Thursday, November 11, 2004

It is really amazing how few short days ago the Muslim leaders across the nation were trying to get out the votes amongst their constituents in order to defeat and eventually oust the incumbent President who is the champion of the moral values; and install a senator that didn't show much of a keen interest in any moral values.Now,and after the people spoken up loud and clear,the Muslims of America are plying the tune of moral values,and exhibiting moral gestures that were ostensibly absent in the days and months that preceded November,the 2nd.It makes you wonder where were those people when the president needed them for his re-election bid!. Well,some of us do know better,we know not to so easily trust those who were rallying for our opponent yesterday,and today they want to kiss and make up.Sorry,but that isn't how the world works.Moral values have been an American trait ever since this country was founded,they aren't limited to this party or that party,they are a core fundamental American belief.Muslim's reconciliation gestures doesn't have to be offered to the new president because he won re-election,it should have been a common practice by all faiths throughout the years before,during, as well as after the presidential elections.The president has made it abundantly clear in his first press conference that he is your president and my president irrespective of what faith you might be following.It behooves the Muslims of America to have faith in their president and while it might be a nice things to do in trying to reach out but at this moment it looks like it is sort of too little too late,I think.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


I'm Ashamed.

By Hatem Abunimeh

If George Bush wins next Tuesday's presidential election,Arab & Muslim Americans will be doomed for good.First of all they waited forever to endorse a candidate hoping that Mr.Bush or Mr.Kerry will reach out to them,and when no one reached out to them they decided to haphazardly cast a protest vote against Mr.Bush.

Secondly,Arabs & Muslims don't have any love lost for Mr.Kerry,they already labeled him as a Jew lover and a war monger since he stated that he had no intention of pulling the troops out of Iraq,and he supports the continuation of the separation wall/fence between the Israelis & the Palestinians.So even in the unlikely scenario that Mr.Kerry wins,he too will give the Arabs & Muslims the good old cold shoulder.

Finally,for Arabs & Muslims,it is a lose/lose situation for them no matter what part of the political isle they stand near,the loss is theirs;as for several years now they have been arduously complaining about Mr.Bush's patriot act that was originally created to protect the country from further terrorists attacks but the Arabs and Muslims kept on dancing and parsing the act to death trying to poke holes in it in every which way they can to no avail,and their attempts not only failed to produce any results,it enhanced the flurry of activities around the advent of patriot act II.

Then they accused Mr.Bush of being a puppet for Mr.Sharon,and that the original annual state of the union text is actually written in Hebrew first and then translated into English.Moreover,the two chambers of congress were referred to as Israeli occupied territories.In addition,the Iraqi peoples liberation was labeled as 21st century neo-imperialist usurpation of the Mideastern resources.

In the likelihood that Mr.Bush gets re-elected How on earth is he supposed to react to these follies?He already on a number of occasions stated that the war on terror has nothing to do with Islam or Muslim,he already stated that the Palestinians should have their own state living side by side with Israel,the only problem is that there is no one to negotiate with since Arafat is still the man with the final say so and he proved his impotence when it comes to making leadership decisions.He already stated that the wall or fence is snaking into the west bank territories,he already brought Sharon,AbuMazen,and King Abdullah together in a summit in Aqaba last year.

On the domestic level he came up with faith based initiative program which benefits people of all faiths including Muslims,he appointed Arab-American Spencer Abraham to a cabinet position,he appeared on two Arab televisions denouncing the Abughrib prison abuses scandal as being un-American,he invited moderate Arab leaders to join him during the G8 summit to discuss the greater middle east initiative.

If all of these actions on the part of the sitting president don't merit a simple endorsement by Arab & Muslim Americans for re-election I don't know what is,the president has bent backwards to treat the Arabs and Muslims in the fairest possible way,and to come in the last minute and pull a quick putsch against him in hope that it will tip the balance is an ungracious act of pitiful ness.

I would like to see the faces of the Arab and Muslim leaders next Wednesday morning and look at their reaction when Mr.Bush wins the reelection.

Right now I'm angry and I'll stay that way until election day,I feel that my people let me down,and frankly I'm really ashamed of their political ignorance.You reap what you sow,come November 2nd,Arabs and Muslims will reap the biggest disappointment of their life

Monday, October 25, 2004

By Hatem Abunimeh

Arabs, Muslims endorse Kerry
Posted 10/23/2004
I feel that it was pitiful for the Arab American & Muslim organizations to endorse Senator Kerry for the office of the President of the United States of America.Mr.Kerry's endorsement sends the wrong message to the parched Arab & Muslim American constituents who were eagerly looking forward to their leaders to provide them with a sound endorsement decision.Mr.Kerry has never bothered reaching out to the Arab and Muslim voters,his flip flop position was most evident on the apartheid separation wall,first he stated that the wall was an obstacle to peace & then few months later he stated that the wall was necessary for the security of Israel.By comparison,President Bush has never wavered from his firm stand on the two state solution,one Palestinian and one Israeli living side by side with one another.I recall that Mr.Bush got the road map going for a while during the short reign of Palestinian prime minister Abu Mazen,but when Abu Mazin resigned under intense pressure,the dialogue went into an impasse and still as such until our present day.Mr.Bush if he gets reelected he will be under no pressure to run for a third term,his vision of cementing democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan will be his primary goal,in addition to completing the rest of the political as well as the economic reform processes that had already started in most countries of the Middle East .Mr.Bush is committed to bringing the Palestinian and Israelis negotiators back on the table not to prolong the discussions but rather build on and finalize some of the existing accords like the road map,and the Geneva plan,and the Clinton plan.Mr.Bush will definitely be a much better choice for the Arabs and Muslims,Arab and Muslim voters ought to ignore the endorsement and vote their conscience.Freedom of choice is a right and not a privilege.No one should be a partisan hack.Hatem AbunimehChicago,

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Nothing for Arafat Hatem Abunimeh - Chicago, Ill.
During the second presidential debate in St. Louis, Mr. Bush said that he decided not to deal with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat because he felt that Arafat had let the former president [Bill Clinton] down, and that Mr. Bush thought that Arafat is not the kind of leader who can lead toward a Palestinian state. The president added that the Palestinians need leadership that is committed to democracy and freedom, many young moderate Palestinians feel that their leadership has failed and they are working very diligently at molding new leaders that are chosen by them and not brought from the outside like Arafat ,and his compromised by terror Palestinian authority. At present, there is no credible Palestinian leadership that is capable of representing all of the Palestinian people and their aspiration for statehood. In recent weeks, Palestinians have been trying to register voters in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Israeli government should facilitate the efforts of these volunteers so they can establish a constituency core base for future elections. The U.S. should also do all it can during the next administration to support the Palestinians so they can have an opportunity to choose genuine representatives for the day when negotiations resume to bring about peace. The world is changing, Palestinians and Israelis understand that change is inevitable, the current status quo isn't likely to continue indefinitely. Ramallah's shopping mall and Jerusalem's restaurant are the two prototypes that need to be expanded upon throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The old revolutionary mentality is extinct, it needs to be replaced by new progressive and comprehensive economic realities on the ground.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

By Hatem Abunimeh.

I was shaking my head in utter disbelief when I read the report in the above link about the level of poverty going down in Jordan between 1997 and 2002 allegedly from 21.3% to 14.2%.Who in the right frame of mind would want to measure the poverty level based on the cost of 2314 caloric intake per person per day?!.How many person amongst us limit his/her caloric consumption to 2314 calories per day?It is either the researchers have suddenly lost their minds,or they are trying to fool the people in any way shape or form,or they want to please the government by basing a study on the assertions of the lowest possible caloric intake per person per day.There is no way on earth an average person be that an infant,a young man or woman,or an elderly person can go on day in and day out throughout their life consuming 2314 calories per day.The 2314 calories per day represent the lowest possible caloric intake a person need to sustain a viable living status.In addition,the 2314 calories must be of a balanced nutrition containing the necessary vitamin ingredients that the body needs for its survival.For example:When an obese person goes on a diet,more often than not the doctor recommends to the obese person to follow a nutritious diet based on 2314 calories per day provided that the obese person receives his daily nutrition from a licensed dietitian and not select the food on his own.Just imagine how many dietitians will Jordan need in order for those dietitians to prepare 15 million meals a day provided that a person needs 3 healthy meals a day[Jordan's population estimate stands at 5 million]??If each dietitian for example is able to attend to the needs of 10 citizens,then the entire Kingdom would need 500,000 dietitians to serve and supervise each and everyone in Jordan.In essence,it wouldn't be a bad idea since new half a million new jobs will be created as a result of putting all of the Jordanian citizens on 2314 calories intake per day.People are not stupid,they know from looking and knowing one another that the level of poverty has not gone down,if anything it has gone up,and more new people were added to the poverty line.What has changed is the method with which our researchers measure and evaluate who is poor and who is not poor based on the daily consumption of caloric 2314 intake.This is in my opinion the worst study that has come out for as long back as I can remember.The researchers should have known from the get go that the average person consumes any where from 10 to 20 thousand calories per day,and some people push it to 4 or 5 or even 10,000 calories per day.So if we, for instance, switch the caloric intake from 2314 as it appeared in the article, to say 5000 calories or 10000 calories,what would happen to all of these statistically scientific result?I tell you what would happen,it will be thrown out of the window and would become null and void.I conclude by saying that the level of poverty in Jordan by impression as well as in reality has not gone down as the research indicates.I'm willing to challenge the assumption of suggesting 2314 intake per person per day before any nutritional expert in the field diet.Put it simply,it doesn't work.The results are totally and completely flawed and manipulated
Who will carry the torch!

I agree with the Star's writer of the article: What Definition; that for all intents and purposes and when everything is said and done the burden of proof falls on our own shoulders the Muslims of the world to carry the torch that will confront the so called extremist Muslims. Moderate or conventional Muslims must demonstrate in every way shape and form that they are against the atrocities that are being committed in their name. It is an ideological confrontation,the conventional Muslims teach one thing while the extremist teach another. Bigotry, intolerance, and prejudices are not supposed to be salient traits embedded in Islam, yet, clerics in mosques time and again continue to preach intolerance and bigotry against the other monotheistic faiths. Will we wrap our arms around our waist and continue listening to their preaching of the message of intolerance while we remain silent , or will we stand up and face them head on and tell them that whatever they are preaching is being done not in our name? The problem of extremism is reaching disproportionate magnitude, silence is not going to be the best available approach. Conventional Muslims need to take a firm stand against those who are using their religion to promote their extremist agenda. The need for such an action has never been more urgent than now. The longer we wait the more the extremist will take advantage of our religion, conventional Muslims must put a stop to extremist Muslims now.
Hatem Abunimeh

Thursday, April 15, 2004

By Hatem Abunimeh:

