Hot off the Arab press 406465

What citizens of other countries are reading about the Middle East.

A policeman gestures to people as he stands guard near the Sphinx, in Giza on June 11. (photo credit: ASMAA WAGUIH / REUTERS)
A policeman gestures to people as he stands guard near the Sphinx, in Giza on June 11.
(photo credit: ASMAA WAGUIH / REUTERS)
The West is blind to the Brotherhood
Al-Masry Al-Youm, Egypt, June 12
I have one modest suggestion for our government: Stop trying to convince the West of the Muslim Brotherhood’s violence and terrorism. Every time I stumble upon a new biography on the Brotherhood, written in English, I find that the author is trying to convince readers the group is “moderate” and “peaceful.”
We repeatedly tell the world that this is not the case.
The Muslim Brotherhood, we explain, is a movement of violence and armed resistance since its moment of inception; founder Hassan al-Banna personally ordered the assassination of a judge who ruled against the Brotherhood. We yell at the entire world, yet no one listens. We clarify that even when it doesn’t directly carry out terrorist attacks, the movement incites the public and creates a climate that legitimizes violence.
Yet we hear no condemnations from Washington, London or Berlin. We try to convince the Americans of the Brotherhood’s wrongdoings, but the Obama administration is not interested. Let it be known: This past week’s terror attack in Luxor was the work of the Brotherhood. They are not intimidated and feel free to carry out attacks because by now, they know Western leaders shut their eyes and close their ears. It is time we try a new strategy and do the opposite: Tell Western leaders they are right – the Brotherhood is the most peaceful organization on earth.
Yet when millions of Egyptians went to the polls in the recent elections, we all opted out of this “moderation.”
We all chose a different government. This is what us Egyptians want, and this is how we feel free.
– Sliman Jawda
Wake up – Assad’s days are over
Al-Nahar, Lebanon, June 12
While no one is publicly acknowledging it, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s ruling days are over. Three-quarters of Syria is no longer in Assad’s hands, and most of the fallen territory is controlled by Islamic State. What prolonged the regime’s life was the fact that two players – Russia and Iran – repeatedly warned that if Assad falls, terrorists would take over the country. This, however, does not concern the West anymore.
International forums on possible solutions for Syria used to describe Assad as the “lesser of two evils”; today, his name is barely mentioned. Moscow and the G7 – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US – have already accepted the fact that the best means to fight Islamic State is to see the Syrian regime fall.
It is unclear why Hezbollah continues to fight Assad’s forces. If one thing remains clear within this chaos it is the fact that, as soon as Assad falls, Tehran will go to great lengths to ensure Hezbollah’s power. Its Revolutionary Guards Corps will use power and money to make sure their Shi’ite counterparts take advantage of the vacuum.
The question is not if Assad will fall, but rather when.
The day is getting closer – wake up.
– Ali Hammada
Mosul’s anniversary
Al-Arabiya, Saudi Arabia, June 12
Within several weeks of the Iraqi city of Mosul falling into the hands of Islamic State, International Security Assistance Force commander Gen. John Allen confidently announced that the city’s liberation “will not take more than a year.” This week marks the first anniversary of Mosul’s fall, taking place amid the continuous spread of Islamic State into new territories.
In Syria, we have witnessed the fall of Raqqa and Deir al-Zour, followed by the takeover of Palmyra. In Iraq, we have seen the fall of Mosul followed by that of Ramadi – both of which are strategically important. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is barely able to seal all the holes left by his predecessor, Nouri al-Maliki, and both fail to work with the international coalition to fight Islamic State.
Mosul’s first anniversary causes concern. Belgium, for example, just decided to withdraw all of its forces from the coalition, under the pretext of “reducing operation costs.” Rumors of other countries intending to leave the coalition did not deter US President Barack Obama from admitting, only last week, that the coalition has “no clear strategy against Islamic State.”
A recent study conducted by an Iraqi research center found that most respondents believe “Iraq no longer exists as a state.” They are not wrong. With a failed government and a weak international coalition, the chances of Iraq splitting into several states is becoming ever more real.
– Rajeh al-Khouri
Numbers don’t mean a thing
Asharq Alawsat, London, June 11
The most heated debate in Washington these days surrounds American policy against Islamic State. The past week has seen serious hearings in Washington involving political and military experts – all of whom blamed the Obama administration for following an unclear strategy against the terrorist movement. Indeed, Obama’s policy is ambiguous, and the only thing we know is that it involves an international coalition conducting air strikes in Syria and Iraq.
The White House boasts that thousands of Islamic State personnel have been targeted, but the problem is that numbers don’t mean a thing. On the ground, Islamic State is gaining more and more momentum.
It is successful in recruiting new fighters among Iraqi youth, and succeeds in effectively governing the territories it conquers.
The administration’s reliance on figures misleads the public into thinking the situation is contained – and this, sadly, is not the case. Washington’s failure is that it is not taking action; it allows Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi to guide the way, but his government is weak and unstable.
The US must be more explicit with what is seeks to do in Iraq. It must put aside sectarian pressures imposed by Baghdad and support whoever is fighting Islamic State.
– Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Compiled by The Media Line.