certifired_img

Books and Documents

World Press (09 Sep 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Rohingya Crisis- A Concern For The Region: New Age Islam’s Selection, 09 September 2017

New Age Islam Edit Bureau

 

September 09, 2017

 

Of course British Muslims are being held back. This is an Islamophobic country

By Shaista Aziz

Omar al-Somah - between sports and politics

By Mashari Althaydi

The harrowing prospects of soft Hindutva

By Kuldip Nayar

North Korea: The Kims’ cheat-and-retreat game

By Amir Taheri

Israel is forging its role with fire

By Diana Moukalled

The grooming of girls in Newcastle is not an issue of race – it’s about misogyny

By Chi Onwurah

We need more government, not less in difficult times

By Fareed Zakaria

Russia’s Fake Americans

By The Editorial Board

Trump’s fascist contagion gives the anti-Brexit cause what it lacked: an emotional heart

By Jonathan Freedland

Australia's monumental errors

By Karen Wyld

Would Qatari crisis last two years?

By Salman al-Dosary

Compiled by New Age Islam Edit Bureau

URL:  http://newageislam.com/world-press/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/rohingya-crisis--a-concern-for-the-region--new-age-islam’s-selection,-09-september-2017/d/112474

 

--------------

 

Rohingya crisis: A concern for the region

By Mahfuz Anam

September 09, 2017

Reacting to the insurgent attacks on some police outposts and an army camp on August 25, the Myanmar security forces have unleashed a "war" of sorts against the Rohingya—an ethnic minority group living for centuries in the Rakhine state of Myanmar—burning down their villages, killing their men and raping their women, committing what can be termed as "crimes against humanity" that has resulted in nearly 500 dead and nearly 200,000 taking shelter in Bangladesh, which has hosted Rohingya refugees for more than three decades in varying numbers depending on the level of oppression across the border.

Myanmar, then called Burma, became independent in 1948 from the British, a year after the latter's withdrawal from the Indian subcontinent in 1947. Geographically Rakhine state, where the current conflict is taking place, is separated from the rest of Myanmar by barren mountain range. Ancient history gives the area its own separate past with a distinct Rakhine Kingdom being established in 1430 with its capital in Mrauk U located as a link between Buddhist and Muslim Asia with close ties with the Sultanate of Bengal. After 350 years of independent existence Rakhine State was conquered by the Burmese in 1784. This annexation was short lived as the territory was occupied by the British in 1824 and made a part of the British Indian Empire. Today the Rohingyas are about 1.1 million Muslim citizens of the Rakhine state but are not recognised legally as one of the 135 ethnic groups constituting a part of the citizenry of Myanmar.

It is perhaps not just a coincidence that the current attack on the Rohingyas follows on the heels of the report of the Rakhine Advisory Commission led by the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. This Commission was set up with active participation of the Myanmar government, albeit under severe pressure from the international community, and whose findings it had earlier pledged to implement. Now with the latest spate of violence the prospect of implementation of the Rakhine Commission appears remote and the possibility of a peaceful resolution of the Rohingya crisis may elude us once more.

The Commission has correctly identified the central questions to be “citizenship verification, documentation, rights and equality before the law” and goes on to say that “… if they are left to fester, the future of the Rakhine state-and indeed of Myanmar as a whole-will be irretrievably jeopardised.”

As we see it from Bangladesh, it is not only the future of Myanmar which will be jeopardised but that of this region itself as the Secretary General of the UN warned last Wednesday (September 6) China, given its historical links, will take more than a passing interest in this affair, an effort in which it will be supported by Russia the indications of which is discernible in their pattern of voting at the UN Security Council on recent resolutions on the Rohingya issue.

The block of Arab and Muslim countries will naturally be drawn into this fray as fellow Muslims are being slaughtered. Already there is sufficient reason for concern at the flow of Middle Eastern money in the region with distinct fundamentalist overtones. We all know about Rohingyas finding their way into various Arab and Muslim countries with stories of atrocities invoking a natural reaction for seeking justice and fighting a future of fear and intimidation by building up some sort of resistance including armed. These are but natural outcomes of prolonged oppression to which the Annan Report clearly alludes to.

The US is likely to be more interested than usual given its deteriorating relationship with both China and Russia and the rising tiff in the South China Sea, not to speak of tension with North Korea and its unpredictable and dangerous consequences.

India has completely surprised Bangladesh by its all out endorsement of Myanmar's position. We, naively as it now appears, were hoping that Prime Minister Modi's visit to Myanmar would help, if not to solve issue but at least to stop the violence and ebb the flow of refugees. PM Modi's support to the Myanmar's position and the absence of any substantive reference to the refugee issue and the consequent humanitarian disaster has greatly disappointed Bangladesh.

The rising terrorism that both Prime Minister Modi and the Aung San Suu Kyi have pledged to fight is created and sustained by oppression and ignoring the rights of a minority group. That has been the experience everywhere. For the so-called “Jihadists”, the oppression of the Rohingyas fits the bill completely as a cause they will espouse to gain credibility in the Muslim world whose natural support for this oppressed group of Muslims is only obvious.

In this regard the emergence of ARSA (Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army) is something that should concern all. In the early hours of August 25 this group, whose Arabic name is Harakah al-Yaqin, simultaneously attacked 30 police posts and an army base in the northern side of the Rakhine state. Twelve Myanmar troops and officials and 77 insurgents were killed. This is by far the most audacious and damaging attack by the insurgents who are mostly equipped with machetes, few small arms and hand held explosives. The emergence of such an armed group cannot be welcomed by any country wanting peace and stability in this region.

The International Crisis Group (ICG) termed this as the most serious escalation in the conflict. Obviously the biggest losers from the escalation and continuation of this conflict will be the two countries directly affected—Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Bangladesh has not yet taken any hard-line against its only other neighbour save India and has tried, over the years to reach an understanding with Myanmar. It has internationalised the issue only to the extent of seeking humanitarian aid and nothing more. It first received about 300,000 Rohingya refugees in 1978. Through negotiations about 210,000 were repatriated with the rest continuing to live in Bangladesh.

However, the latest situation has changed everything. Bangladesh will now be under severe pressure from the Arab and Muslim world to internationalise the issue and take a tougher stance than it has hitherto taken. The visits of the Indonesian and Turkish foreign ministers are indications of that. If there is no change in the situation on the ground Bangladesh will be left with little option but to take a more stringent approach that would further complicate the situation.

