Friday, April 18, 2003

Reality may begin to set in the Arab world, via InstaPundit here is an article in Arab News that illustrates that.

Here are some worthwhile thoughts from the article:

What have the Arabs done to help themselves over the last 40 years?”

They were 40 years of infighting, political rivalry, and economic programs that never took off and focused on issues that were of no benefit to national interests. As a result public confidence fell, poverty became rampant, stagnation of the mind and the soul became entrenched, and a general malaise settled over everything.


We should have seen such problems as a challenge — a challenge to develop and modernize our society within the parameters of Islam. Instead, we did the opposite. We started chanting slogans and singing songs of yesteryear, in praise of past glories.

If there is to be progress in the Arab world, the intelligentsia must stop gazing at the past in the futile hope that it can solve the problems of the present. Yes, we should study history because if we don’t we are condemned to repeat it.

But our tragedy has been that we have been looking history straight in the face out of the very corner of our eyes. We have yet to confront the harsh facts of our history. Only when we do can we confront the challenges of the 21st century.


The absence of the rule of law, lack of accountability and absolute rule over an intimidated public disrupted any social or economic progress. Thus while other countries progressed, the Arab world with its brimming coffers became mired in Third World status.

Countries such as South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia — not to speak of Japan — went ahead by leaps and bounds. These were countries that had been utterly devastated by World War II and other wars in the region.

But they rose from the ashes, and now, with the fall of a tyrant, a fresh breeze is also blowing in the Arab world. A wind of change.


The Arabs need to face up to the challenges confronting them and to focus their attention on the development of human resources, science and technology and build their economies in a free, just and peaceful environment.

This is the time to learn our lessons from the past.

In history the Arabs were so great, who knows where civilization would be without them. But know they need to help themselves and stop looking for the next scapegoat.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Well CNN seems to be coming clean about its reporting in Iraq.

For example, in the mid-1990's one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government's ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency's Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk.

Working for a foreign news organization provided Iraqi citizens no protection. The secret police terrorized Iraqis working for international press services who were courageous enough to try to provide accurate reporting. Some vanished, never to be heard from again. Others disappeared and then surfaced later with whispered tales of being hauled off and tortured in unimaginable ways. Obviously, other news organizations were in the same bind we were when it came to reporting on their own workers.

Makes you wonder how biased their reporting had to be to maintain access.

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