x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

The West's double standard on nukes

"We still have no idea why the whole West catches fire whenever countries like North Korea or Iran achieve nuclear feats, while not the smallest flame is sparked in protest against the 200 nuclear warheads tucked in Israel's arsenal," commented Mazzen Hammad in the Qatari daily Al Watan.

"We still have no idea why the whole West catches fire whenever countries like North Korea or Iran achieve nuclear feats, while not the smallest flame is sparked in protest against the 200 nuclear warheads tucked in Israel's arsenal," commented Mazzen Hammad in the Qatari daily Al Watan. The fundamental mistake that the West makes in dealing with North Korea and Iran is that it approaches neither of them with the kind of respect and parity they command, as per the proprieties international relations between sovereign states, Hammad argued.

"The West's problem is that it considers itself a headmaster preaching to pupils in a global school. This arrogance has always proved counterproductive, pushing oppressed peoples to embrace their leaders and proudly consider nuclear achievements, as is the case in North Korea and Iran, as national accomplishments to boast about." Said western snobbery is, moreover, coupled with attempts to buy off national priorities with economic privileges which are, at heart, nothing more than embedded bribes cloaked in civilised garb, he added. "The foreign ministry of North Korea in the capital Pyongyang acknowledged something to this effect when it said that nothing of value is to be expected from parties that 'look at us with enmity'."

It is now clear that the Iraqi parliament will not be able to affect constitutional amendments in the tight timetable it has left, after the various political forces have failed to reach a definite agreement due to numerous differences that were only accentuated by the last provincial elections, opined Abdul Sattar Ramadan in the Iraqi daily Azzaman.

"In this context, the constitutional amendments' committee has announced that, by the end of this month, it will submit to the parliament its final report on amendment proposals that have been approved and those that were dropped." The committee will have then concluded its three-year mission, amid widespread scepticism about the parliament's ability to ratify approved amendments and put them to a referendum by the end of this year, knowing that the committee's report is expected to contain about 50 amendment proposals. Politicians say another committee will be formed after the next parliamentary elections to carry through the constitutional mission. "Five major constitutional amendment proposals are still at issue: Article 140, on normalising the situation in Kirkuk and other disputed areas; the personal status code; the president's prerogatives; the constitutional prerogatives of provinces later to join larger districts; and the very contentious law on the oil revenue distribution mechanism."

"I recommend that the opposition to the new Palestinian government be responsible and constructive, premised on peaceful, democratic and legal processes. It should hail positive government initiatives and oppose harmful ones. Likewise, I call on the government to heed opposition criticism and divergence and try its best to fix what needs to be fixed, for arrogance benefits none other than the occupier," offered Hani al Masri in the comment section of the Palestinian daily Al Ayyam.

The opposition should, though unwillingly, accept the fact that a new government has been established, and it will have to deal with it even if only to try and change it. There are several ways to achieve this change: persuade the president to form a new government that bends to a significant part of the opposition's demands; resort to the Supreme Court and challenge the legitimacy of the new government; reach a national compromise through internal dialogue; or, wait for January 24, 2010, the scheduled date for both legislative and presidential elections. "The Palestinian Authority must not, on the other hand, undervalue the calls of the opposition, especially from within Fatah and among the Palestinian Liberation Organisation. If these factions joined Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other allied factions, the opposition would become a crushing majority."

"Where did they get it from?" That was the first question that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon asked immediately following the publication of the Der Spiegel report on Rafiq al Hariri's assassination that accused Hizbollah's "special forces", wrote Saam Mehio, a regular columnist at the Emirati daily Al Khaleej.

That question was promptly responded to by Israel through its foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who validated Der Spiegel's story as though it were a court ruling, and based on it urged the international community to arrest the Hizbollah chief, Hassan Nasrallah. But the content and the timing of the Der Spiegel report beg for cool scrutiny, Mehio said. "By vindicating Damascus and charging Hizbollah, the report is perhaps a part, a beginning, or a continuation of the international regional plan to sever the alliance between Syria and Hizbollah, thus between the former and Iran."

Also, Der Spiegel's report comes in the wake of the Israeli intelligence operations in Lebanon, which, aiming to gather data about Hizbollah, were also spreading rumours and surely conducting covert operations against it and blaming them on its allies. "And this might be just the tip of the iceberg," he concluded. * Digest compiled by Achraf A El Bahi aelbahi@thenational.ae