Myanmar, on its part must, realise that blaming all the current atrocities on the so-called terrorists and claiming that its security forces had nothing to do with the crimes committed, in spite of unvarying accounts of thousands of refugees to the contrary, is neither credible nor helpful in solving the situation.

The Kofi Annan Commission has painstakingly worked out what international experts say to be a realistic path towards peaceful resolution of a conflict that left to itself may become a dangerous crisis. Myanmar must pay heed to the recommendations of that report.

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar needs to remember what she herself said in her Nobel Prize acceptance speech that “Whenever suffering is ignored, there will be seeds of conflict, for suffering degrades and embitters and enrages”.

Myanmar needs to remember what she herself said in her Nobel Prize acceptance speech that “Whenever suffering is ignored, there will be seeds of conflict, for suffering degrades and embitters and enrages”.

Mahfuz Anam is Editor and Publisher, The Daily Star.

thedailystar.net/opinion/asian-editors-circle/rohingya-crisis-concern-the-region-1459393

-------------

Of course British Muslims are being held back. This is an Islamophobic country

By Shaista Aziz

8 September 2017

The government’s study into the social mobility challenges faced by young British Muslims once again shines a troubling spotlight on how race, class, Islamophobia and patriarchy within Muslim communities – and wider British society – is impacting the life chances and quality of life for a significant section of the British population.

It also further highlights the deepening fractures in our society. It is not inconsequential that the report from the government’s social mobility commission has been published days before the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and the subsequent normalisation of anti-Muslim rhetoric in so much of our political, social and media discourse.

It is important for this connection to be made if we want to understand the wider context behind why British Muslims are lagging so behind with social mobility. The impact of 9/11 and the so-called “war on terror” on the lives of young British Muslims cannot be separated from the avalanche of racism and Islamophobia, micro-aggressions and hate crimes many young people face and the impact this is having on all aspects of their lives, from mental and physical wellbeing to career prospects.

For millennial Muslims, often the only references they have to their Muslim identity – and to wider society’s understanding of it – is terrorism, continuous war in Muslim countries, the savagery of the Taliban, al-Qaida and Isis, “home-grown” jihadists, desperate refugees fleeing, images of sex grooming gangs, and oppressed and victimised women splashed across the newspapers and internet. When this is the only dominant image you see of yourself, there is a problem. When you as a young person are being told over and over that this is your identity unless you prove otherwise, this does not bode well for you as an individual or a constructive member of society.

An 18-year-old man from Burnley explained to me the impact of all of this on his identity: “It makes me feel uncomfortable because they [the public] don’t know me as a person, but they judge me based on the media coverage and what they see on the TV. And then, yeah, of course, it makes it much harder for me to be British, doesn’t it? Because even though I am British and I feel British, I’m not allowed to be British. I’m only allowed to feel like I’m nothing, like a criminal. I’m only allowed to feel like I don’t belong and I will never belong.”

According to the report, British Muslims are now more highly educated than at any other time, yet this is still not translating into jobs. British Muslims are missing in action from the job market. The study found that 20% of Muslims aged 16 to 74 were in full-time employment, compared with 35% of the overall population. When they are in work, just 6% of Muslims hold down professional jobs, compared with 10% of the overall population in England and Wales. And when it comes to Muslim women, these figures make for even more grim reading. British Muslim women are the least economically active group of women in the UK. Overall, 18% of Muslim women aged 16 to 74 were recorded as “looking after home and family”, compared with 6% of the overall female population.

Without doubt, patriarchy and cultural practices inside their homes and communities are holding back many Muslim women. Families and communities often encourage young women to prioritise marriage and motherhood over developing their careers – but this does not explain the full picture. Society’s expectations of Muslim women continue to be low.

When I was 16 and at school in Oxford, a teacher who had never once taught me decided he already knew what my life plans were. He told me there was no point in me thinking about going on to study for my A-levels “because you are no doubt going to Pakistan in the summer to have an arranged marriage”. I remember feeling baffled that he could say this to me, given he had never spoken to me during all the time I was in the school.

From my conversations with young people, these assumptions and stereotypes are still prevalent, especially of Muslim women who are assumed to be subservient and lacking agency.

Sobia Afridi is a manager at Oxford Brookes University who works in the same department as Farhana Ghaffar, one of the authors of the social mobility report. Afridi manages a mentoring project run by the university and Oxford Central Mosque to improve the social mobility of young Muslims in the city. The project has been running since 2010 and connects students from the city’s two universities to working-class youngsters who they tutor in English and maths, boosting the students’ confidence, and helping to lift their academic aspirations.

It is in schemes such as this that we can find the solution to this problem. As Afridi says: “It is through a community-based approach that we can really make a difference to social mobility and raise the aspirations of Muslim youngsters.” If only more British Muslims were given such a chance to be accepted and build a life.

• Shaista Aziz is a freelance journalist

theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/08/british-muslims-islamophobic-country-jobs

-------------

Omar al-Somah - between sports and politics

By Mashari Althaydi

There are intertwining wars in the region, all the way from Iraq to Syria through Lebanon. This is in addition to wars in Libya and Yemen. These wars include other conflicts related to sects, parties and tribes and national, regional and international interests.

The Syrian war has been on for more than six years. No one expected this at the beginning as it was thought that Bashar al-Assad’s fate will be like Bin Ali in Tunisia or Mubarak in Egypt. However, this was not the case.

Assad’s fate was not even like that of Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh’s fate has complicated the entire Yemeni case as after a political exit was secured for him, he continued to look for a way to retake the reins of power.

Russia and Iran both have interests to serve through Bashar al-Assad’s regime and they have done so by killing the Syrian opposition. This opposition was peaceful at the beginning but it militarized at the hands of al-Nusra and al-Qaeda after around six months from the regime’s brutal crackdown and amid Nasrallah’s and Khamenei’s justifications, Putin’s procrastination and Obama’s empty speeches.

Social harmony

I will not discuss this much but will rather address the repercussions of this war on Syrian social harmony and how non-politicized social categories are interacting with it.

Not everyone in Syria is a symbol of political opposition and not everyone is a minister, a warlord or a militia leader as there are people who have nothing to do with politics and some of them are public figures, such as artists and athletes like Omar Al Somah, the Syrian football player who plays for Al Ahli in the Saudi Professional League, and is the star of the Syrian national team.

