Saturday, December 31, 2005

Elijah Zarwan's Blog -- The Skeptic

The blog doesn't identify the blogmaster except by the name, Elijah Zarwan.
A Google Search turns up this:

Elijah Zarwan is a Cairo-based consultant for Human Rights Watch. He is the author of a report on freedom of expression and censorship online in the Middle East and North Africa. He has previously worked as a journalist and editor in the Middle East and the United States.
And from Global Voices:
Our friend Elijah Zarwan writes from Cairo, where he’s involved with a number of human rights efforts. He recently travelled to Alexandria to meet with MohammedMorsi and Malek Moustafa, Egyptian bloggers who’ve been working hard to document the arrest and detention of Abdolkarim Suleiman. Elijah, Mohammed, Malek and an human rights attorney met with Suleiman’s family, trying to learn more about the case...

After commenting on the Egyptian police raid and killing of Sudanese migrants in Cairo, here is part of what he has to say in today's post:

Reminds me of a time, oh, maybe six months before Gulf War II. I was in New York. A German-Israeli-American coworker brought me a Wall Street Journal opinion piece to read. It was the first time I’d seen the argument that a war in Iraq would unleash a domino effect of democratization on liberation across the Middle East articulated. I was amazed that any intelligent person (and the writer sounded like he knew what he was talking about) could argue this with a straight face. Surely anyone who’s spent a minute in the Middle East (outside Israel, I guess I should stipulate) would know this was bunk? That the war was far more likely to destabilize the regionand prompt more terrorist attacks in the Middle East and on U.S. soil?

So now we’ve seen years of anarchy and bloodshed in Iraq. We’ve seen Iraqis launch a large-scale attack in Jordan, previously (and still) a miraculous island of peace and stability wedged between Iraq, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Lebanon. If this report is true—and that’s a very big “if”—then we’ll also have seen Iraqis attacking Israel and prompting Israel to bomb southern Lebanon just as things are getting really ugly again in the Gaza Strip (See BBC and B’tselem).

So where has this democratic flowering taken hold in the Middle East? Lebanon? No, the crowds came out in response to a bombing, not the toppling of Saddam Hussein. Egypt? Have you read anything about the elections here? And the Kifayah movement took hold first with the Palestinian solidarity committees and gained strength with the antiwar protests in 2003. Other suggestions?

After the U.N. bombing in Baghdad (which, in retrospect, really seems like the tipping point), a friend asked me if I was gloating even a little, if I was enjoying my “I told you so” moment. I was horrified. This wasn’t about U.S. politics. This was about real people in Iraq. Since the war in Iraq had begun, I had hoped I was wrong, that everything would go swimmingly and that a wave of democracy really would sweep across the region. And if I was right, then my life, as a New Yorker, was in greater danger after April 2003 than it was in February 2003. How could I be happy?

But now, since I’ve confessed to having been in a hotel room in Jordan watching “Kill Bill II” for the second time when I should have been in Mostafa Mahmoud square, let me confess that I have sometimes felt a bit of smug “I told you so” satisfaction. I know that even if every Bush voter woke up tomorrow morning and realized how terribly wrong he’d been, that good wouldn’t be worth the life of one innocent victim. But another part of me can’t help feeling vindicated.

There's more.
Plenty more.
I'm beginning to wonder how long it is going to take until we get a wake-up call that what we are doing in the Middle East is not working out as planned and advertised.


Pebble said...

Kiss Kiss ~ Happy New Year!

Interesting Article:


Hoots said...

And a Happy New Year to you, as well!
Thanks for stopping by.
Interesting article indeed from November. I vaguely remember something about it at the time, but it slipped by with little notice. This might have had something to do with it.
I dunno. I tend to pay little attention to anything coming out of Washington that looks at all partisan. That place is a cesspool.
Even so-called bi-partisan moves are often suspect in my book.

elias said...