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Luigi Frascati

Good evening Mr. Freund,

I was going to answer to reader “sk” in the prior post, but then I noticed your new post so I am rendering my answer here, as the topic is very similar. Hopefully “sk” is going to read your new article and related comments as well.

“sk”, the points you bring up are valid in the context of Israeli-Arab relations, but are not determinant within the global political situation of the Middle East. Take Egypt, for instance, the subject matter of this new post. I never intended to suggest that Egypt is a friend of Israel – that will surely not happen in my lifetime. Not only, like you say, Egypt is providing asylum to terrorists, they have also been caught several times in the past shipping weapons and armaments to Gaza. This fact was actually highlighted in the article authored by Mr. Freund dated December 28, 2006 entitled “Two Million Bullets”.

In both Mr. Freund’s article and my commentary the theme was that Egypt is arming Fatah, though the highlight back in December was that Fatah has a nasty habit of turning the weapons against whomever supplies them, a fact this that is undeniable. The second highlight of that article was that the arming of Fatah was carried out with the less than tacit complicity of Israel. I say ‘less than tacit’ because – like Mr. Freund was writing – “Israel, it was revealed today, has allowed Egypt to transfer an enormous quantity of weapons to Fatah […]”. And later on “And so, in a move of astonishing obtuseness, Israel has once again overseen the arming of its foes. Incredibly, according to media reports, the shipment of weapons was actually escorted across the Egypt-Gaza border by Israeli Military Police!!”

If you have the time go read the commentaries, which are quite amusing. I was accused from other readers of all sorts of things, ranging from proffering ‘idiotic’ alternatives to being a “European weakling” intent at “whining about human rights and all the rest of this crap.” (I am not European – I am a Canadian since 1972).

But quite aside from the different individual perspectives, and moving now onto to the subject matter of this current post, I think we can all safely agree with Mr. Freund to the extent that Egypt is not doing nearly enough to prevent the formation of a concentration of terrorists which may, at some point or another, act against Israel and against the West. The same can be said of Saudi Arabia, and as you point out their ‘peace plan’ and support of the Siniora government are but another example. The US Administration has known this very well for a long time, since it has been years that Saudi Arabia is under the ‘friendly’ watchful eyes of the US military.

In the context of the whole Middle East, however, and specifically from the Administration’s point of view the eternal Arab-Israeli debacle takes a back seat after the one, and only one reason for America’s involvement in Middle-eastern affairs, from Cairo to Islamabad, in the first place: oil.

Palestinians, like you state, “are a weapon against Israel, and both Sunni and Shiite countries desire this weapon to continue to be usable.” And I have never suggested otherwise. In fact I will go one step further and say right here and now that America and Europe too have all the interest in the world to make sure that Palestinians will continue to be used as a weapon against Israel, by one Islamic faction or another. Not because Americans and Europeans are enemies of Israel, but because the higher the degree of attrition involving Islam, the easier it will be to control the flow of oil – at least in theory.

And since there are only six millions Israelis without oil and 1.2 billion Muslims with oil, it is more convenient for the big powers to alternate their political support among the different Islamic factions – thereby keeping them focused on Israel as opposed to oil - than it is to take a clear and cut stance in favour of Israel, like many Israelis rightfully would like to see. So long, of course, as nothing drastic happens to Israel – the only trusted sentry that especially America has in this part of the world.

Two billions dollars a year in aid to Egypt, almost two billions dollars a year worth of armament grants to Israel, 1.5 billion dollars worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia …. As impressive as they appear to be, these figures pale in comparison to the overall value of Middle-eastern oil, both in terms of money as well as to the impact on Western economies. I certainly do not wish to appear too cynical, but it seems to me that there will never be anything that resembles a ‘full peace’ in the Middle East, merely because it is counter-productive to the interests of Western consortiums in the first place.

Lastly, as to your closing statement respecting the continued ‘democratization’ of Iraq, a historic analogy can be drawn with America’s intervention in Indochina some forty years ago, with the ‘democratization’ of Vietnam, the ‘democratization’ of Cambodia, the ‘democratization’ of Laos ….. Don’t worry, there will never be a democratic Iraq, not in the foreseeable future anyway – democracy is a concept they still have to discover in Islam - and certainly America will not be the one teaching it to them.

James Biga

As long as Egypt turns a blind eye away from the terrorists they won't suffer suicide bombers. If Egypt decides to fight the terrorists, even if only rounding them up, they will become a target. Mubarak is scared but politically smart. He can feign action against the terrorists and keep receivning aid money from America. As long as he doesn't really do anything the terrorists will leave him alone. The only way this will change is if ISrael were to tire of the filtration and go into Egypt. Then Mubarak would be forced to make a decision. Unfortunately, he would probably ally himself with the terrorists and Israel would be condemned again.

M. D'Souza

The failure to combat terror -- whether it be by Mubarak or Musharraf -- is because they are in the same boat as the terrorists. If they try to control the terrorists, they will be thrown overboard or assassinated. It's a matter of their own survival; because, the person who will reign after them in Cairo or Islamabad will be a real terrorist. That's the reason why both these leaders -- Mubarak and Musharraf -- are handsomely funded by the US.

We have this Egyptian terror-master, Ayman Zawahiri, the second in command of the Al Qaeda, who has found a safe haven in Pakistan, where most the Islamic terrorists go for their training, and graduate with a mission: 'The Palestinian Cause'. In other words, their actual vision is to destroy Israel and eliminate the Jews from the Middle East.

The Israeli leadership too has co-operated in Israel's own destruction. Or else, what was the idea of letting the other Egyptian-born master-terrorist, Arafat into Israel? When he started his intifada in 2000 -- that was the time he should have either been deported or assassinated. Again, the Israeli leadership hindered it, with an excuse on what the international community would say: 'One Nobel Peace Prize recipient killed the other.' And now, whoop-de-doo!!! Israel's leadership sends Israeli Military Police to escort the truck-loads of weapons from Egypt's Sinai to the Gaza Strip. That saved the Gaza terrorists all the trouble of stealthily squeezing that load through their subterranean tunnels. So what is Israel doing to combat terror?

Egypt has produced such destructive sons as Ayman Zawahiri and Arafat (not to forget Mohammad Atta of 9/11 fame), with intentions to destroy Israel and the US. How are we to combat terrorists Egypt has produced and harbors?...Certainly not in the wobbly manner in which Israel deals with the 'Palestinian' terrorists, sneaking in and out of Sinai; and definitely not in the manner Condi Rice placates her beloved 'Palestinians' with smiles and praises.

Let's see what the Holy Bible says about Egypt. Isaiah, chapter 19 gives us the history of Egypt's past, present and future. G-D says in v.2:"I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; Everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor." It doesn't look good for Islamic Egypt, because in the end, G-D Himself will cause a regime change, when Egypt will be a godly nation as He says in v.25: 'Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance." No mention of Gaza in v.23, when He says, "In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, through Israel..." (I've yet to learn who these Assyrians are...Kurds? Will there be an Israel-friendly Kurdistan?)

Luigi Frascati

The Assyrians used to share the North and Western portion of Mesopotamia with the Babylonians, who pre-eminently inhabited the South. The Assyrians later on unified Mesopotamia under their control, but gave the Babylonians autonomous status.

The Assyrians were among the first populations of the East to convert to Christianity, and this is the reason why the always show up in the Bible.

In modern terminology Assyrians would encompass Syrians, Iranians and Armenians - but not Kurds.

M. D'Souza

Thanks Mr.Frascati for the information.

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Tory Burch

I did a bit of research and discovered an interesting, yet largely unknown, little fact: Arab states provide less than 3 percent of the annual budget of UNRWA, the UN agency that assists Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East.

By contrast, Western countries cover some 95 percent of the organization's finances each year.

Tory Burch Outlet

Now, if they really truly cared about the fate of their Palestinian brethren, would oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain be so miserly and cheap when it comes to improving their living conditions?

Tory Burch Outlet

On her current trip to the Middle East, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been meeting with a series of Arab leaders, patting each one on the back and heaping praise on them for their supposed "moderation".
But just who is a "moderate Arab leader", and is Secretary Rice making a grave mistake when she applies this term to those with whom she meets?

Moncler Outlet

But hiding one's head in the sand is no way to formulate policy or to run a country. What is taking place now in Gaza and elsewhere just serves to underline once again, in very dramatic fashion, just how dangerous it would be to give the Palestinians a state of their own.


But hiding one's head in the sand is no way to formulate policy or to run a country.

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