So is it safe to suggest that the current Iraq situation is a clash of civilization like Huntington suggested? Or is it Orientalism like Edward Said theorized?Perhaps it might be Occidentalism like Osama Bin laden implemented?What is it?Each side be that Iraqi or American is mutually demonizing and vilifying the other side.Mistrust and misgiving is the only governing denominator between them.Where do we go from here?Who is misconstruing what?To simply suggest that the Americans are there because they are enthralled with the idea of colonization and the expansion of their imperialist ideals is a very naive suggestion.To suggest that the Iraqis are fighting back because they want to expel the Americans out of their country is more naive than to say that the Americans went to Iraq because they are parched for some oil.Some people suggest that the internationalization of the Iraqi issue will put a pluralistic face on it and l! end it more legitimacy than leaving it purely American.Meanwhile,the Iraqis can't stand on their own even if the Americans pack up and leave right this moment,each faction in Iraq will hurry up to grab a piece of the pie and since there is no attendant to divide the pie in an equal fashion,chaos and anarchy will erupt during the process and the pie will end up unequally divvied.In other words civil war will become the ultimate result in the absence of strong military leadership.The whole Iraq issue in my opinion is a huge case of misunderstanding between the occupying powers and the Iraqi governing council.Neither one of them is spending the sufficient time to explain the true problems to the other.The Americans are trying their best to say that they are there to install freedom and democracy for the Iraqi people,but the way the are saying it is not sinking in any ones head.The provisional governing council on the other hand is trying to convince the Americans to hand them the pow! er of sovereignty even in a hap hazardous way and also allow them to take full charge of the situation and not worry about the consequences since they will be in charged of installing law and order in a lawless provinces.The Americans in turn are not convinced and they feel that the governing council needs more time to prove its ability to govern since thus far their performance leaves something to be desired.Finally,the Iraqi people are lost between the over confident occupying forces,and the under achiever governing council.A year has gone by and when things appeared to be worse than what it was under the dictatorship of the former regime of Saddam Hussein they decided to take matters into their own hands.It started with the Shia worried about being swept under the rug after the Sunni and Kurds proved that they still have the stamina to deal with the Americans be that in a diplomatic fashion or through the gun barrel.Noticing that the Shia has awakened from their deep moribund,! the Sunni expanded their already operational eruption and spread it further into other Iraqi provinces.The Kurds while they still standing on the side for now,they know deep down by confirmed assurances from the occupying powers that their rights will not be swept under the rug.Will the Iraq situation turn into a religious war?Will Jihad rather than nationalism become the driving force behind motivating the Iraqis to resist.Will the latest wave of killings and counter killings prove to be nothing more than a tempest in a tea pot?And before long stability will prevail and the insurgents will be crushed and the sovereignty will indeed be handed back to the governing council of Iraq?Will Iraq plunge into long term internecine that only God know when and how will it end?Will the Iraqis on one hand and the occupying force on the other reconcile their differences and come to term with one another by concluding that no party will be able to defeat the other party by military means and the o! nly available solution is the negotiating table?Will the differences be patched and couple of years from now we see free,prosperous,democratic Iraq?Only time will tell.

By Hatem Abunimeh

I'll never forget the time when I read a satirical comment by someone trying to mock the current administration by asking a direct question of how on earth the United States of America as a country is being run by a Bush...a Dick....a Condom...and a Colon.That was indeed a reference to the President George Bush,His vice President Dick Cheney,his national security advisor Condolesa Rice,and his secretary of the state Colin Powel.But let me put lampooning aside and get down to the real issues discussed in Mr. Nabulsi's open letter to the American people.

I read with keen interest the letter to the American people written by Zaid Nabulsi,and here is my rebuttal to his rather very lengthy arguments which were appearing in it.

You will notice as you read through that I'm going to eschew from commenting on the sections that I happen share with him the same line of thinking.

The first argument that attracted my attention was the one about holding the one who hands the murder weapon at the same level of guilt with the one who pulls the trigger.
This argument is farcical at best since Guns don't kill people and people are the ones who kill other people.His argument is the same one like those who want to hold the gun manufacturer like Wesson and Smith responsible for each murder that takes place as a result of someone using their company's manufactured guns to kill someone else.Somebody from the national rifle association might counter the argument by suggesting that guns are also used for hunting animals and for personal protections and for many other defensive none offensive postures.

In addition,comparing or equating the ones who provide the murder weapon with those who pull the trigger would also be equivalent to supporting those who say that earth moving equipment manufactured by Caterpillar are also being used to kill activists like Rachel Corrie and also used to demolish Palestinian homes and orchards,therefore, Caterpillar is responsible for the murderous acts being committed with the machines that they manufacture,Caterpillar on the other hand,conversely, asserts that his heavy equipments are supposed to be used for earth moving--,practically, the same argument made by Wesson and Smith,namely, that their guns ought to be used for a defensive not offensive purposes.

