Indeed the Arab Nations have committed many blunders in the arena of Foreign Policy and yet, criticize the US for its' blunders.
I was outraged when India was voted out to be a part of the International Muslim Organization. India is home to nearly 11% of Muslims and the 2nd Largest Muslim Community of the World. Civility and long term thinking demands inclusion of even one person Muslim nation. The OIC sounded like a gang of ulterior motive nations. We do not have to do any business in secrecy in this world. Secrecy implies evil and it multiplies.
Even today, the Arab governments including Israel are making mistakes. All of them boys need to think in terms of long term. Right or wrong, the analysis by Mustafa El-Feki is worth noting.
The MEG's are making mistakes about the Israel-Palestine issues.
Saudis and Iranians are flaming Shia-Sunni divide, soon it will eat them both. The Kings and the powers will be toppled by the ordinary people one of these days causing wholesale destruction.
The MEG's are not creating a conciliatory environment for Hamas, Hisbollah and other extremists. All of them including Israel need to seek real peace and not just words and tests.
Darfur has created such a deep divide and hatred that it will take generations to subside. The attitudes of suppression are primitive and must go.
Turkey needs to consider toning down the begging attitude to be with the European Union. Let them create their value where the EU begs them to join. They are in strategic location to do that.
* MEG - Middle East Governments
I do appreciate the following piece by Mustafa El-Feki.
http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/730/in1.htmAn Indo-Arab blunder?Over the years, the Arab world has let India down even though the Asiangiant championed the Palestinian cause, writes Mustafa El-Feki*
When I compare how India used to view the Palestinian question, back when Iwas counsellor to the Egyptian Embassy in New Delhi 25 years ago, with howit does now, I cannot help but wonder how things change. I was posted in NewDelhi in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when India was a major supporter ofthe Palestinian cause. The very idea of having diplomatic ties with Israelwas offensive to most Indians.
I once monitored a meeting of late Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi witha group of Jewish Indians in Mumbai and then wrote an article about it forthe Cairo-based periodical Al-Siyasa Al-Dawliya (Foreign Policy),speculating on the future of relations between India and Israel. Inresponse, the Indian ambassador in Cairo filed an official protest with theEgyptian Foreign Ministry, expressing outrage that I brought up thepossibility that India may one day move close to Israel. At present,relations between New Delhi and Israel are of strategic nature, with bothcountries in close touch, waging a common war against terror. Both havesucceeded in damning the Palestinian resistance and the Kashmir insurgenceas terrorist, not national liberation movements. India and Israel cooperatein many fields, including military and nuclear technology. So much we knowfor fact.
One question is in order, however. What made India change its mind and throwitself in the arms of a country that occupies Arab and Palestinian land, tothe point where it has played host to Ariel Sharon? India and Israel havetheir own separate political agendas. India wishes to have access to US andIsraeli technology, particularly in the development of weapons. Israel, forits part, wishes to have the political backing of a powerful nation.
Besides, both countries have a common interest in monitoring the nuclearprogrammes of Iran and Pakistan. Let's now examine some of the reasons thatmade India change its mind.
First, we have made the error of viewing the Indian- Pakistani conflict froman Islamic perspective. We have tried to "Islamise" the ongoing conflict insouth Asia, posing as protectors of Islam and custodians of theinternational community. And we have overlooked the regional role of India,with Arab leaders showing up in New Delhi much less frequently than before.Secondly, when India applied for membership of the Organisation of theIslamic Conference (OIC), the response was extraordinary. A country with 120million Muslim citizens applied to membership and what happened? Islamiccountries, in typical naiveté, rejected the Indian application, imaginingthis would please Pakistan and teach India a lesson. The right thing to do,of course, would have been to co-opt this major country and give it OICmembership. This would have put the brakes on Indian rapprochement withIsrael. An Arab-Indian rapprochement may have even alleviated, notincreased, the pressure on Pakistan. Imparting a religious coating on aconflict between two neighbouring countries was a political misjudgement,and a sign of Arab miscalculation.
Thirdly, India was close to the former Soviet Union and, as a major countryof the Non-Aligned Movement, critical of US policies. That was during theCold War, but things have changed since then. India has forged close linkswith the US due to political as well as technological reasons. And its newlyacquired superiority in ICT proves it knew what it was doing. India has alsosucceeded in replacing Pakistan as the US favourite country in the region. Iwouldn't be surprised to see India assume the role of a policeman in theIndian Ocean and the outskirts of the Gulf, with US blessing and with theaim of encircling so-called Islamic violence. This would be in harmony withIsrael's agenda, and it may pave the way to a scheme of joint control overthe Greater Middle East.
Fourthly, Some Arab countries have pursued a balanced policy towards theconflict in south Asia. Under Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Egypt was so close toIndia that the latter had no motive to flirt with Israel. Back then, Indiawas a staunch supporter of the Palestinian people, and I still remember thatthe Palestinian ambassador to New Delhi enjoyed the privilege of meeting theIndian prime minister at anytime he wished to do so. But as the Islamicphenomenon spread and some Arab policies acquired a religious tint, Indiagrew visibly suspicious of the Arab and Islamic worlds. To make thingsworse, Arab diplomacy in India was lackadaisical over the past two decades.Fifthly, the Indians are a practical and smart people, so are thePakistanis. It is advisable for us to maintain balanced relations with both.Both countries are nuclear powers and are highly regarded across the Arabworld. Having good ties with both countries makes sense at these turbulenttimes.
We have lost India so far for no good reason, I should say. We have failedto stay close to an industrially advanced state, one with nuclear and spacecapabilities. We have failed to do so although there is a clear ethnicresemblance between the Indian subcontinent, including Pakistan andBangladesh, and the people in our Arab world. It is time we mend this error.It is time to bring Arab countries closer to both India and Pakistan, ratherthan take one side or keep our distance altogether. I believe the Arabs haveonly themselves to blame for India's change of heart on the Palestinianquestion.
In early 2003, I was in New Delhi with a parliamentary delegation. It was myfirst to India in over 20 years. I met the Indian national security adviser,who is a veteran politician, and he told me his country, despite its closelinks with Israel, is committed to legitimate Palestinian rights. Suchattitude is encouraging, and it makes me think that the Arab League, whosecurrent secretary-general was once an ambassador to India, should start acoordinated effort to improve Arab links with India. We need to bring backthe balance to our policy and revive the old friendship, while maintainingour close bonds with Pakistan.
Some people have taken issue with what I mentioned about the need tointegrate the Arab mindset into the current global mindset. They called myassertion an assault on local identity and a sabotage of the pan-Arabcharacter. I still believe that this is a responsible way of addressing ourproblems, that this is the way forward in the context of comprehensivereform -- the reform that countries in this region seek, the reform thatemanates from their own fabric and expresses their own resolve. We mustdistinguish between two things. One is comprehensive revision, which makestransformation a part of reform. The other is uncalculated compromises thatlead to a general sense of capitulation of other people's wishes. Only thelatter I am against. International isolation is impossible. Let me say thisloud and clear. This is what history tells us, this is the spirit of theage, and this is how things are.
* The writer is chairman of parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee.