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|August - September 2006|
The stalemate in Iraq is now having its effects in the US. The American people are getting impatient with the policies of the Bush administration as regards Iraq and the rest of the Middle East.
The strong resistance offered by Hezbollah to Israeli invasion on Lebanon is also being viewed by the US public as a gross misjudgment of the situation by Washington, for which the current administration will have to bear the brunt.
it is now more than obvious that the US people are uneasy at the Iraq situation and a change in
the strategy, if not the entire policy, is in the offing.
The daily toll of deaths in suicide bombings in Iraq, is a proof that with all its formidable fire
power and monopoly of the air and the space, the US is unable to stop the bloodshed and the drift of the country towards a civil war.
Indeed, the Iraq venture has been a series of disappointments and miscalculations for the US. Its only success has been deposition and capture of Saddam Hussain. None of the other objectives has been achieved. The weapons of mass destruction for which the US declared the war were never found, nor could the US troops provide peace and security to the people. The democratic government formed in Baghdad under the aegis of the coalition forces is too fragile to stand on its own feet without the support and protection of the occupation troops. And far from consolidating the country, it has failed to hold together the three major communities in the country - the Shias, Sunnis and the Kurds. In fact, the differences among the three segments of the Iraqi polity were never so jarring as now.
In short, the US invasion has given the Iraqi people neither peace nor freedom and democracy. On the contrary, it has ruined the country's economy and destroyed the infrastructure. The democracy that has replaced Saddam's dictatorship is too fragile to face the huge crisis created by the invasion and virtual civil war that is being fought in Iraqi streets with no end in sight, f
The US forces can not stay in Iraq forever. They have to leave one day or the other, the sooner the better. The foreign troops in Iraq are ill at ease. Many countries who were partners in the coalition, have already withdrawn their forces. Now the main troops left are those of the US and the UK. The latter too is under pressure to call back its forces, the US casualties are also rising. President Bush's popularity graph is sliding mainly because of the stalemate in Iraq.
Perhaps, the only people who are happy at the US adventure in Iraq are the Israelis. For them, a big threat to their militaristic designs in the Middle East has been removed. Iraq cannot pose any challenge to Israel, nor can it expend any help to the Palestinians in the foreseeable future. This is one concrete achievement of the US-led invasion of Iraq besides removal of Saddam Hussain and replacement of his dictatorship with an elected government.
The Bush administration should now seriously plan strategy for exit from Iraq - one that should contribute to the peace and security of the region and provide for rebuilding the economy of that country.
WMC Secretary General urges for more efforts to project the issue of Al-QudsSecretary General of World Muslim Congress (Motamar Al-Alam Al-Islami), Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq, has stressed the need for more efforts to project the issue of Al-Quds Al-Sharif in a wide focus to draw world attention to it.
He was speaking at the International Symposium on Jerusalem was held in Amman on September 12 under the auspices of the General Islamic Conference for Jerusalem and the Hashmite Kingdom of Jordan.
Following is the text of his speech:
Mr. Abdul Fattah Salah,
Minister and His Majesty’s
Representative and Distinguished
Let me begin my submissions with our deep appreciation for the sustained and continous efforts of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the General Islamic Conference for Jerusalem, for not only projecting the truth about the Islamic Jerusalem but also for protecting its identity as the second most holiest place in Islamic faith. There is no denying the fact that the Royalty in the Kingdom has contributed tremendously to the sacred cause of preserving and promoting the Islamic character of Jerusalem.
We should also recognize that the negative and hostile developments in this region, during the recent past, have adversely affected the Palestinian cause in general and the issue of the Islamic character of Jerusalem in particular. These developments have practically relegated the centrality of this issue on the backburner. But whatever the circumstances, we can neither abandon the cause nor reduce our efforts in any manner. Like a physician, attending a patient redoubles his efforts and re-evaluates his recipe when he finds that the malady is increasing. Similarly, its time for us to seriously and in a systematic manner, re-evaluate and analyze the task before us and the efforts we have put in so far, so as to plan a new strategy to achieve our goal, avoiding the past weaknesses and faulty perceptions, including the assessment of the ground situation.
Presently the focus is on other issues in the region and beyond, which are drawing greater world attention. We have to put in more efforts to project the issue of Al-Quds Al-Sharif in a wider focus through various means by not only reiterating our principled stand but also refurbishing our presentations in the present regional and global context. There is no dearth of people of goodwill amongst all faiths, all over the world, we have to coordinate with them.
The main issue of Palestine; i.e. the daily aggressions; the target killing of innocent people; arrest of elected representatives; economic strangulation plus a cruel global insensitivity, is really a formidable challenge. There is a foundation and there is continuity in the Israeli policies.
In a biography of Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister Michael Ben-Zohar, quotes him as stating: “We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population.”
Yitzhak Rabin’s recollections were cited by The New York Times in October 1979 where he remembered the following: “We walked outside, Ben Gurion accompanying us. Allon repeated his question, ‘What is to be done with the Palestinian population?’ Ben Gurion waved his hand in gesture which said, ‘Drive them out’.
Professor Ben-Zion Dinur, Israel’s Education Minister in 1954, declared: “In our country, there is room only for the Jews. We shall say to the Arabs: Get out! If they don’t agree, if they resist, we shall drive them out by force”.
Earlier this year, the Israeli attitude towards Arabs especially the Palestinians, is best summed up by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s declaration, that “Israeli lives are worth more than Palestinian ones”. On the other hand, the lack of coordination among the supporting elements of Palestine issue within and outside Palestine, is also a serious stumbling block, without removing which, one cannot expect favorable developments in the near future. The initiative remains on the other side. Despite all this, we must also keep in mind that whenever there is a challenge, there are equal, if not more opportunities.
The issue of Islamic Jerusalem has its own entity and personality. I would, therefore, suggest a small more frequently in charting out a viable and effective time bound plan of action, as a contribution to the efforts of the restoration of Jerusalem’s full Islamic status, as well as, to arrest the erosion of its physical and spiritual entity. Similarly a delegation of elders can also call on some of the heads of states and governments to apprise them of the latest position.
I pray to Allah S.W.T. to guide us in our endeavours and grant us the wisdom and internal solidarity to pursue our objectives with perseverance needed to achieve our noble goal.”