Showing posts from 2019

Interview with AHRC Executive Director Imad Hamad

Part 1 of 2:

This month I interviewed Imad Hamad, the Executive Director of the American Human Right Council (AHRC), a veteran community leader and activist, with questions about the challenges facing the Arab and Muslim American community. The achievements as well as the challenges. Below are edited excerpts:
-What are your thoughts as to the Arab and Muslim American community, especially in Michigan?
The community should be proud of its achievements. It is heavily engaged in all avenues of life in Michigan. It is an important community socially, economically and politically. We have a large number of successful business people, attorneys, medical doctors, pharmacists, engineers, educators, etc.The list is long. Name it we have it. Politically, we are represented in government and on the bench. It is an impressive steady progress. Very promising future ahead indeed. However, this is not a free of challenges journey and success.

-What has been an important factor in the political success o…

Trump’s approach to Iran

The Trump administration’s approach is grounded in the history of the US- Iran relationship and the importance of Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Trump grounds the understanding of Iran in the context of the relationship since the Ayatollah’s revolution. That context involves violating the Tehran embassy, blowing up the Beirut embassy and marine barracks, holding diplomats hostage, kidnapping Americans through proxies for weapons and other acts of violence. As former Secretary of State Tillerson told Iranian Minister Jawad Zarif, Iran has been killing Americans and getting away with it. Not anymore.
Second, missing from your analysis is Saudi Arabia. While many Democrats are willing to abandon the Kingdom under the pretext of human rights violations as Obama did, Mr. Trump considers Saudi Arabia a vital ally whom the US will not abandon. Iran has presence or influence in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen.  Only Saudi intervention saved Bahrain from Iran’s proxies. Mr. Trump is responsive to Saudi nation…

Democrats and Human Rights: A Pass for Iran, Strict Scrutiny for Saudi Arabia

Democrats are not happy with the picture above. Trump shaking MBS’s hand.
It’s the Kashoggi issue and other human rights matters.
Had President Trump been shaking Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif’s hand, they would have cheered. Because as we know, Iran’s human rights is second to none.
The human rights issue is only an issue as to US relations with Saudi Arabia.
Not an issue for Obama negotiating the nuclear deal. Not an issue for the Democrats cheer leading for the deal.
Have the Democrats heard of the Iranian Baha’i that is singled out for state persecution in Iran?

On Iran: The False Iraq Analogy

Here we go again. This is Iraq all over again.
Not even close.
The US was on a path for war with Iraq before George W. Bush. And there was a strong American constituency on board and pushing for the war.
The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 basically set America’s policy on Iraq as regime change. The summary, without quotes:
Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 - Declares that it should be the policy of the United States to seek to remove the Saddam Hussein regime from power in Iraq and to replace it with a democratic government.
Authorizes the President, after notifying specified congressional committees, to provide to the Iraqi democratic opposition organizations: (1) grant assistance for radio and television broadcasting to Iraq; (2) Department of Defense (DOD) defense articles and services and military education and training (IMET); and (3) humanitarian assistance, with emphasis on addressing the needs of individuals who have fled from areas under the control of the Hussein regime. Prohibits assista…

The Mirage of Peace: Palestine and the Deal of the Century

The Trump administration has a deal for the Palestinians: improving economic lot in return for giving up national aspirations.
This is the so-called Deal of the Century. No one except Trump and a small circle of advisers know the contents of this deal.
The key is that this scheme aims to put an end to the Palestinian struggle. Economics is not the reason that the Palestinians have, for about a 100 years, been making immense sacrifices in life and treasure. 
But if neither Hamas nor the PA agrees to this so called deal, is it going anywhere?
Not everything is for sale.
More than 2,000 years ago, a Palestinian said “Man shall not live on bread alone.”
And as a Palestinian woman from Ramallah, Deema Mimi, told Felicia Schwartz of The Wall Street Journal:

Iran Fails in Getting Sanctions' Relief from Japan

On Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit to Iran,The Wall Street Journal of June 13, 2019 on page 7, “Iran Urges Japan to Ignore U.S. Sanctions,” quotes Rouhani saying:
“If we witness some tensions, the root is the U.S. economic war against the Iranian nation. Any time this war stops, we will witness very positive developments in the region and the world.” And Iran wanted Japan to turn its back on the U.S. and help Japan get a break from the Maximum Pressure campaign that has inflicted serious pain on Iran.
The Journal article quoted Rouhani stating: “Japan’s interest in continuing to purchase oil from Iran and solving financial issues…can secure the expansion of our relations.”

Not only did Abe ignore their request, he also lectured them to behave. Prime Minister Abe called Iran out for what even Obama himself called, “stirring the sectarian pot.”
Abe said: “It is essential that Iran plays a constructive role in building solid peace and stability in the middle East.”
On Iran, Japan and the US …