Emile Tubiana

  • Emile Tubiana

Our Intellect

Posted by Emile Tubiana on April 18, 2012

Do we know the difference between the intellect and our soul?

 

Our Intellect

Is it intellect, memory or feelings
That distinguish human beings?
It’s the different opinions, some say,
Different languages come into play

In fact human beings are all related,
Some are more, some are less cultivated
But all we learn and acquire externally
Cannot replace our feelings internally

The intellect is a good tool,
But it should not make of us a fool
It is adapted to life on earth
And should be taken at its worth

If we let our intellect wander
The risk is, it will get us under
And make us lose our feeling
The link to the source of healing

We should control our intellect
And learn what we should select
Action, love and joy is our goal
To slowly awaken our sleepy soul

Our faith’s and our life’s source
Is a powerful, eternal resource
That within ourselves we can find
If the outer world didn’t make us blind

Into our inner self we must be diving deep
The connection with ourselves to keep
To find the ocean of love and joy
And let it its help within us deploy.

Copyright 2010 Emile Tubiana

 

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Posted by Emile Tubiana on September 14, 2011

Destiny

Forge your destiny as long as you can run
Until your dreams dissipate in the sun
Save your dignity and look for insight
As this is your own source of light

Your knowledge will not fade away
As long as you stay active day-by-day.
You are what you want and what you can be
On land, in the air and at sea

Shaping your life should be your endeavor
As it may retain some qualities forever
Life, the ultimate reality, is anchored in you
But those who unveil it are rare and few.

What you read and experience is meant for you
Don’t look at what others understand and do
As they have a totally different affinity.
What may guide you counts on your ability

 Copyright  2010 Emile Tubiana

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Obama and Israel – a Difficult Relationship

Posted by Emile Tubiana on May 23, 2011

Since the election of our president, I followed his line of thought.

First I thought that our president was closer to me than any other president, as I was born in Africa like his father, but the more I listened to his speeches, the more I concluded that his thoughts may be closer to the Asian Islamic way of thinking than to the Middle Eastern and North African Islamic Arab one.

Encouraging the Arabs in the Middle East to make revolutions without consideration for the results of this enormous protest, which took on drastic proportions and is leading to unknown consequences, shows me, with all due respect for my president, that he was not well advised on the Arab mentality and traditions.   Proof of that matter is that many countries are not prepared to follow his thoughts, but rather distance themselves from him. Instead of the democracy he wished for, his actions created an anarchy which develops towards the unknown without any guidance or direction.

As I happen to know, our ambassadors played an active role in this endeavor and finally he joined them by dictating to the rulers what to do. I was unhappy to see how he treated our friends and allies like President Mubarak of Egypt, who was actually willing to cooperate and prepare democratic elections for September 2011 and to step down at that time. What was the rush for making him go immediately and in a very disgraceful way, which much upset Saudi Arabia? By doing so he alienated another ally, Saudi Arabia, which is our supplier of oil and a serious buyer of all kinds of products. These economic exchanges are the engine of our economy.

Among the alienated Arab countries I can cite the following: Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, which make up a group of eight states against our policy and which may in the near future include Jordan, Morocco and Yemen. Now with his proposal mentioning the 1967 borders for Israel and the way he formulated the Thursday speech and with his words at today’s AIPAC meeting, he alarmed all the Jews in the US and Israel. We should not forget and remember that our Ambassador to the UN, Ms. Rice, pictured Israel many times as an apartheid country.  In my view this should be stopped as it aggravates Israel’s situation even further.

Our president’s speech at AIPAC resulted in a lot of applause, but in my view it also created doubt and mistrust. We know that here we are dealing with very intelligent, peaceful and democratic people. I doubt if those applauds were a sign of approval, or rather just being carried away into the election mood, or something else.  From experience, deceiving the Jews the first time, one cannot not expect to be trusted the second time. The Jewish people has no margin for error as it has been gratified with such negative experiences in the past. Last time Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Jewish people were humiliated. After a few leaders protested everyone believed that our president  understood the significance of  the insult  and let go. No one knew he would come back with such an uncalled-for proposal like the 1967 borders.

As for me, a American Jew born in Africa, I believe it is my duty to be cautious when elections come around.  Please remember, we the Jews from Arab countries have been displaced the same way the Palestinians have been displaced.  Today all these Jewish refugees are settled by their own means and have left behind their property which is worth more than the property Palestinians have left behind. I believe that is a balanced claim and Israel should not be forced to receive the Palestinian refugees or have to pay any money for damages, unless Israel wants to show a good will to help them going further in their life.

Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana

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Obama Decisions – Impact on Israel

Posted by Emile Tubiana on May 15, 2011

Obama Decisions – Impact on Israel

by Emile Tubiana on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 9:48pm -21h48

In the beginning of his presidency, a few friends attracted my attention by telling me, “Do not forget that Obama is our president.” I agree with them and I even added the following words to my articles, ”I would like to emphasize that the Obama administration is now in power and Mr. Obama is my president. As a citizen I owe him my loyalty and my respect, although I cannot agree with everything he does or with everything he and his administration say.  This is my privilege to express my opinion.”

However, I am expecting from my president to be presidential and to show respect and good manners towards people and other parties, besides spending our money and letting the economy down, with millions of Americans losing their jobs for his ideology. I know that the president’s background is part Muslim, part Christian. He believes that he can solve the problem of the Muslim terror by courting the Muslim Brotherhood. He believes that by doing so, all the Muslims will love America and will stop harassing us. Furthermore he believes that by solving the Arab Israeli conflict in his way he does a great service to the world and to the Jewish people around the globe and in Israel. He wants to ignore the ties that unite the Jews with the American people, be it religious, be it as a partner in security and a great partner in development of all kind technologies and electronics. It is time that our president should recognize the size of the Arab lands compared with Israel’s land.