Somah, who scored for the Syrian team in their recent game, played a significant role in qualifying his team against Iran in the World Cup qualifying rounds. After the game, he thanked the Syrian people and mentioned Bashar al-Assad in particular.

People’s anger

Just mentioning the name of Bashar sparked people’s anger, as how can he the son of Deir al-Zour, commend the head of the regime which caused the loss of his town and the displacement and murder of its people?

Meanwhile, the Iranian media complained of how ferocious the Syrian footballers were during the games played with its national team. Iranian agencies published an interview with Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun in which he attacked the Syrian team players and said: “I do not know why they say Syria is a brotherly country. They’ve insulted us in both matches.”

The point of narrating this is to excuse Somah and other non-politicized athletes or artists if they say a word here and there, as the Syrian disaster has escalated and pledges have not been fulfilled.

The scene is more complicated than it seems as there are complaints against the Syrian football team from Iran and others.

May God have mercy on Syria and its people.

Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.

english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2017/09/08/Omar-al-Somah-between-sports-and-politics.html

------------

The harrowing prospects of soft Hindutva

By Kuldip Nayar

September 09, 2017

With a clutch of followers, Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat was about to storm in Kolkata when West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cancelled the use of the hall which the RSS hired to address a meeting, is quite right when he criticised the cancellation as undemocratic. But the record of RSS in polluting the Hindu-Muslim equation is so long that the precaution is quite in order. True, Mamata Banerjee looks dictatorial. But her act can be rationalised. Still I wish that she had allowed another voice, however, critical to be raised.

Other steps like including Muslims in Other Backward Classes (OBC) and giving stipend to selecteds Mullahs and Moulvis do not go well with the democratic India we are trying to build. Appealing to the sentiments of a particular community is obviously meant to get their vote. This is worse than what RSS does.       

With a small temple, which came up overnight on the site where the Babri Masjid stood once, the chapter had been closed for the time being at least. But that does not seem to satisfy the Muslims, nor is it in their interest, as they perceive. The BJP, guided by the RSS is trying to create the same atmosphere. The equivocal stand by the government on pluralism has only helped the Hindutva elements.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi could have done something positive to clear the vitiated atmosphere. But his party does not appear to do so because it's getting dividends in keeping the society polarised. No outsider could interfere because the then chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Kalyan Singh, did little to follow the Supreme Court's judgment, which said that the status quo should be maintained.

By "Hinduising" a secular society, the integrity of the country is in danger. Religion can never integrate a nation as the example of Bangladesh cutting itself asunder from Pakistan shows. The attempt to impose Urdu forced the same Muslim East Pakistan to become independent, sovereign republic of Bangladesh.

India has stayed as one country because the various cultural entities have not been disturbed. True, the Hindus are 80 percent of the population. But the minority, the Muslims, have not been threatened except by a lunatic fringe.

If the RSS is really interested in Hindutva, it should be agitating for the rights of dalits who, despite discrimination have remained in the fold of Hinduism. True, some have sought freedom through conversions to other religions. But they have only adversely affected the Muslim and Christian societies. The converts from among the dalits face more or less the same discrimination in the religious society they join.

The RSS chief, claiming to be championing the cause of Hindus, did not react to the recent burning of a dalit because his goat strayed into the land of an upper caste member. Now that Modi has caught the imagination of the country, he should help the dalits and ask the upper castes to give up discrimination against them.

I have not seen even a mild criticism by Modi or his ardent followers, who claim that they would build a future India which will know of no discrepancy. At least the burning of dalits, if not the daily prejudice, should have been covered by the widely-watched Doordarshan network. But it seems that the government itself doesn't want to raise the pitch on this issue because it is dominated by the upper castes. Even otherwise, there seems to be an unwritten law which dictates that such stories should not be printed. Surely, this does not constitute the freedom of the press.

Consequently, the institutions in the country are languishing. Had the media, an important institution, been free from pressure, the RSS would not have dared to challenge the basic structure of the constitution, which includes secularism. The RSS chief should realise that the core of Hinduism is a sense of accommodation and spirit of tolerance, not the division of the society.

The spread of the BJP is a point of concern because it ignores the aspirations of Muslims. Modi's slogan of development has gone down well because it gives the hope of reducing, if not ousting, poverty. He has done well not to deviate from that path. Unfortunately, his regular contacts with the RSS and that of his Man Friday Amit Shah, effaces even the wishful thinking that Modi would build the society without any prejudice or bias.

Things would have been different if the demand by some liberal BJP men to severe all connections with the RSS had been implemented. This possibility was on the anvil when the Gandhian Jayaprakash Narayan was able to convince the top Jan Sangh leaders to dissolve the outfit and join the Janata Party. However, the old Jan Sangh members stayed constantly in touch with the RSS and this negated the very purpose.

Not long ago, the liberal Atal Behari Vajpayee tried his best to terminate the relationship between the RSS and the Jan Sangh. He, however, succeeded only on paper. He could not dilute the loyalty of the old members. L K Advani too was the one who had founded the BJP. He thought that the old Jan Sangh members were not trusted any longer in the Janata Party. He was successful in building the party because the Gandhian Jaya Prakash Narayan had given credibility to the Jan Sangh members when he brought them into the Janata fold. Obviously, he did not succeed in his mission. But the situation today is worse. The Congress is no more relevant and there is no other opposition in the horizon.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar can stop the BJP onslaught if he brings all the non-BJP parties on one platform to fight against the BJP. Even this combination would be late if it is not brought into being immediately. The soft Hindutava which has spread in the country will thicken and push the idea of India—secular and democratic—to the background. This is a harrowing prospect.

Kuldip Nayar is an eminent Indian columnist.

thedailystar.net/opinion/between-the-lines/the-harrowing-prospects-soft-hindutva-1459390

-------------

North Korea: The Kims’ cheat-and-retreat game

By Amir Taheri

8 September 2017

It is too early to guess how the latest storm triggered by North Korea’s behavior might end. Will this lead to a “surgical” strike on its nuclear sites by the US? Or will it cause “a global catastrophe,” as Russian President Vladimir Putin, never shy of hyperbole, warns? If past experience is an indicator, the latest crisis is likely to fade away, as did the previous six triggered by North Korea since the 1970s.

