Friday, March 26, 2010

Rachel Corrie Again and Again!

By: Hassan Al-Haifi

The story of Rachel Corrie and her brutal and tragic death seven years ago by the cold blooded murdering IDF is bound to run chills down one’s spine, unless one has lost all sense of being human and has lost any semblance of sanity. In the kind of world that we live in, it is not so difficult to be deprived of any hope in human nature – that is until one recalls the unmerciful workings of the International Zionist Movement on the gentle and timid body of Rachel Corrie. It is indeed a great wonder of the Al-Mighty’s fabulous creations that Rachel had a heart of solid steel to counterbalance this frailty of human structure, by which the Divine has graced womanhood by. This heart of Rachel was blessed with the infinite kindness to see that in the West Bank and Gaza – or what is left of Palestine – there is a great crime against humanity being unleashed almost daily by a monstrous machine of hatred, chauvinism and obnoxious arrogance that has surpassed all forms of human evil. It is an unrelenting trait of human nature that God has blessed humanity with Rachel – and so many likes of Rachel Corrie – to tell mankind that it does not have to be that way at all. Rachel has reflected the inherent deep good that can be found in all human beings, who know that Zionism is an ugly cancer that has nothing to do with human goodness.
This kind of goodness of the heart was what Rachel Corrie reflected and was ready and willing to give up her life for at such a young and innocent age. She could not believe that America with all its might and extravagance would allow one of its own machines – Caterpillar D – 9 or 10 or whatever to render its very own citizens flat and drained of all that hot freedom loving American blood for the sake of murderers of the likes of Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak and …. Yes, they are murderers and all their predecessors in Israeli officialdom have a long track record of spilling blood all over the Holy Land. Has anyone forgotten that the land of Palestine has lost its fertility since so much blood has been allowed to poison the dirt that once catered to millions of olive trees and citrus fruit trees and kept the people of Palestine alive for millennia?
Zionism has no room for the blood of Rachel Corrie to continue flowing in her veins, so she can go back home to the good old USA and tell her fellow Americans that American money, guns and tractor/shovels are doing all the dirty work of Zionist demagoguery.
In case anyone did not know, a few days before the untimely death, she and some of her colleagues in the International Solidarity Movement were facing American bullets unleashed by the misnamed Israeli Defense Forces, who were only taught one word throughout their training: “Kill! Kill! Kill! That is the only thing expected of you and the only thing desired of you!” This is the crux of an ideology that is spiced with hatred and demagoguery, disguised vainly as the implementation of a Devine Promise made up over a meal of dry matzo meal, of which the Lord is completely innocent. Otherwise, who would believe in Him, if they knew that He was handing out parcels of land to Zionist witch doctors, who are as far away from God as anyone could ever get.
Rachel Corrie knew better than to allow the name of America to be smeared by Zionist hooligans, who grew up in Brooklyn and now want the whole world to believe that it is the will of the Al-Mighty that they are realizing in the Holy Land. The Lord knows well that these mobsters have desecrated His houses of worship almost with a cold defiance against the One who they claim gave the Zionists the deed to the Holy Land. Ask the millions of Palestinian Christians and Moslems whatever happened to the hundreds of churches and mosques that spread throughout natural Palestine, but fell down under the push of Caterpillar tractor/shovels, after American aircraft, Apaches and tanks have leveled most of the surrounding homes of innocent unarmed Palestinians to the ground.
To Rachel Corrie this is not the model of America she wanted to see reflected in the Holy Land. Even if the Zionist courts do not come up with the result of compensating her loved ones for the tragic loss of their angel - Rachel – her family should still realize that there are a lot of good people in the world, who regard Rachel as a masterpiece of morality and love for her fellow human begins.
Those who give their lives for the sake of other human beings would never find solace from the Israeli judicial system. But just the same, we praise her family for reminding the world that in America there is indeed goodness, kindness and a deep recognition of right and wrong that has not been smeared by the AIPAC and all the advocates of hate that are given a free pass to enter and exit the corridors of the US Senate and House of Representatives as they like and continue to keep those Caterpillar D – 9 crushing even American advocates of peace, freedom and justice – none of which has anything to do with the Zionism that Washington simply cannot do without.
Yemen Tines 1348
Published 22 - 3 2010

The right to life is a God given right:

Bloodshed is not the only solution to Yemen’s problems
Hassan Al-Haifi
If bloodshed is not the right solution to any problem anywhere else in the world, it certainly is not the case more so in Yemen. In Yemen bloodshed only begets more bloodshed as the ritual of blood vengeance is clearly embedded in the tribal culture of Yemen and it is not understood why the regime in Sana’a continues to think that it can confront all of its problems by the nozzle of the guns it has in its possession pointing and firing at the citizens it purports to rule and serve. While this may be sound logic very temporarily in the case of the former, it certainly does not reflect a genuine desire to carry out any services expected of Government, which are for all practical purposes non-existent. With the nozzles now somewhat quite in the Northern provinces of Sa’ada and Amran and other nearby governorates (although there are looming threats of a Round Seven emerging), they have been uncovered in the southern governorates and with greater disregard for the codes of honor that our tribal heritage also left us, such as the ban on assaults on armless civilians, the respect for the rights of life to women and children and the lack of use of houses of worship as staging points for attacks against adversaries or civilian protestors. On the other hand, there are several constitutional stipulations being currently violated in the Southern Governorates that certainly forbid the armed attack on any citizens, who may have expressed opinions that may seem demeaning to certain Government officials.
One wonders to what extent the state security apparatus would be used to serve the wishes of elements of a regime that has failed to provide the minimum standards of government services and failed to apply the very laws it has diligently amended so many times to suit its purposes as much as possible. In the southern governorates, there is a strong feeling that the diehard regime in Sana’a has out stepped the bounds of purposeful government and has acted more like an occupying power, rather than a government of the people, for the people, and by the people. At least that is how our southern brothers see it. While the feeling is really shared by all the people of Yemen, north and south, the southerners have found the situation so deplorable that they find it unbearable to carry on under such gross misuse of government by careless officials, who grant themselves the right to grab anything and everything they like, as if God had only created the Earth for them to plunder and loot as they wish. Just to reassure our brothers in the south, this feeling is shared by their northern brothers and really does not hide the existence of better conditions north of Mikeiras at all. The fact of the matter is that the regime in Sana’a has been the most flagrant violator of not only its own laws, but the very international conventions it has become party to, wantonly bringing hundreds of civilians in Sa’ada to their untimely death without justifiable cause, except to reflect an unholy arrogance that has come to characterize the regime, especially since the end of the 1994 uncalled for invasion of the south. It that senseless war was to “protect the union” (It was only after the invasion by about three weeks that the leaders of the southern side in the Unification Agreement decided for a break up), the aftermath of the war gave more reason for a desired divorce). In fact, one at that time relished the delicate balance of power that helped to create a modest aura of freedom and civil involvement in government affairs, which should be credited to the presence of our southern brothers in the merged regime that arose after unification from May 1990 to April 1994 (when the “Northern” forces attacked the “Southern” forces that were deployed in Amran as part of the redeployment of military forces of both North and South Yemen agreed to in the unification accord).
While it is not yet understood how the regime can claim that Yemen enjoys democratic rule with free speech and assembly, but when the Southerners try to enjoy this right, they are greeted by immediate firepower from the exaggerated security presence that usually greets any civil expressions of discontent in Dhale’a, Loder or Zanjibar. As if that was not enough, the security forces are unabashed at resorting to attacking any person who may have used symbolic expressions of discontent against particular elements of the regime, as if these people not only enjoyed immunity from displeasure by their “subjects”, but immunity from discontent by their subjects. This is tantamount to “shirk” and accords the rulers of the land a partnership with the Divine, which is totally unacceptable, no matter what rationale are given for this unholy assertion.
One wonders if the security organs have forgotten that it is their primary duty to protect the citizens of the country from any harm, even if they expressed an opinion that may not be favorable to any of the icons of the regime and even if these icons infringe upon the constitutional rights of free expression and assembly, in which case they should really side with the protestors. Certainly, state funds should not be allocated to such organs if they attack peaceful demonstrators in their homes and use houses of worship as staging points for their unholy bloody missions to do away with such protestors. Needless to say, those demonstrators were not even carrying armaments during the demonstrations.
It is time for the regime in Sana’a to seek more constructive methods of answering legitimate protest in both the North and the South if it has any hopes of keeping the unity of Yemen intact. The misdoings of icons of the regime are the reasons behind the obvious discontent in the North and the South and the latter will not fade away by machine gun fire from the minarets of mosques, which were constructed to call the people to come together and to remember that all are equal before God and the Law. The irrational spilling of blood in the South must end immediately if this union is to be saved. The regime in Sana’a has to come to terms with the people it purports to govern by their consent, for there is simply no excuse for continued failure to perform under the social contract and the shedding of blood of legitimate protestors does not hide any of the regime’s incompetence at all.
But wait folks, there may be ominous threats that Round Seven is looming in the horizon in the North as well. For sure the future is gloomier than ever.

Yemen Times Issue 1346 ?
Published 11/3/2010

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Mr. Al-Baradei Returns Home: A Chance for A Real New Arab Renaissance?

Hassan Al-Haifi
Published: 01-03-2010

The recent return of Dr. Mohammed Al-Baradei after having served the international community faithfully and professionally for over twenty years marks an important moment, not just for the Arab Republic of Egypt, but for the entire Arab World. This return was greeted rather unwarily to say the least by officialdom in Cairo and certainly the Egyptian official media considered the hopeful welcome accorded by the independent press and some partisan circles to Mr. Baradei as near treason. It is not so clear why the Egyptian people should entertain a fear or even caution of the return of a man who has been honored by the international community by a Nobel Peace Prize. Mr. Baradei was a man who stressed that any military action by the international community against any nation of this planet should be based on factual and demonstrated proof of the danger that such a nation poses to world peace. We have seen how the minds of entire citizenries can be coaxed into believing that the actions of political leaderships can be misleadingly outside the context of a sincere application of the Social Contract. In fact there is enough evidence to suggest that such actions can sometimes be based on service to evil and an accommodation to narrow interests.

We have seen in the first decade of this Century that when narrow interests defined policies of nations, the consequences are deadly and costly, leaving a myriad of social and economic ills that are sometimes irreparable. We were told, for example, that the “removal of Saddam Hussein” provides sufficient justification for a war that has yet to see the finale of its ongoing devastation. However that was not the initial declared rationale provided by the promoters of one of the most costly military and legally dubious military coups in human history. This also does not take into consideration that the intended effort meant the elimination of a heretofore non-existent threat of terror, which was not backed by any substantive evidence to speak of from any legal or moral standpoint. Mr. Al-Baradei clearly understood this in his former highly sensitive position as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations and sought to try to diffuse the flames of war, even when the world found difficulty in rejecting the deliberate efforts to mix a seemingly genuine ant-terrorism global effort with latent devious intentions and a more obvious disruption of world peace.

But Mr. Al-Baradei stands for more than just the propagation of world peace throughout the world. This observer could not fail to remember that about a year or so ago, Mohammed Al-Baradei was in front of the official TV cameras of the Egyptian television network (there are still no independent Television radio or television channels to this day in Egypt or in the overwhelming majority of Arab states). Obviously, this interview was only permitted because the man had not then declared himself a candidate for the Presidency of Egypt in the upcoming very long overdue Presidential Elections of Egypt. Yet the significance of the interview could not be easily ignored and the hour or so chat with the internationally renowned public servant of the world told the audience that the man had more insight and more concern for the pathetic plight of not only the Egyptian people, but of the entire Arab World. This sad plight can be seen for obvious reasons, manifested by the failure of the political leaderships in the Arab countries to deliver their part of the bargain of the Social Contract. He mostly talked about the awesome failure of the Arab governments in taking advantage of the vast resources of the Arab World to upgrade the cultural and educational standards of the Nation to keep pace with a rapidly changing world that has no room or even respect for the educational and cultural retardation. Surely, such observation is obviated by the pathetic standing of the Arab World and its helplessness to confront the highly systematic and humiliatingly sophisticated hostility being unleashed by Israel against not only the Arab people of Palestine, but as can be seen now, against the entire Moslem World. Surely, the time has come for the Arab World to instigate tangible changes in its political and social frameworks that are more favorable to producing a more effective synergy of their vast resources and capabilities. What Mr. Al-Baradei conveyed in that enlightening interview was that he had a vision of where the Arab World should be and had a clear perception of what ills need to be overcome to realize such a vision. Mr. Baradei knew well that the Arab people; are sick and tired of exhaustive political and national rhetoric that serves only to inflate the pockets of the penholders and mouths that bellow all that empty rhetoric, which the Arabs have been hearing for the last fifty years. For this alone, I can vouch that Mr. Baradei will launch a highly warranted movement for most enlightened Arabs to start leading their people for a peaceful transformation of their political and social fabric. The Arab World must find a way of relinquishing the existent dead meat that has characterized our political frameworks and the establishment of more vibrant and interactive body politics that understand what the true aspirations of its constituencies are and how to go about realizing them.

