Despite its huge oil earnings, Iran is a political, economic and social failure. Politically, the regime's fake democracy was uncovered following the recent presidential elections. Economically, the balance of payments shows perpetual deficit, and socially the lower classes are under great pressure, said Dr Fahd el Fanek in an article published by the Jordanian daily al Rai.
Given its political and social instability challenges, Iran ought to mend its internal situation before indulging in projects of regional hegemony. Contrary to the arguments advanced by some Arabs, betting on Iran's resistance is doomed, Dr el Fanek argued. He came to the conclusion that Iran only appears strong because of Arabs' weakness. Iran is witnessing a downturn and those who make a comparison between Iran and Israel are blinkered, because the Arab nation must acknowledge that it has more than one enemy.
There seems no end in sight to the tug of war between the Turkish army and the Islamist-orientated government. This is because of Ankara's aspiration to become an EU member and the economic and democratic achievements of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), said Abdul Baqqi Salai in an article in the Qatari daily Al Sharq. What is more, the Turkish army, long known for plotting a coup whenever it is not happy with a government, has become reluctant and finds it embarrassing to interfere in politics.
Recently, the Turkish parliament passed a law under which army members would come under the jurisdiction of civilian courts in time of peace. It was in response to the involvement of army members in an alleged coup against AKP. This puts an end to the army's interference in political affairs and is a step towards meeting EU democratic norms, Mr Salai commented. He concluded by saying that if the Turkish government succeeds in its action against the army, it will definitely have established a strong foundation for a multi-cultural and multi-ideological system and will put an end to a 50-year tradition of military coups to preserve the secular state.
The columnist Satea Nooraddin wrote in the Lebanese Daily Assafir that the American president is looking forward to a realisation of his old socio-political dream: to change the US image into that of a world-friendly, poverty-combating power. Nooraddin commented that one of the major steps in this direction relates to the vision of ridding the globe of the threat of nuclear weapons. Another reason is that the USA, like Russia long before, realised that with the current financial crisis the cost of storing and maintaining its nuclear arsenal is too high. Finally he raised the following question: is this a real awareness likely to materialise or will Mr Obama soon find himself face to face with arms manufacturing lobbies? Will the world discover that this was only a dream?
In an article in the Saudi Daily Arriyadh, Dr Abdul Qadder Fantoukh believed that the sudden death of the King of the Pop, Michael Jackson, had a worldwide impact on internet infrastructure.
In fact, several widely known websites such as Twitter and Facebook were overloaded on the occasion because of a huge number of concurrent searches for Jackson material. The same happened with YouTube video downloads and SMS networks on the occasion of the same sad event, the article went on to say. Major news websites, such as CNN, ABC and others were not spared, as their pages became very slow to download.
Dr Fantoukh has come to the conclusion that if such great sites had been vulnerable to such "friendly" attacks from network users, what would happen with potential malicious attacks? Attention must henceforth be drawn to the high risks of our dependence on NIC systems and the great dangers this represents for our societies. * Digest compiled by Mohamed Naji firstname.lastname@example.org