Under the Kim dynasty, North Korea — in an established pattern of behavior — has been an irritant for the US, not to mention neighbors, such as South Korea, Japan, and even China and Russia. By one reading, that pattern, known as “cheat and retreat,” could be laughed at as a sign of weakness disguised as strength. However, if only because nuclear weapons are involved, one would have to take the provocation seriously.

The Kim dynasty has relied on that ambiguity as part of its survival strategy for decades. It has worked because the Kims did not overreach, sticking to strict rules of brinkmanship. Contemplating their situation, they know that they had few good options.

One option is to embark on a genuine path to peaceful reunification of the Korean Peninsula. But in that case, the Kim regime would be doomed. That is what happened to Communist East Germany when it was swallowed by the German Federal Republic.

At 52 million, South Korea’s population is twice that of the North. As the world’s 13th-largest economy, with a gross national product (GNP) of almost $2 trillion, it is also far wealthier. South Korea’s annual income per head is close to $40,000, compared to the North’s $1,700, making the land of the Kims poorer than even Yemen and South Sudan, in 213th place out of 220 nations.

The other option is for North Korea to invade the South, to impose unification under its own system. That too is unrealistic. Even without the US “defense umbrella,” South Korea is no pushover. Barring nuclear weapons, it has an arsenal of modern weapons that the North could only dream of. The South could mobilize an army of more than 800,000, three times larger than that of the North.

Pyongyang has the advantage of nuclear weapons, but it will not be easy to use them against the South without contaminating the North as well. Almost 70 percent of the peninsula’s estimated 80 million people live on less than 15 percent of its total area of around 200,000 sq. km, which is precisely where nuclear weapons would presumably be used. In other words, the Kims cannot rule over the whole peninsula, either by peaceful means or force.

The Kims’ other option is to keep quiet and steer clear of provocations, but that too is high-risk. It would mean peaceful coexistence with the South, which could lead to an exchange of visits and growing trade, as well as investment by the South. In such a situation, the South’s wealth, freedom and seductive lifestyle would be a permanent challenge to the austere lifestyle that the Kims offer.

How could the Kims claim legitimacy and persuade North Koreans to ignore the attraction of the model presented by the South? One way is to wave the banner of independence through the “self-reliance” doctrine, which says that while those in the South have bread, those in the North have pride because the South is a “slave house of the Americans,” while the North challenges US “hegemony.”

The Kims know that by picking a quarrel with the US, they upgrade their regime. But such a quarrel must not go beyond certain limits and force the US to hit back. So in every crisis provoked by the Kims since the 1970s, North Korea has never gone beyond certain limits. And each time, it has obtained concessions and favors from the US in exchange for cooling down the artificial crisis.

The pattern started under former US President Jimmy Carter and reached its peak under former President Bill Clinton, who sent his Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on a pilgrimage to Pyongyang and offered to build two nuclear reactors for the Kims. One overlooked fact is that during the past four decades, the US has helped save North Korea from three major famines.

Upgrading yourself by picking a quarrel with the US is not an art practiced only by the Kims. The Soviets did it from the 1960s onward. The Cuban missile crisis was one example; it helped create the image of the USSR as a superpower, later symbolized by “summits.”

In the 1960s and early 1970s, Communist China, regarding the US as a paper tiger, did the same by occasional attacks on Quemoy and Matsu islands, and saber-rattling against Taiwan. The Khomeinists in Iran upgraded their ramshackle regime by raiding the US Embassy in Tehran, keeping them on American TV for 444 days.

The Kims’ strategy has worked because successive US administrations have played the role written for them in Pyongyang, pretending outrage but ending up offering concessions. Clinton had a beautiful analysis: “I ask myself: Can I kill these people tomorrow? If yes, why do it today?” The Kims have banked on that analysis, and have been proven right. Regardless of what North Korea does, the US will not try to do today what it thinks it can do tomorrow.

The Kim-generated crisis also suits China, which does not want a united Korea that could become another Japan: An economic powerhouse and a potential military obstacle to Beijing’s regional ambitions. Russia, too, is happy to see the Kims’ shindig diverting world attention from Putin’s shenanigans while exposing the US as weak and indecisive.

And what if the Kim-scripted crisis also suits US President Donald Trump by providing weeks of diversion from other problems? The Kims did not invent governance by crisis, but have proven to be among its most ardent practitioners.

I know journalists are not supposed to predict the future. But let us break the rule by guessing that the latest crisis will fizzle out in time for the Olympic Winter Games next February in South Korea. Pyongyang has achieved its objective of upgrading its regime and cheating on its nuclear arsenal without suffering serious consequences. It has no interest in pushing things over the edge.

• Amir Taheri was executive editor in chief of the daily Kayhan in Iran from 1972 to 1979. He has worked at, or written for, innumerable publications and published 11 books. Originally published in Asharq Al-Awsat.

arabnews.com/node/1158041/columns

-----------

Israel is forging its role with fire

By Diana Moukalled

8 September 2017

A Facebook user sarcastically commented that Israel bombed a Syrian chemical plant this week to celebrate Bashar Assad’s victory over his “terrorist” opponents. Indeed, over the past few years, many have made fun of the fact that Israel has repeatedly struck Syria with no response except for lame statements and killing more citizens.

This week’s strike, which Israel said was launched from Lebanese airspace, seems like an attempt to make a statement and take a bold position in the Syrian arena. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Russian President Vladimir Putin two weeks ago that his country was ready to act unilaterally to prevent Iran’s military expansion in Syria. So the raid is part of attempts to convince the US and Russia of the danger Iran poses to Israel and regional security.

Israel is disappointed at the Russian and US positions vis-a-vis Iran’s presence in Syria. Tel Aviv has accused Washington of ignoring Tehran’s ambition to establish a Shiite crescent in the region. It seems Israel’s presence in Syria will increase so as to have a role in shaping its future.

Hezbollah’s expansion in Syria is closely monitored by Israel. When the Americans talk about the party’s presence in Syria, they do not take into account its role in protecting a regime that kills its own people, but rather Hezbollah’s deployment close to the Syrian-Israeli border.

Netanyahu knows Hezbollah will not move toward the border with Israel because this has been settled by Moscow. Israel’s border with Syria is more stable than its border with Lebanon. It strikes Syria whenever it wants, knowing there will be no consequences, but this is not possible with Lebanon. Alas, none of these factors take into consideration the future and wellbeing of innocent civilians. Nor do they offer a fair solution based on rights and justice.

