Freedom for the Mideast?

The New York Times > International > Middle East > Unexpected Whiff of Freedom Proves Bracing for the Mideast

There is no doubt that there is a new political wind blowing through the Middle East.

Much has been influenced by the elections in Palestine and Iraq. With pan-Arabic television increasingly important throughout the entire region, these waves of these elections have reached every corner of the Arab world.

And there is no denying the role played by the urgings of primarily US President Bush. In the case of the opening that we might now be seeing in Egypt, the connection seems to be very clear.

To this is now added what we are seeing on the streets of Lebanon, and the pressure that the regime in Damascus suddenly finds itself under.

On Wednesday of the coming week I’ll be in Madrid taking part in a panel discussing all these trends at the large Madrid Summit primarily focusing on the tragic anniversary of the terrorist attack on March 11 last year.

More than 200 of the best experts on these issues in the world are heading to Madrid for discussions, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the panel on reforms in the Arab world is the one that will get the greatest attention.

Something is stirring – and it is important to all of us.

5 Responses to Freedom for the Mideast?

  1. simulev skriver:

    ”Something is stirring – and it is important to all of us.”Yeah, try with the minor smaller issue of the influx regarding some 25 million neewly immigrants/asulym seekers/refuges to EU from the Muslim Arab world.
    So if one of the invited experts you brag about happen to be professor Bassam Tibi (of Syrian origin), I strongly suggest that you listen closley to what he has to say, perhaps you might learn something.

  2. Carl Bildt skriver:

    Well, from your point of view it’s even worse.

    We will open negotiations for membership of the European Union with Turkey on October 3rd.

    It’s a big country, Muslim in its culture, with more than 70 million inhabitants.

    You might not understand it, but Europe is about tolerance and understanding – not hatred and division.

    And it is the areas of the former Ottaman Empire and kalifate that is now embracing our European values in order to consolidate their secular democracy.

    But I know that this comment of mine will only cause you to launch another avalance of predjudice and hatred…

  3. simulev skriver:

    Oh why I do love the Internet.
    Uh, so Bassam Tibi is not invited? Hmm nor it seems is any Israeli counter terrorist experts invited? That’s strange since the later are branch leading in practical experience. Perhaps they are busy fighting off terrorism trying to survive, while club EU are having coffee, and continues funding PA terror regime?
    Who wrote the agenda? See, this item could be perceived to seem a bit biased, and out of proportions, against Israel for defending herself.

    ”The War on Terror and the Arab-Israeli Conflict
    The Arab-Israeli conflict has been a major source of instability in the Middle East. How has the war on terror affected that conflict? To what extent, if at all, has the war on terror improved the prospects for peace in the Middle East? This panel will be organised in co-operation with the Toledo International Centre for Peace.”

    The Arab-Israeli conflict has been a major source of instability against the sovereign democracy of Israel and her citizens, is closer to the truth. Other conflicts in proportion that have been major sources of disturbing conflicts are Algeria civil war, Libya terrorist haven, Egypt fundamentalist preaching incitements (while harassing Christian Copts) and terror attacks, Sudan ethnical cleansing and current ongoing genocide against blacks performed by Arabs. And that just North Africa. The last decade.

    Oh, so sorry, it seems the club has missed one very important key item for the whole gathering. IMHO the most important:
    The Arabist Islamaofacist indoctrinated psyche.
    If you don’t know what am talking about, it’s the warped one that happily can send of its offspring to blow up amongst civilians, and having afterwards celebrations, while butchering it’s own daughters for not obeying “family honor”.

    But I am sure and confident you will address and correct those issues once attending.

    ”And it is the areas of the former Ottaman Empire and kalifate that is now embracing our European values”Turkey you say? That denies the genocide the Ottoman Empire conducted against the minority of the Assyrians? Well why live in the past when only this Millennia Synagogues exploded on Turkish soil. Yeah, that country is such a role model for human rights and tolerance, why not ask the Kurds, who for some reason has refugee in Sweden by the thousands?

    I think have understood what it is you suffer from now. Lack of empathy while richly blessed with egoism. Your not alone however, I think it’s a rather common amongst many politicians, especially European such (and especially on the left wing), without first hand experience in what they are up against when it comes to counter terrorism. That’s why you and your likes probably never can measure up against Israeli elected politicians like Netanyahu for instance.
    See, if it doesn’t happen to you or your loved ones behind your gated communities, I guess you think all is fine. Then you can (and continues) to preach tolerance towards the intolerant. But I bet the tune would be somewhat different if, for example, say it was the remains your wife instead, spread out on the sidewalk. And when you cry out your sorrow, spiteful mocking of “hatred prejudiced extremism” will be the answer. And then the continuation to rewards the terrorist behind it with lands they already have declined. You like that thought? Well, if not, how dare you show that vision down the throats of Jews and Israelis?

    But you just wait and see what some of the sons of Ishmael are plotting in their mosques for the rest of the infidels. They have made no secrets about their goals, and time will tell, as always, if turning the other cheek towards totalitarians with global domination goals in the clash of civilization will work. A historic reminding hint on the way -Passivity and appeasements didn’t work either that well against the European Adolph Hitler.

  4. Robert Daguillard skriver:

    Carl, I hope you bring back many fascinating insights from the Madrid Conference. Maybe you could give us a link to the conference’s web site. Who else will be attending?

  5. Alicio skriver:

    Mr Bildt,

    I share your optimism about the ongoing changes in the Middle East.

    Ahead of the Madrid summit, it would be well to consider the threats that the democracy movements (if one could call them movements yet) are faced with; ie islamic fundamentalism.

    I would urge you to take 30 minutes and watch through some of the TV-clips from Arab and Iranian TV channels that MEMRI has translated. They allow a pointed insight into the very real danger of this fundamentalism, and might prompt useful suggestions as to how the world should further protect and encourage the democracy movements at the summit.

    Click here and then choose a video clip by pressing ”Viev clip”.

    I particularly recommend clip #576, #577, #564, #557 (choose next page).

    Also check out #540, where a female academic criticises the fundamentalist domination of the debate.

    There are many more interesting clips and texts.

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