Needless to say, the political establishments of the Arab World must recognize that they cannot regard public coffers as a free for all to rob and steal while they are protected by a political cover provided by the failing regimes that continue to hold the reigns of authority in the Arab World. The observer anticipates that the people of Egypt will indeed lead the way to this refreshing Arab renaissance. For this alone then we should welcome Mr. Al-Baradei home if he launches this momentary and called for true revolution in Arab political thinking.

Yemen Times Issue 1342

Saturday, March 06, 2010

A Respite or a Durable Blessing: A Peace for the Yemeni People?

Yes, it seems quite now for a change in Sa'ada Governorate after six months of mainly guns doing the talking and undertakers operating ceaselessly, having to try to cater to human flesh that has lost its fine intricate and delicate engineering. For the undertakers this makes an already not so dazzling source of livelihood much harder to stomach even for the most hardened professional caretaker of human forms that have lost their meaningful contents and raison d'être – their souls. The mostly untimely passing away of all these souls that needlessly consummated their allotted time in this world much earlier than their bearers or even their killers might have earnestly pursued. Most of the parting human beings who lost their lives in the Sixth Round of a war that should not have had a Round I in the first place, were folks, whose death would most likely not have a determining factor on the outcome of the war anyway. But then the ugly thing about wars is that most of the casualties are never even asked why they should have to die so prematurely. In fact they do not have people determining what coordinates they should be on when the deadly ordnance that ends their existence per deadly chance should happen to land just when they trek on those coordinates. Their doom is written at that moment and their destiny is decided by men, whom they have never met, let alone have the least admiration for. This war in Sa'ada has not only been a war for people, who only sought to be free from religious oppression. It was a war that most of the combatants on both sides of the dogmatic divide would have preferred not to have started by the men who took on their leadership by bad fate more than by freedom of choice of the constituency. Ironically, when one views the leadership of the leading parties in the war, the people of Sa'ada were indeed fighting behind elected leaders, whereas the leaders behind dictating the orders for the firing of the most lethal ordnances were not freely elected at all. But then, one is not here trying to find the "right" side, if ever there was a right side in war; for the innocent dead there is never a right side. Life for them was the only right side. One is thus glad to see that the guns have for now stopped the talking and the leaders on both sides have betted on being able to win the hearts of people in more convincing ways than resorting to the gun that never won any heart for anyone. Needless to say, it is more likely that the end of the war may have come, because the more powerful player, who now decides the fate of the world at large, indeed found this war to be disturbingly unreal in their chess game of international conflict. Perhaps, the regime in Sana'a and perhaps their mentors in Riyadh failed to see that it is impossible for a country like Yemen, with its entire limited means to engage in three senseless wars at the same time! In fact, Yemen can't afford to engage in any war and the people of Yemen are already tired of thirty years of almost relentless warfare for a myriad of causes, none of which have brought the Yemeni people any clue as to when the country will ever see the light of day. In the arithmetic of war, in such a situation the main factors are power, greed and lack of faith in God and in the right of people to live in peace, so they can tend to the more urgent needs of fulfilling the needs of hungry children; hungry for food and hungry for learning! Wars do not solve the problem of feeding those hungry children, when the farmers that father those children are denied the most essential ingredients for producing their food and the access to the markets that will buy the output of one's labor. Wars will not help solve the problem of 55% of children in basic school age (whose number is now in the millions!) not being enrolled in schools at all, because there are neither enough schools or teachers, or even care for their future by those who should work night and day to try to remedy this serious of social problems and not the problem of how you pray while facing Mecca. Somebody should tell Thomas Freidman of the New York Times of the real facts on the picture of education in Yemen, because he left with the impression that there were only 5% unenrolled and only 15,000 in number. He also left with the idea that if schools could be found for these wrong numbers, Al-Qaeda would not have a chance to grow in Yemen. He does not even realize that the people who bring war to Yemen are the very same people who bring Al-Qaeda to the surface in Yemen and elsewhere. Mr. Freidman hardly cared about what is going in Sa'ada during his visit to Yemen. His main interests were taken up by the dirty underwear of a dubious Nigerian son of a wealthy man, who simply was deprived from some of the wealth of his father, or who simply found easier paths to glory in life. Thanks to the other breed of war merchants, who find in displaced human minds a good opportunity to extract wealth and fame by sending the former to their death or prisons like Guantanamo, the people of Sa'ada are of little concern to writers like Freidman, who probably does not have the faintest idea why there is Al-Qaeda in the first place. The people of Sa'ada know and are apparently not willing to have these contractors of death dictate their lives. That is what the War in Sa'ada really all about, isn't it?

Yemen Times Isue 1336 February 15. 2015