• Diana Moukalled is a veteran journalist with extensive experience in both traditional and new media. She is also a columnist and freelance documentary producer.

She can be reached on Twitter @dianamoukalled.

arabnews.com/node/1158006/columns

-----------

The grooming of girls in Newcastle is not an issue of race – it’s about misogyny

By Chi Onwurah

8 September 2017

What’s worse, rape or racism? I found myself posing that question after the Operation Sanctuary investigation was finally made public, revealing horrific abuse of girls and vulnerable young women in Newcastle. I had been moved and inspired by the courage of the victims, testifying, sometimes multiple times, to the most appalling and intimate crimes. And I felt overwhelming anger at the men who had done this, men in my constituency, men who used girls and women as their property without respect for them or thought for their futures.

But I was also angry at rightwing attempts to make this abuse and exploitation an issue of race and religion. On Saturday the EDL will be marching in Newcastle and I have been told on social media that I was little better than a pimp for not warning white working-class girls against Muslim men.

And then I was angry at those – mainly men – who seemed intent on turning the rape of girls into a minor skirmish in the great war on imperialism, talking only of rightwing racism, not rape. Having been raped and abused, disempowered and exploited, were these survivors now going to be written out of their own story?

And then I became tired of my own anger. It is horrendous that with this recent destruction of so many young lives there should come a sense of deja vu. But we as a society have been here before. We have seen violence against women reduced to the crimes of a particular group of ethnic minority men against a particular group of white women, with everyone else either sidelined or forced to take “sides”.

When I was growing up in the 80s it was the supposedly overpowering lust of African-Caribbean men from which no white woman was safe, with black women urged to call out the loose sexual morals of “their men”. These were the racial and sexual stereotypes that had been at the heart of so many lynchings in the United States. Fighting that stereotyping while at the same time condemning misogyny and sexism wherever it was to be found risked being called a traitor to both gender and race.

What I would have hoped we had learned over the decades – indeed, centuries – of documented sexual violence is that rape is about power, and power imbalances can form part of any community, culture or religion.

It has been claimed that some cases of sexual abuse have not been reported or taken seriously because the perpetrators were from ethnic minorities and the authorities wanted to be culturally sensitive. This is quite horrifying. Cultural sensitivity is a justification for serving lamb instead of pork. It is no reason to stand by while children are raped – and anyone who thinks that or anything close to that is themselves being racist as well as perpetuating abuse. It also undermines the thousands of hours of investigation by officers of Northumbria police and local safeguarding teams, who poured limited resources into bringing the perpetrators to justice.

But to say, as Sarah Champion did, that “Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls” is either saying that Pakistanis are more likely to rape and more likely to rape white girls, or that the rape of white girls is more of a problem than the rape of, for example, white boys or brown girls. We have a huge problem with sexual violence against children and vulnerable adults. After tabloid headlines about “Muslim rapists”, one of my constituents who was himself raped as a child expressed concern that his abuse did not raise the same kind of outrage and therefore the same level of awareness.

Many of the perpetrators were identified by family and friends – members of the communities accused of supporting these criminals. Almost all the perpetrators were of Asian Muslim descent, and it is right that the serious case investigation should consider what shared values, background, employment or interests brought these men together, whether there was a criminal culture that “normalised” this abuse, and how that culture was formed. I will be writing to the investigating officer to ensure he does so.

The idea that Muslim immigrants and their families have brought sexual abuse and violence against women to our shores is an insult to them, as well as to the generations of women and sexual abuse victims who have lived among us for centuries and whose suffering had no name or voice.

Nor does it help safeguard our children. In the north-east it would appear that the majority of those convicted of online grooming are white men. Should we be teaching our children to beware of white men online and Muslim men offline? Does that mean abuse by black Christian men is ignored? We know that the most likely perpetrators of child abuse are family members. Should we be attacking the family unit? Stereotyping does not safeguard the vulnerable, it merely makes them more vulnerable. What is needed is raised awareness, mandatory PSHE, well-resourced community policing and mandatory training for all relevant agencies in identifying and reporting grooming indicators.

So which is worse, rape or racism? The answer, of course, is to reject any such choice. We must seek out and eradicate misogyny and sexism wherever it may be, to condemn absolutely those who would judge or disrespect women and girls on the basis of their appearance or background, to recognise that male violence against women has no race and no religion, to invest in the measures necessary to prevent others becoming victims and to protect, champion and honour the survivors who, through their bravery, are helping to make our imperfect society safer.

• Chi Onwurah is Labour MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central

theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/08/grooming-girls-newcastle-race-misogyny-religion-operation-sanctuary

-----------

We need more government, not less in difficult times

Fareed Zakaria

September 8, 2017

Ever since Ronald Reagan, much of America has embraced an ideological framework claiming that government is the source of our problems

Seeing the devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and of wildfires out West, one cannot help but think about the crucial role that government plays in our lives. But while we accept, even celebrate, the role of government in the wake of such disasters, we are largely blind to the need for government to mitigate these kinds of crises in the first place.

Ever since Ronald Reagan, much of America has embraced an ideological framework claiming that government is the source of our problems. Reagan famously quipped, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

Reagan argued for a retreat from the vision of an activist state and advocated instead for a strictly limited role for government, one dedicated to core functions like national defense. Outside of these realms, he believed, government should simply encourage the private sector and market forces.

Reagan's worldview grew out of the 1970s - a period marked by fiscal mismanagement, government overreach and slowing growth. It might have been the right attitude for its time. But it has stayed in place for decades as a rigid ideology, even though we have entered a new age in which America has faced a very different set of challenges, often desperately requiring an activist government. This has been a bipartisan abdication of responsibility.

For decades now, we have watched as stagnant wage growth for 90 per cent of Americans has been coupled with supercharged growth for the richest few, leading to widening inequality on a scale not seen since the Gilded Age. It has been assumed that the federal government could do nothing about this expanding gap, despite much evidence to the contrary.

We have watched China enter the global trade system and take advantage of its access to Western markets and capital, while still maintaining a massively controlled internal economy and pursuing predatory trade practices. And we have assumed that the American government can't do anything about it, because any action would be protectionist.