The second argument he alluded to in his open letter is his mistrust and misgiving about the greater middle east initiative and how it relates to the Libyan colonial Moammar Ghdafi.While Ghadafi may have been flip flopping over the past quarter of century,one can't deny that he had made some concrete steps to rectify some of his previous mishaps.For instance,he settled the long standing issue about the Lockerbie bombing over Scotland,he delivered the suspect,and he is going to pay the families of the victims a handsome amount of monetary compensation.He is working with the French to settle their claim over the downing of the French commercial jet.He stopped funding all of the African rebellions,he came clean on his nuclear,chemical and biological manufacturing plans,and most importantly,he recen! tly declared his intention to compensate the Libyan Jews that immigrated to Israel.What else a man ought to do in order to propitiate his guilt.

As far as Halliburton's involvement in getting contracts in Iraq,the vice president declared on more than one occasions that he no longer has any association with the company and he liquidated all of his assets with them immediately upon becoming a vice president.The fact Halliburton has been able to get more contract than any other company has to do with the skills that they acquired over the years and the reputation for carrying out projects until completion at a reasonable cost to the client.In other words,they did not get the job in Iraq because of Dick Cheney's influence.

In terms of his comments about the rebuilding of the infrastructure,the reference here is about what has been lacking over the last three decades and not about what the planes destroyed during the bombing.
Iraq is in need of complete overhaul of its telecommunication system,electrical connections system,water irrigation,etc.
In essence,they need a complete rebuilding of their entire infrastructure including what was damaged during the invasion and occupation war.

Many people including Mr.Nabulsi suggested that a link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda couldn't be established,while an explicit link couldn't be established, an implicit one was apparent,and slowly growing.What do you make of the presence in Iraq of Abu Abbas the master mind of the Achilles' Lori ship hijacking?,Abu Nidal.Ansar Al Islam group that are known for their terrorist activities?.

What do you make of the $25.000.00 reward that was given to the families of each suicide bombers by Saddam Hussein.It was perceived as an incentive to commit more suicide bombing in order for the families to receive the reward on behalf of those who carry out successful suicide bombing.What about the alleged presence of Abu Musaab Zarqawi in Iraq?What about daily firings of anti aircraft missiles for 12 years during the nineties on US planes patrolling the southern and northern no fly zones?

Then Mr.Nabulsi moves on to say that the United states is doing whatever is doing in the Middle East in order to finance Israel and at the same time never find an equitable solution for the Palestinian question.Let me tell you,the Arabs are not interested in resolving the Palestinian question.If and when the question is resolved there wont be anything else left to cry about or bargain on its behalf.In essence,the Palestinian question being left unresolved helps the Arab leaders to stay on their seats endlessly,it is a winning strategy for them why would they want to give it away!

Ehud Barak offered Arafat at Camp David II to settle the Palestinian Issue once and for all giving him 90 to 95 percent of the 22% of the Palestinian land.Egypt,Jordan,And Saudi Arabia objected to it and did not give Arafat the green light to accept the deal.Now years later we are again asking for the same thing offered many years ago and was rejected by the Arabs.

Adding new fuel to the fire, a brand new violent movement started in September of 2000 & thus far resulting in 3000 dead Palestinians and 20 thousand injured with some for life.

Again and again,Mr.Nabulsi moves on appealing to the American people to take the matter in their own hand,well,most polls taken recently show that the majority of American people still support their president for his initial decision of going to war in Iraq,they, however, oppose to the recent handling of the current situation, but in no way oppose his concept of establishing what he termed free democratic Iraq.

Finally,America nowadays is the only remaining super power on earth,and as such it finds itself obligated to operate as the world's police man.It will continue to do whatever it takes to preserve [ freedom ]which is considered almighty God gift to humanity,not Americas gift to oppressed people.

April 15,2004