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Monday, May 10, 2004

A Week of Jokes

The past week was a week full of jokes that were not funny at all. While vacationing in Sham El Sheikh, I heard three jokes, the first made me upset and the other two hit me with a sarcastic anger.

Joke 1: Those pictures! I can’t imagine how they happened. I am positive that this humiliation was not caused by a small number of solider but it was systematic. I fully understand the need to get a little bit tough in interrogation especially in times of war but such sexual humiliation is unacceptable. Those pictures have 2 repercussions. First, they will undermine the US’ credibility in Iraq (sorry, I don’t give a rat’s butt about other countries) and tarnish her image as a defender of democracy and human rights. This is the reason why heads must roll in the US army and we should all see this on satellite channels. Second, the pictures allowed tremendous “shamata” to occur against the US. shamata is an Arabic word that means to tease, criticize, and ridicule someone for making a mistake even though you might be full of mistakes. The whole Arab world is engaged in “shamata” against America.

Joke 2: The Arab League issued a statement condemning the “crimes against humanity” committed by US soldiers against Iraqi prisoners. Hmm, interesting, I didn’t yet see an Arab League statement condemning the daily torture of suspects in Egypt’s police stations, or the arbitrary arrest of Tunisian dissidents, or when the late Syrian president Hafez El Assad slaughtered 20,000 of his own people in the city of Hama in 1982, or when Saddam Hussein filled his mass graves with thousands upon thousands of bodies.

Joke 3: Sudan was elected to be a member of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights! Days ago Kofie Anan showed some teeth and threatened to order military intervention in Darfur after the heinous crimes committed by the Sudanese government against the people of Darfur started to get exposed. I was so delighted to hear that Kofie got serious at last. However, his failure to even mention one single word when Sudan was elected to the UNCHR was so disappointing especially since Human Rights Watch labeled what is happening in Darfur as “ethnic cleansing”. Kofie Anan reminds me of my dog. He barks when there is a barrier between him and a stranger and turns into a chicken when that stranger approaches him. In other words, his bark is never serious.


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