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Incomplete Statements - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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It’s strange the amount of comments and coverage that the word ‘occupation’ generated after it was said by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, during his opening speech at the recent Arab summit in Riyadh to describe the military situation in Iraq. In the Western media attitudes of confusion and bewilderment are still the dominant ones as to why the king chose to use such a word – which in itself is befuddling, for what other word would use to describe the tragic situation in Iraq? Can the American presence be deemed anything other than an occupation?

This foolish war was built on lies and its stars a gang of neoconservatives: Perle, Wolfowitz, Libby and others whose lies are being revealed one after the other in a disgraceful and scandalous manner. Saddam was not linked to the terrorist al Qaeda, neither did he possess Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), of which no traces were found nor were the occupying forces greeted with flowers as had been propagated.

There is an ignorant misconception among some media circles in the US where it is believed that the Saudi monarch’s description of the situation in Iraq as an ‘occupation’ is translated as a defect in the bilateral relations between the two countries! This is a gross and naïve oversimplification of the matter, since the honesty and directness used are required. This statement is not only attributed to the Saudis, many of America’s strategic allies are confirming the same thing and moreover, the US opinion polls show that the vast majority of the American public describe the US presence in Iraq as an occupation and are demanding withdrawal.

Criticizing the American administration and pointing accusing fingers at the blatant failure would subsequently be followed by offering honest advice. Criticizing the American administration does not mean to undermine or disrespect the US as an institution, history, and achievements. Criticizing the gang of neoconservatives and their foolish adventure in Iraq does not imply or mean a disapproval of Hemingway’s literature, the writings of Steinbeck, the plays of Tennessee Williams, jazz and country music, the poetry of Maya Angelou or the amazing sports achievements of Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and other shining examples in the world of economy, science and academia.

There is an Arab reality that the US administration must deal with directly, not through the neoconservative mob and their cheap trumpets. There is an Arab peace initiative that has unanimous agreement and which tackles with all the points of contention and decisively deals with all the outstanding issues that must be dealt with in a serious and direct manner instead of offering useless and empty statements that do nothing to help the situation.

There is a painful reality in Iraq resultant of the propagation of lies in addition to the mismanagement that followed the invasion and its aftermath. What has happened and still continues to happen must change and a serious road map must be introduced to resolve the presence of the US forces in Iraq and set a timetable to enable the Iraqi police and the Iraqi military (not just one sect or creed) to take over. Without this, stumbling and confusion will prevail, as will the incomplete statements that do not serve or present the required solutions.

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi

Hussein Shobokshi is a businessman and prominent columnist. Mr. Shobokshi hosts the weekly current affairs program Al-Takreer on Al-Arabiya, and in 1995 he was chosen as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. He received his BA in Political Science and Management from the University of Tulsa.

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