worse. In the past two months, public recriminations from Sunni and Shi‘a religious figures alike have eclipsed their earlier statements asking people to arrest their country’s slide into sectarian strife. It is not just the bigotry and prejudice that are worrying, but also the inhuman and ruthless cycle of sectarian-motivated violence that has cost the lives of thousands.
Later this month, the heads of state of G8 countries will meet in Gleneagles, Scotland, for the latest round of their talks on re-ordering the world economy. To coincide with the talks, British celebrity members of the anti-globalization movement have organized a series of free pop concerts around the world that are supposed to raise awareness for their global campaign to “Make Poverty History”. Unfortunately, all these celebrity do-gooders are really achieving is to promote the strategies by which the world’s capitalist economic elites are strengthening their control over the world’s resources, at the expense of the poor people whom they claim to be helping.
Since the early eighties, Crescent International has been covering political developments in Malaysia. Recently the country's largest opposition party, the Islamic Party (PAS), got extensive media attention after its party elections. The election of its new leaders, particularly that of the deputy president, whom the media have heralded as ‘moderate' and ‘reformist', is seen as a turning-point for PAS and described as a sign of sweeping changes to come. Where does PAS go from here? ABDAR RAHMAN KOYA talks to Dr Nasharuddin Mat Isa, the new deputy president of PAS, about a number of issues affecting Muslims in Malaysia and the Islamic movement.
Although America prides itself as a open-minded and inclusive society, its policies towards the Muslim world are in fact deeply imbued with imperialist attitudes. YUSUF AL-KHABBAZ discusses the American legacy of hate.
Any illusion that Mahmoud Abbas may have had about being the elected leader of the Palestinian people in their struggle for the establishment of an independent, sovereign state in at least a part of their historical homeland must surely have been shattered on June 21.
In a transparently doctored policy speech setting out the US government's vision for the Middle East, Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, said in Cairo on June 20 that Washingtonwill no longer tolerate oppression in the region as it has done for 60 years. She stressed that democracy is "inevitable" and that "the fear of free choice can no longer justify the denial theory".
There are two distinct but diametrically opposite views competing for dominance in the Muslim world today. The ruling elites, totally subservient to the West, while paying lip service to Islam for fear of their people, promote secularism and the Westernization of society; the Islamic movement insists on the establishment of Islamic values and principles.
Anti-Sudan propaganda in the West has reached such a pitch that even a movie, Hotel Rwanda, a fictional account of the Rwandan genocide, is being used to create the impression that a similar genocide is being perpetrated in Darfur.
The unprecedented deal to give 30 poor countries debt-relief, freeing them from the crippling burden of their debts to the West, was presented by the group of seven rich countries approving it as a noble achievement that is certain to eradicate world poverty.
General Pervez Musharraf's insistence on calling his surrender to India a "peace process" has left not only the people of Kashmir but also some of his closest advisors completely bewildered. His U-turn on Afghanistan, and his abandonment of Pakistan's principled stand on Kashmir, as well as the nuclear programme to appease the US, have left Pakistandangerously exposed.
The United Nations, an organisation with a richly deserved reputation for corruption and ineffectiveness, undoubtedly needs urgent and extensive reforms. But the powers that control it and its mainly corrupt leading staff will not allow any serious changes that might bring to an end their deleterious influence or affect their careers.
Flaunting the banner of democracy in the Middle East is the latest fad in Washington. Since the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, so-called ‘democracy promotion' has become one of the leading notions ostensibly guiding US policy in the Middle East.