Key Documents

Report From the Arab Press

Collated by A.

July 30, 2004

Saudis jump into US sinking ship in Iraq

Abdul-Bari Atwan, Editor-in-Chief of the al-Quds al-Arabi daily of London, in a leader article on the Saudi proposal to send Arab and Islamic troops to Iraq said :

"It seems so difficult for us to grasp the secret of Saudi official addiction on proposing initiatives, which are totally opposed to Arab and Islamic interests. Indeed, these initiatives contribute to humiliation and degradation schemes applied by the United states in an area extending from Afghanistan to Palestine to Iraq.

"It seems so difficult for us to grasp the secret of Saudi official addiction on proposing initiatives, which are totally opposed to Arab and Islamic interests. Indeed, these initiatives contribute to humiliation and degradation schemes applied by the United states in an area extending from Afghanistan to Palestine to Iraq.

"Earlier, the Saudis announced a Peace initiative calling for giving away of most of the Arab and Islamic strategic principles in Palestine, foremost of which is the right of return of more than 6 million Palestinians through a complete normalization with Israel. Now the Saudi government, represented by its foreign minister, submits a new proposal to deploy Islamic forces to join US occupation forces in Iraq.

"While Saudi Arabia adopts an initiative to send troops to Iraq manipulating its standing in the Arab and Islamic worlds, non-Islamic countries, such as the Philippines, Spain, and the Ukraine have decide to withdraw their forces from Iraq, thus rejecting the American scheme and saving their own solders and other nationals

"It's absolutely not a Saudi initiative. Rather it's American orders under a Saudi cover, so as to make it acceptable to other Islamic and Arab states, such as Egypt and Pakistan , which are eager to appease the US administration to evade its superficial reform pressures.

"It is not a coincidence at all that this Saudi initiative was issued during the visit by Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, and Ayad Allawi, the US-installed Iraqi provisional prime minister to Riyadh. All initiatives made by the Saudi government were basically American ones but were presented through Saudi masks so as to facilitate their acceptance by Arab and Islamic worlds.

"It's quite evident now, that America is embroiled in a bloody impasse in Iraq. Its forces have utterly failed to maintain security and control the situation . It has similarly failed to honour its pledges to turn Iraq into an oasis of stability and democracy, by turning Baghdad into another New York, Mosul into Los Angeles of the north, and Basrah into Miami of the Gulf or Shatt-el-Arab. Thus America has resorted to its allies in Riyadh, Cairo, and Islamabad to save it.

"The seriousness of the Saudi initiative lies in that it is issued by a country embracing the two Islamic sanctuaries and the honorable Ka'ba. Therefore, sending Arab and Islamic troops to support American occupation of Iraq is unquestionably a step to put an Arab and Islamic legal face on the US occupation and invasion. Its also a step to recognize the legitimacy of Allawi's government, which is considered by most Iraqis and Arabs as unpatriotic and does not represent the majority of Iraqis.

"It's a shame that while the Philippine President challenges the United States, rejects all its pressures and withdraws their troops from Iraq, the Saudi government issues an initiative that legalizes sending Islamic and Arab troops to Iraq in compliance with such pressures. The Philippine President challenged the United States because she's relying on democratic institutions and an elected parliament, respects the desires of her people, and seeks to serve its interests, whereas the Saudi government does not recognize something called the people to say anything about serving their interests.

"The US propaganda campaigns and pressures using reform as a tool have unquestionably succeeded in terrorizing the Saudi ruling family and pushing it to overdo its compliance with these US demands and pressures with no exception, such as amending schooling curricula, arresting Mosque Imams, closing down Islamic charitable institutions, opening Bank accounts to FBI agents and, finally, sending troops to Iraq.

"The Saudi government clearly faced two choices: either to please the United States and comply with its conditions in total disregard to the Saudi people and their reform and national demands, or to satisfy the people and so anger the United States. The ruling family has chosen to satisfy the United States, assuming that it can suppress and silence its own people with no US objection. Rather, America will encourage such suppression on the pretext of combating terrorism.

"It is quite ironic that Collin Powell has praised Saudi reforms, although we do not know where those reforms are while thousands of Saudis languish in jail. These include women, children, and respectable reformist academics such as Dr. Abdallah al-Hamid, Said Bin Zuayir , Matrook al-Falih and Ali al-Dumaini. Powell, who poses as an advocate of democracy, didn't utter a word with regard to the arrest of these Saudi reformists. As long as the Saudi government would send troops to Iraq, it doesn't matter how much suppression and oppression it applies and how much corruption it's implicated in .

