x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Leaked documents prove crimes in Iraq

The 400,000 documents on Wikileaks contain official proof of the real objectives of the war and evidence of the numerous crimes that were committed since the occupiers set foot in the country, says Al Khaleej,

The Emirati daily Al Khaleej commented in its editorial on the secret documents that were leaked on WikiLeaks concerning the war in Iraq.

These documents, which surpassed 400,000, contain official proof of the real objectives of this war and evidence the numerous crimes that were committed since occupiers set foot in the country. They show cover-ups and detail the mass murders and torture sessions that took place under the control and supervision of occupation forces. The leaked material depicts how the "Freedom for Iraq" slogan was transformed into a tool for systematic criminal activity aiming first and foremost at destroying Iraq and tearing it to pieces.

Some would argue that the US occupation's crimes were known and that the atrocities that went on in Abu Ghraib and Fallujah were all documented and published.

However, the gravity of this fact is that the documents published were official records from the Pentagon detailing an illegal war and scandalous violations committed by a regular army under orders of its higher command.

These records are proof of crimes against humanity perpetrated by the US and the UK that must not go unpunished. Unfortunately, international justice is selective. It is implemented in Rwanda, Serbia and Sierra Leone, but it doesn't relate to the strong and powerful such as the US, UK and Israel.


Netanyahu will get what he wants

Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is presently living out his golden days in rule, says the pan-Arab daily Al Quds Al Arabi.

He succeeded in crippling peace negotiations and preserving the coalition supporting his cabinet in the Knesset. More importantly, he resumed settlement activity in the West Bank. But, despite all of his "achievements", he is asking for more concessions and imposes various conditions on his "partners" in the ill-fated peace process.

Just two days ago, during a speech in Jerusalem about the future of the Jewish people, Mr Netanyahu said: "Peace is possible, but it requires concessions not only on the part of Israel, but also on the part of Palestinians." He added that Palestinians' acknowledgment of Israel as the state of the Jews would be the proof of their willingness for peace.

In the past, Israelis requested Arabs to acknowledge Israel's right to exist. Once they were granted that, they went on to demand negotiations. Once negotiations got underway, they started to come up with formulas such as land in exchange for peace.

In light of this weak Palestinian Authority, it is likely that Mr Netanyahu will eventually get what he wants. Mr Abed Rabbo paved the way for accepting Mr Netanyahu's requirements by requesting a map for the Israeli state's definite borders, while Mahmoud Abbas has said that the PA has already acknowledged Israel and has no objection to the name it elects for itself.


'Bravo' to Egypt's information minister

Bravo to Egypt's information minister for bravely waging the battle of reorganising the unbridled satellite television channels in Egypt, commented Tariq Homayed, the editor-in-chief of the London-based daily Asharq Al Awsat.

The shutting down and operational restructuring of these various channels has become an urgent matter that targets social stability and peace. The media must not be made into a scene for vice or the dissemination of lies. Freedom is a responsibility, but unfortunately, the Arab media is in a state of incontinence where satellite channels have become nests for radicalism. It is this same media that once elevated us and opened our eyes to the world that is now bringing us down in the name of freedom of expression.

Online press is also another ulcer that is a clear indication problems inflicting our region. There are those who view the uncontrollable internet as a form of liberty, which is wrong. Even in the West, one cannot publish harmful information even on a personal blog. The West has defined rules and laws that regulate online data, keep it in check and protect against copyright infringements and other violations.

The media sector in our region is alas, in general, a random profession exploited for personal interests without any respect for truths or understanding of the responsibilities inherent to freedom.


Sudan and Belgium: two models of divorce

The people of south Sudan have enough reasons to support separation from Khartoum. The popular base feels marginalised, their leadership has had its final word and moved on. Separation is now a matter of fact notwithstanding the referendum.

In Belgium, the Dutch-speaking Flemish population can no longer coexist side by side with their francophone counterparts. Six months into legislative elections, both sides have yet to agree on a governmental coalition. Their differences date back to the inception of Belgium in 1831.

Many in Sudan view the federal system in Belgium as a model solution for the various issues in their system based on religious, ethnic or cultural variety. But the model itself is crumbling today just as the apparent unity in Sudan, Iraq and even Lebanon.

In addition to that, separation experiences, which proliferated after the end of the Cold War, were designed by powerful nations that provided separatists with political, financial and moral support.

The Belgian divorce would be smooth and civil, whereas the Sudanese separation could be bloody and destructive. The Sudanese case wasn't the result of non-democracy, as democracy at its full extent didn't succeed in unifying Belgium.

* Digest compiled by Racha Makarem