We watched as financial institutions took on more and more risk, with other people's money, effectively gambling in a heads-I-win, tails-you-lose system. Any talk of regulation was seen as socialist. Even after the system blew up, causing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, the calls soon came to deregulate the financial sector once again because, after all, government regulation is obviously bad.

In this same period, technology companies have grown in size and scale, often using first-mover advantage to establish quasi-monopolies and quash competition. The digital economy was supposed to empower the individual entrepreneur, but it has instead become one in which four or five companies utterly dominate the global landscape. A new technology company today aspires simply to be bought by Google or Facebook. And we assume that the federal government should have had no role in shaping this vast new economy. That would be activist and bad. Better for government to simply observe the process, like a passive spectator watching a new Netflix drama.

And then there is climate. These hurricanes have not been caused by global warming, but their frequency and intensity have likely been magnified by climate change. Particularly calamitous hurricanes have their names retired, and in the last 20 years there have been about as many names retired as in the preceding 40 years. California has had more than 6,400 wildfires this year. The 17 hottest years on record have all taken place in the last two decades.

And yet, we have been wary of too much government activism. This is true not just in tackling climate change but in other areas that have contributed to the storms' destructive power. Houston chose not to have any kind of zoning that limited development, even in flood-prone areas, paving over thousands of acres of wetlands that used to absorb rainwater and curb flooding. The chemical industry has been able to convince Washington to exercise a light regulatory touch, so there is limited protection against fires and contamination. And now, of course, low-tax and low-regulation Texas has come to the federal government, hat in hand, asking for more than $150 billion to rebuild its devastated state. We are living in an age of revolutions, natural and human, that are buffeting individuals and communities. We need government to be more than a passive observer of these trends and forces. It needs to actively shape and manage them. Otherwise, the ordinary individual will be powerless. I imagine that this week, most people in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico would be delighted to hear the words, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help."

- Washington Post

khaleejtimes.com/editorials-columns/we-need-more-government-not-less-in-difficult-times

------------

Russia’s Fake Americans

By The Editorial Board

SEPT. 8, 2017

It is commonly believed that Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential campaign consisted mainly of the hacking and leaking of Democratic emails and unfavorable stories circulated abroad about Hillary Clinton. But as a startling investigation by Scott Shane of The New York Times, and new research by the cybersecurity firm FireEye, now reveal, the Kremlin’s stealth intrusion into the election was far broader and more complex, involving a cyberarmy of bloggers posing as Americans and spreading propaganda and disinformation to an American electorate on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

Whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians is, of course, the question at the heart of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller. Donald Trump Jr. told Senate investigators this week that he met with Russians claiming to have dirt on Mrs. Clinton because it could concern her “fitness, character or qualifications.” But Russia’s guile in using hackers and counterfeit Facebook and Twitter accounts to undermine her campaign represents a new dimension in disinformation that must not go unchallenged by Mr. Trump, however much he may have benefited from it and however close his relationship to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The attack, according to the Times report, involved hundreds or even thousands of fake accounts on Facebook and Twitter that regularly posted anti-Clinton messages.

To viewers, the messages resembled the normal partisan give-and-take one expects in a political campaign; in fact they came from foreign sources. Many of the rapid-fire salvos came from automated accounts.

In the normal bounds of American politics, such partisan messaging is required by law to account for its source — as in “I’m candidate McAdoo and I approve this message.” But in the riotous world of social media, disclosure is not a high priority.

Now that the scheming is clear, Facebook and Twitter say they are reviewing the 2016 race and studying how to defend against such meddling in the future. Facebook announced Wednesday the removal of 470 fake accounts and pages “likely” engineered in Russia. It requires account identities and can challenge the bona fides of fakers. Twitter does not, nor does it prohibit automated accounts, which can create fake “trends” to attract readers. Between them, the sites have more than two billion accounts.

Russia has not exactly hidden its intentions. In February of last year, a top cyberintelligence adviser to Mr. Putin, Andrey Krutskikh, hinted at a Moscow conference of a possible attack. “I’m warning you: We are on the verge of having something in the information arena which will allow us to talk to the Americans as equals,” he said. Mr. Putin has insisted there is “no proof” Russia is directing the work of “free spirited” hackers — despite decisive American intelligence to the contrary.

Facing the Russian challenge will involve complicated issues dealing with secret foreign efforts to undermine American free speech. National security agencies in Washington have identified Russian involvement in the spread of the email leaks that bedeviled Mrs. Clinton, and the Russian military intelligence agency’s use of hackers to penetrate state voting systems.

But it is unclear whether any federal agency is focused specifically on the problems Mr. Shane and FireEye have illuminated — foreign intervention through social media to feed partisan anger and suspicion in a polarized nation.

The social media scheming is further evidence of what amounted to unprecedented foreign invasion of American democracy. If President Trump and Congress are not outraged by this, American voters should ask why.

nytimes.com/2017/09/08/opinion/russia-facebook-twitter-election.html

------------

Trump’s fascist contagion gives the anti-Brexit cause what it lacked: an emotional heart

By Jonathan Freedland

8 September 2017

To the remainer, and even to the neutral, our current politics contains a big mystery. Put simply, where is the sentiment we hoped to call regrexit? Where is the collective outbreak of buyer’s remorse? After all, the evidence that Brexit will be the greatest error in our national history since Munich is piling up. It’s not just that a process the leavers used to say would be quick and easy is proving to be long and torturously difficult, or that the European economies are growing while ours is sluggish. It’s more fundamental than that.

It’s the fact that ending free movement will deprive our hospitals of nurses, our old-age homes of care workers and our farms of essential workers: recruitment of EU nurses is already down 96%, while farmers are already warning of food rotting in the fields.

It’s the contradictions, which are legion. We did this supposedly to stop sending money to the EU, yet now we’re negotiating over how many tens of billions we’ll pay into Brussels coffers (this time getting nothing in return). We did this to make parliament supreme once more, yet now Brexit necessitates a withdrawal bill that would see a massive shift of power away from MPs, as the executive grabs enough unchecked authority to make a Tudor king blush.

The Brexiteers tacitly concede this reality through their quiet dropping of the old promises. No longer do they insist that leaving will bring eternal sunshine. Now the best they can offer is the glum hope that things might, eventually, be no worse than if we stayed. Witness the pro-leave economist Andrew Lilico confidently telling the BBC earlier this summer that the country might recover from the transitional pain of Brexit by 2030.