"However, the Saudi ruling family will not save itself by such initiative. Rather, it is exposing itself and its country to more danger and instability. Moreover, it will isolate itself from Arab and Moslem peoples, expose its domestic security to more hazards, and will shake its image as a state that applies Islamic Shari'a (law) and embraces Moslem sacred shrines.

"It is a risk, or rather a gamble, which can be extremely costly. It will put Saudi Arabia in the US camp in the face of its ally, Syria and its new friend, Iran. It will also put Saudi Arabia in more serious confrontation with most extremist Islamic movements, without gaining more than American praise.

"The Saudi government made the first precedent in history by hosting 500,000 US solders to attack Iraq in 1991, kill scores of its people and destroy its infrastructure. It's the one which opened its bases in Tabuk to American planes to move to Baghdad last year. It did know of the war plans even before Powell himself. And here it's trying to provide an Arab and Islamic cover to occupation.

"The ruling Saudi family is living in a state of confusion, moving from one mistake to another. Indeed, it is jumping into the sinking US ship in Iraq at a time when a great exodus from it has begun."

Al-Sadr warns Arabs and Moslems against sending troops

Young religious leader Muqtada al-Sadr warned Arab and Islamic states against sending any troops to Iraq. In a Friday sermon at the holy city of Najaf, he said:

"Those troops would be serving the occupation and we shall resist them in the way we like. I here call on the occupation forces, not the multi-national forces or the installed government, to release resistance fighters and religious leaders" he then criticized the government for failing to repair or restore public services after 16 months of occupation.

Iraqi harsh security measures cause anger and discontent

Al-quds al-Arabi reported that recent raids on Iraqi houses carried by security bodies of the new government in Iraq have caused a large-scale feeling of discontent and concern among the population because they were characterized by indiscriminate arrests and abuse of detainees even before any evidence was available that they had broken the law. It added that this has raised people's worries that the Iraqi government would repeat the same mistakes and abuses of occupation forces.

It explained that this harsh behavior was demonstrated in the recent raids and search campaigns in the Haifa area in central Baghdad, which has been the scene of violent clashes and attacks on occupation troops, Iraqi National Guard forces and police, as well as of assassination attempts on a number of high officials.

The daily quoted Sa'ad Jabouri, an Iraqi resident in this area as saying: "A large number of Iraqi security men supported by American soldiers with several armoured vehicles and helicopters surrounded the area, closed all roads leading to it and raided high court buildings and houses. They then arrested 250 people, mostly from those they came across in the alleys or roads or inside apartments and houses. I saw them chaining, insulting, and dragging these people and humiliating them in front of their families. They dealt harshly with them even before they knew their identity and without accusing them of any charges. They also searched the houses in a provocative manner and expropriated books and authorized pistols."

A Syrian resident , Abu-Fadi, told the daily that he "was surprised to hear a governmental statement about arresting 20 Arab terrorists, whereas those arrested were Arab nationals, professors and engineers who were resident together with their families in this area for scores of years."

The daily continued that other towns as well have seen a lot of abuses by the newly formed security forces. Lawyer Abdul-Qadir Hammoudi told the paper that the new government had promised when it issued the emergency law that it would see to it that personal freedoms would not be abused. He explained:

"But it seems that all this was just a pretext to pass the law. This shows that the government's main concern is to prove its ability and that of its security services, regardless of any consequences. This attitude, which was adopted by the occupation forces, had failed and led to an escalation of resistance and its spread among Iraqis, and to further losses by occupation forces. It's quite strange that Allawi's government resorted to the same approach, which would make it lose all support, even from those Iraqis who had earlier pinned some hopes on it. They would see him as somebody flexing his muscles against his fellow citizens to serve the occupiers."

Islamic party boycotts conference

The Islamic party declared that it would boycott the so-called National conference. Dr.Muhsin A.Hameed, head of the party and former member of the now defunct Interim Governing Council, said his party will not attend the conference because there were many violations, including rigging and falsification in the local elections in various provinces. Several Iraqi political parties and social as well as religious groupings have already decided to boycott the conference.

Besides the Islamic Party, the Iraqi Constitutional Conference, the Pan-Arab Nationalist trend, the Islamic Union of Kurdistan, the Movement of People's Struggle, the Association of Moslem Ulama( scholars), the al-Sadr trend and the Khalisi religious school in Kadimiya have all boycotted the conference for being an extension to illegal institutions established by US occupation authorities.

Complied by Stephen Soldz

Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis
1581 Beacon St.
Brookline, MA 02446

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