x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

A farewell kiss for last US soldier in Iraq

"If there is anyone left in the world who doesn't know where the security treaty will take Iraq, President George Bush clarified the answer yesterday," wrote Khaled Saghieh, a regular columnist for Lebanon's independent pro-opposition newspaper Al Akhbar.

"If there is anyone left in the world who doesn't know where the security treaty will take Iraq, President George Bush clarified the answer yesterday," wrote Khaled Saghieh, a regular columnist for Lebanon's independent pro-opposition newspaper Al Akhbar. "The treaty 'prepares the ground for us to continue helping the Iraqis to enjoy the blessings of free societies'."

But Iraqi president Jalal Talbani was more optimistic than "the man who appointed him", he wrote, saying Iraq already has the blessing of democracy and human rights. "But despite all this, the Iraqis don't look like they are enjoying those blessings," Saghieh wrote. When an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at Bush, he said it was "a farewell kiss". "This sentence hurts the feelings of all the neo-liberals who couldn't believe their eyes. But this statement will be repeated more than once. A day will come when the last American soldier leaving Iraq will be told: 'This is a farewell kiss.'"

Dr Tawfic Sayf, a regular columnist for Saudi Arabia's pro-government newspaper Okaz, wrote that members of the Saudi National Human Rights Assembly had been pleased in 2005 with the appointment of the organisation's head, Dr Abdullah al Abid, as minister of education, hoping he would introduce the concept of rights to young minds. "Today, almost four years after that appointment, those interested in human rights are wondering what has been achieved in this regard," he wrote.

Just as students are taught multiplication tables as a basis for mathematics, a solid foundation must be found to encourage children to grasp the concept of human rights. "I suggest that we focus on 'the value of coexistence' as the main issue to be discussed in the current period. Coexistence represents an ethical and philosophical basis for most of the principles of human rights and it is a cosmic value that is revered by all religions," Sayf wrote.

Sateh Noureddine, a regular columnist for Lebanon's independent leftist newspaper As Safir, wrote that a speech by Martin Indyk, the adviser to the designated secretary of state Hillary Clinton, at a Lebanese-American conference in Washington last week indicated the approach of the next American administration towards the Lebanese crisis. "Indyk described the American commitment to Lebanon following the assassination of prime minister Rafik al Hariri as 'ethical'," he wrote.

"This commitment does not dispel the American fear that Lebanon might become a 'failed' state if the Lebanese do not take their fate into their own hands or if they allow Hizbollah to take over the country as a result of the coming parliamentary elections." Indyk said the idea of "reviving the unity of the Lebanese and Syrian tracks" in negotiations with Israel enjoys unanimous support in both the current and the next administration.

Muhammad al Owadi, a regular columnist for Kuwait's independent newspaper Al Rai al Aam, wrote that there have been reports in Kuwaiti papers recently about the ideology and beliefs of the Al Tahrir [Liberation] party. "What I know about the party is that it has existed in Kuwait since the mid 1950s and it has never staged riots or caused any act of violence or participated in any divisive effort. It has a political ideology that calls for the implementation of Islamic Shari'a through the establishment of the caliphate," he wrote.

"The Al Tahrir party is spreading its call and marketing its ideology in daylight and not under the cover of darkness and it uses only peaceful methods and its beliefs and ideology are based on the Islamic faith itself." Accusations that the party is a threat are false, al Owadi wrote. "The Al Tahrir party poses no threat. It is unfair to accuse that party of crimes that it didn't commit." * Digest compiled from www.mideastwire,com