When the best that can be said for leaving is that it might one day be as good as remaining, and when the worst points to national catastrophe, you might expect the public mood to shift. And yet the polls detect little sign of change. Overall, the two camps are broadly where they were on referendum day, with few leave voters having changed their mind.

The explanation surely lies in the nature of the 2016 vote. Remainers may wish it to have been based on a calm assessment of empirical evidence, so that fresh evidence now would shift opinions. But it wasn’t like that. Much of what drove that vote, like all votes, was emotion. This was remain’s weakness. And it still is.

Even now, anti-Brexiteers struggle to articulate a case that matches the emotional power of “take back control”. It certainly resonates when you say that it’s wrong to shrink the horizons of a generation of young Britons, who will now be denied easy access to an entire continent. But the deepest emotional argument for remain looked not to the future, but to the past. It centred on the second world war.

It contemplated the long, lethal history of Europe and saw the European Union as the answer. For a continent that had been gripped by the fever of nationalism and hatred, the EU proved to be an antidote, soothing the brow with its spirit of co-operation and sharing of sovereignty. The Britain that had fought two world wars surely was obliged to cherish, rather than risk, this remedy to the European disease.

That argument barely flew in the referendum campaign. When David Cameron tried it, Boris Johnson mocked him for it. But mentioned even less was the conflict that followed 1945: the cold war that divided Europe with a wall and left the continent – and the world – in the permanent shadow of nuclear apocalypse. Its absence was strange, given that it had been Britain, and especially the British Conservative party, that after the cold war was over had seen the EU as the means to bind together a once-ruptured Europe. It was the Tories who pushed for EU enlargement, to include the ex-communist nations of the east. Once again, the EU’s mission was to heal a continent shattered by conflict.

A reminder of that vision has come this week not from a politician or pro-remain pamphleteer, but a fictional character. George Smiley, who lived the cold war in the shadows, returns in John le Carré’s masterful new novel, A Legacy of Spies. He makes a fleeting, enigmatic appearance in which he asks himself what was it all for. “I’m a European,” he says. “If I had an unattainable ideal, it was of leading Europe out of her darkness towards a new age of reason.”

Smiley, a veteran of both the hot war against fascism and the cold war against Soviet communism, had known that darkness first-hand. But for those who voted in last year’s EU referendum, perhaps it all seemed too long ago. Those demons were slain, the EU no longer needed.

Still, if that’s how it looked on 23 June 2016, it looks different now. In a talk on Thursday night, Le Carré spoke of the behaviour of Donald Trump and others as “absolutely comparable” to the rise of fascism in the 1930s. “It’s contagious, it’s infectious. Fascism is up and running in Poland and Hungary. There’s an encouragement about,” he said.

This is a warning to take seriously. Hungary is indeed led by a man who boasts that he is building an “illiberal state”, while Poland’s government is trampling over fundamental democratic protections, including an independent judiciary and freedom of the press (and Trump is cheering them on as they do so).

The US president is not making America great again, but he is making the 1930s current again. Perhaps, then, and in a way he would not want, Trump is providing the anti-Brexiteers with the one thing they always lacked: an emotional heart to their argument. Trump and the fascist contagion is reminding us why the EU exists: to ensure that the neighbourhood we live in is never again consumed by the flames of tyranny and hatred.

On that fateful day in June 2016, it’s possible that some of those who voted leave did so because they believed that democracy and peace were now safe and secure in Europe. In the short time that has passed since, we have seen that those things are, in fact, fragile. As the head of Nato warns that the world is at its most dangerous point in a generation, Britain’s duty, to use a word that might make Smiley wince, is surely to defend the body that helped lead Europe out of its darkness. Instead, we are turning our backs and walking away.

theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/08/trump-brexit-fascist-european-union-eu

------------

Australia's monumental errors

By Karen Wyld

In Australia, there's a growing discontent of statues that don't accurately memorialise the past. From measured appeals to change the plaques, to bold proposals to remove the more problematic statues from the public domain, calls for action are building momentum. Unfortunately, these timely suggestions are being rejected by a dwindling clutch unwilling to fully accept Australia's history.

There are justifiable reasons to remove or alter some monuments. Statues of people long dead, people whose celebrated deeds fall short of modern ideals of justice, freedom and equity for all. At the very least, the plaques on these problematic statues need to be rewritten to provide a more accurate account of history. There's also a case for putting up more monuments that remind us of moments in history that have shaped the present.

The 'Stolen Generations' of Australia

From the mid-1800s to 1970s, tens of thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (First Peoples) children were taken from their families. These children are now collectively known as "the Stolen Generations".

During this time period, all Australian states and territories implemented policies to remove Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their homes without parental consent. Children were moved far from their communities, forbidden to speak their mother tongues or engage in cultural practices. After they received minimum education, many of these children served as unpaid labourers and domestic workers until they reached adulthood.

Combined with broad scale removal of First Peoples from ancestral lands, on to reserves and missions, this was an orchestrated attempt to force First Peoples to assimilate with the colonisers. Instead, these policies of cultural genocide have left a legacy of inter-generational trauma, health disparities, and inequity. 

To remember Australia's "Stolen Generations", we need to build more monuments like Colebrook Reconciliation Park in Adelaide, South Australia. This memorial garden, on Kaurna land, is where Colebrook Home once stood. Established in 1944, hundreds of Aboriginal children were institutionalised in this Christian-run home. The site now features statues, plaques and landscaping that invite people to learn of and reflect on this shameful scar in Australian history.

Call a massacre what it is

If Australia wants physical reminders of past deeds, let's put up more monuments that acknowledge First Peoples' lives sacrificed in combat. Men and women who fought on foreign soils, in the service of a nation they were not citizens of (Australia did not grant citizenship to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people until 1967).

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial in Adelaide, on Kaurna lands, was unveiled in 2013. This memorial is the result of many years of lobbying for a visual acknowledgement of First Peoples who served in Australia's armed forces, from the Boer War onwards. Despite their contributions to Australia, First Peoples still have to fight long battles to erect monuments like this one on their own lands.

Let's also put up monuments that acknowledge lives lost in conflicts on Australian soil. And don't pander to those calling for a whitewashed version of history. Truth should not be obstructed, like what is currently happening at Elliston in South Australia on Wirangu land.

Elliston, nestled in Waterloo Bay, is the site of the most horrific massacre in South Australia. In 1849, more than 200 men, women and children were driven off the high sea cliffs of Waterloo Bay, to their death. After lobbying the government for four decades, Wirangu, and other descendants of those murdered, finally have a monument at Waterloo Bay.

Shamefully, the monument's plaque remains blank to this day, because non-Indigenous people have objected to its proposed wording. They are calling for the word "massacre" to be replaced with "incident". Some are even arguing that First Peoples' oral histories are not to be relied on - they suggest only a handful of people were killed, in an unfortunate accident. 

This persistent refusal to acknowledge settlers' brutal treatment of First Peoples needs to stop. Put up that truth-telling plaque at Waterloo Bay. Put up plaques at all the massacre sites, and other places where First Peoples' blood, sweat and tears were spilled during the forging of a colonial empire.

Also, let's get serious about protecting historical monuments. Starting with some of the oldest monuments, such as the standing stones of Burrup and Dampier Archipelago (Murujuga), in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. Spread over many kilometres, these historical monuments are on the lands of Yaburara, who were massacred by settlers in 1868. Yaburara Mardudhunera, Ngarluma, Yindjibarndi, and Wong-Goo-Ti-Oo have custodial duties of the broad area.

Older than Stonehenge, the Murujuga monuments are some of the most archaeologically and culturally significant works of art in the world. And they are at risk. Approximately 10,000 petroglyphs have already been damaged by mining companies and vandals or stolen. Australians need to acknowledge this problem and work together to protect cultural treasures like these.

Correcting white-washed history

In collaboration with First Peoples historians and writers, the government should put up factual plaques on statues and memorials to help educate Australians about shared histories.

A new plaque on an old statue will not resolve concerns that some historical figures do not deserve a place of honour. But, given the chance, there would be many First Peoples' artists who'd welcome the challenge to artistically change, or overshadow, these monuments so they tell a more honest story.

That said, we cannot make these revered scoundrels or their past deeds vanish. The colonisers that participated in blackbirding, ordered massacres, stole children and defiled First Peoples' lands cannot be made invisible. Their names are on roads, universities, businesses, rivers, mountain ranges, and firmly entrenched in museums and libraries. Invaders, colonisers and explorers cannot be erased, nor should they be. They are now part of our shared stories.

But over 64,000 years of pre-invasion stories are also embedded in the sea, land and skies, and in songlines that crisscross this continent. With a strong culture of history-keeping, and an increasing number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander academics and authors, our histories are now published in books, peer-reviewed articles, and online, adding to Australia's collective knowledge.

It's time for honest discussions of history, that will lead to changes that are long overdue. It's time for truth-telling, to help all Australians walk together.

Karen Wyld is an author, consultant and freelance writer from South Australia. Of Aboriginal descent (Martu), she has a background in community development, strategy and policy, community housing, social/health research, and Aboriginal community-controlled health.

aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/08/australia-monumental-errors-170831120747198.html

--------------

Would Qatari crisis last two years?

By Salman al-Dosary

Those who were betting on a short-lived Qatari crisis have lost. Everyone who thought that Qatar’s efforts for international pressure would be fruitful, was proven wrong. Three months on, the four states’ stance hasn’t changed, and is as firm as it was on June 5. Since day one, the ball has been put in Qatar’s court.

The message has been clear: If Qatar wants to restore ties, end the boycott and open the border, all it should do is implement what was handwritten by Qatar’s emir in the Riyadh Agreement in 2014. However, it is up to Doha if it decides to face the boycott and lose its interests with the four states.

Qatar chose confrontation, intransigence, escalation and the failure to implement what was requested from it out of its assumption that the crisis would soon end even if it disregarded its pledges. Yet this didn’t happen and time wasn’t in Doha’s favor. As three months passed without achieving its goals, maybe a year or two would also pass and Qatar would discover that it has become the only isolated state and all its bets are gone with the wind.

“It is okay if the Qatari crisis lasted two years,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. The boycotting states decided to cease the harmful Qatari policies only after they geared themselves for a long-term boycott out of their conviction that Doha’s attitude won’t be easily straightened and it won’t meet its pledges overnight.

As it has so far skilfully done, Doha will continue to procrastinate. Only time will reveal where Qatari interests will lie. Did Turkey and Iran really compensate the Gulf loss? Did Doha benefit from marketing itself in a trivial way among western capitals to urge them to pressure for lifting the boycott?

100-day mark

The answer is clear, as the crisis nears the 100-day mark, Qatar continues to see it as its main political, economic and social cause. In contrast, the four states haven’t lost anything from crisis but consider the Qatari file to be among a dozen others put on their agenda. Qatar is more than welcome to step back, but if it holds onto its stance and rejects to abide by its commitments, then it is free to do so.

We can say that the world has forgotten the Qatari crisis. It appeared in the headlines for some time, then states resumed their businesses by looking after their interests. The foreign ministers of US, France, UK and Germany toured the region to carry out diplomatic missions with allied states, then they left. Nothing more was done.

Gradually, Qatar woke up on an ugly truth that it is facing a real crisis unilaterally. It has plenty of solutions, but procrastination or resorting for Western help are not among them. Pursuits to strike alliances with Turkey and Iran didn’t compensate its stalled interests. Even the “blockage” lie didn’t work out. It rather unveiled Qatar’s naivety – here you see Qatar bragging that 35 percent of Middle Eastern trade goes through the state’s “besieged” port.

Amidst the current Qatari regime policy, it seems there is no hope in resolving the crisis soon. Let Qatar stick to its stance and let there be a protracted crisis. Sometimes, only time is capable of resolving complex issues. Qatar is the only damaged party – its losses are increasing but only these losses will urge Doha to meet its obligations.

This article was first published in Asharq Al-Awsat.

__________________________

Salman Aldosary is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper. He tweets @SalmanAldosary.

english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2017/09/08/Would-Qatari-crisis-last-two-years-.html


URL:  http://newageislam.com/world-press/new-age-islam-edit-bureau/rohingya-crisis--a-concern-for-the-region--new-age-islam’s-selection,-09-september-2017/d/112474





TOTAL COMMENTS:-    


Compose Your Comments here:
Name
Email (Not to be published)
Comments
Fill the text
 
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.

Content