Thursday, July 08, 2004
I couldn't stop laughing when I read the comments of many who responded to my campaign ads post. I didn't know you hate such ads so much. Who knows, maybe if I was living in the US I would have hated them as well.
Well, I like those ads for 2 main reasons. First, I worked in the advertising field and I want to know how those candidates "market" themselves and how they pinpoint the negative factors in each other. Second, we don't have such ads in Egypt simply because we don't have any presidential elections. They are a new phenomena to me and I consider them an integral part of American democracy.
Anyway, I'll try to download the software that captures streaming videos and see what will happen.
Indonesia Says No to Islamists
I'm not sure if you have been following the recent presidential elections in Indonesia. The Indonesians went to the polls to elect their president for the first time ever. The results were very interesting.
Before the elections, I predicted that the Islamists will win. Presently, Indonesia has a horrible Islamist wave raging all over its islands. Al-Qaeda is known to operate freely there and it is the best place to witness the slaughtering of Christians and other non-Muslims. However, candidates with known Islamist background failed to garner a lot of votes. Current president Megawati (a woman) came in second. I don't know much about the winner.
Is Indonesia a proof that deadly Islamist parties will lose in any free elections? The answer is no. First, I'm not sure if the elections were in fact free. Second, any Indonesian president today will have several significant opposition parties, some of them are Islamists and some of them are not. However, in a country like Egypt, the Islamist party constitutes the main opposition that has a significant following and a number of good fat bank accounts. The "non-Islamist" opposition parties are nothing more than a group of men who own a second class newspaper. Until today, there isn't a single liberal and democratic opposition party ready to sacrifice itself for the masses instead of caring only about getting elected in the useless/toothless/rubbish/good for nothing parliament. Therefore, I am completely against presidential elections in Egypt.
Hama Rules for Fallujah?!
New York Times reported today that American and Iraqi officials believe that Fallujah is the main hotbed of terrorists in Iraq. News coming out of this Sunni city indicates that it is ruled by Taliban-like Islamists who have the final say in the city and who are forging alliances with the fading Baath party.
Let me tell you how the late Syrian president Hafez Assad dealt with his own Fallujah. In 1982, a Sunni city in Syria called Hama was a main stronghold of the militant Islamist party the Muslim Brotherhood. The MB was against the rule of Assad who is an Alawitte. Sunnis consider Alawittes to be infidels. To end this Hama headache, Assad surrounded the city with tanks and heavy artillery and simply leveled the city to the ground. Amnesty International reported that up to 20,000 people might have died in the city. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman visited the city and came up with the term "Hama rules" just to name the rules that some Middle Eastern rulers can play with in order to crush any opposition to their rule.
Do we need Hama rules in Fallujah? I don't think so and I don't advocate that the American forces instigate another backlash by engaging the terrorists there. The matter is all up to the new Iraqi government. Let us watch and see how Allawi will solve his "Hama problem".