We all know that Israel prefers peace over any war. We also know that Hitler and his Nazism killed half of the Jewish population in the world. The Palestinians never had any country or government. The Palestinian Authority came to power with the grace of the Israelis and cannot make any decision without the Arab League. It is time to recognize that Israel and its leaders are neither Mubarak nor Kaddafi. Our president should remember that we should not underestimate the fact that the Jewish people cannot afford another debacle like in World War II. Today the Israeli people and the Jewish people have the know-how, the will and the courage of free people, which they didn’t have before.

When Israel signed the Oslo Accord for the West Bank and for Gaza, the Hamas was not involved and later, when Sharon abandoned Gaza to the Palestinians, this was another test to see what the Palestinians could perform in the absence of the Israeli Army. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority could not hold or control the area of Gaza.

Hamas didn’t bother to respect his people or his authority; it grabbed the entire Gaza for itself, killing Mahmoud Abbas’s security forces and administrative officials. Not a single country or the United Nations intervened to straighten out the situation. This way, Hamas legitimized its terrorist movement as an official government. The Iranians took advantage and provided Hamas with money and weapons.

President Obama is maybe right by wanting the Israelis and the Palestinians to negotiate a peace treaty, but he cannot convince all Jewish people or the Arab people that this is the right way to go. Since he won the presidency he didn’t succeed to convince the American people about the direction he is taking. He is now challenged by the GOP and by the Tea Party movement. How can he expect to convince the Jewish people without exercising any pressure on them and on the Israeli government? Of course, Netanyahu will accept to sit down with Mahmoud Abbas or any leader who seems legitimate even for the time being. I believe that this is the show that Netanyahu has to put up with temporarily even if his people do not agree with him.

As Prime Minister, he cannot divulge his diplomatic plan in public. Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu knows very well that the real problem is neither the Palestinian Authority, nor Hamas, but the Iranian threat and now the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Obama’s perception and ideology. Even today, neither Israel nor the United States have reacted to the Iranian menaces. The United Nations and Europe are completely paralyzed just like it was before WWII.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who is keeping silence to these threats at the moment, is cautious enough as not to fall into Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s trap or Obama’s perception and conviction. He should continue his policy as he sees it fit, but he should not lose sight of Iran and its surrogates Syria, Hezbollah and now Egypt and Hamas. Meanwhile Israel should hold on to the old Roman adage, “Si vis pacem para bellum” (If you want peace prepare for war).

I agree with the idea, that Israel and the Arabs should live side by side, but I understand that the reference is to “Jordan and Israel” and not “the West Bank and Israel”. The British had given Jordan to King Abdullah, grandfather of the present king, and Jordan extended at that time, east of the Jordan River. The West Bank was not part of Jordan.  It was conquered by Jordan in 1948. For me, all the Arabs in Jordan are Palestinians and all Arabs in the West Bank are Jordanians. We should say it loud and clear, let the world know it. I never learned anything else. During WWII the Jews from Palestine were called “Palestinians” and not Jews. This is what it said on their ID’s. The Jewish Brigade who fought with the British against Hitler wore the sign of Palestine on the sleeves.

I believe that many people are confused as they don’t know the history of that time. Everyone involved has no idea, which land is in dispute between the parties. What the British called Palestine included the territories of Israel of today, the West Bank, and Jordan of today. In 1921, the Emir Abdullah, one of the last Sharifs of Mecca, received from the British the oriental part of “Palestine”. This part is not called Palestine anymore, it was renamed “the Kingdom of Jordan.” This was the simple way to erase the trace which linked this land to the historical name of Palestine.

Before this date no one could find the name of “the Kingdom of Jordan” in history. The Christians knew well that the Jews were the heirs of the entire territory of Palestine, which the Kingdom of Jordan is a part of.

Yes, Netanyahu’s government is right by saying, “How many times do the Jews have to divide Palestine?” If Israel were to recognize two states again, one Jewish and one Arab, living side by side, this wouldn’t add up – already they have, as side by side – Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Jordan, and Gaza – this makes five Arab states. Besides, who can guarantee that the West Bank will not be transformed into another terrorist base like Gaza, like the Hezbollah in South Lebanon?

JFK did not accept the Soviet rockets in Cuba, which is 228 miles from Miami; it is understandable that the Israelis cannot accept a new terrorist and rocket base a few miles from their borders. You can see the map and you will understand. President Obama cannot see this simple truth about the entire Middle East.

Mr. President Obama, don’t take this path. Don’t do this to the Jewish people, who are our citizens and fought with the United States and to the Israelis, who fought as allies under the British command against the Germans in WWII and are still our best allies. Don’t drive them into despair! They survived Hitler; they can survive anything.

When reading about the revolts which are ravaging the Arab World, it is hard for a human being not to be confused.  Let other nations develop their own capacity according to their way of life in their own countries. Isn’t this the real freedom that we fought for and that we are preaching?

I appeal to the Arab protesters, don’t count on outside help, if you cannot do it yourselves! Your lives are precious and sacred. Until now all the excuses to go to war have been proven false.

Please read this saying, “Keep the bad that you know, rather than the one that you don’t know”

In Arabic, “Shed Emshoumek laijik  Ashouem menou”

In closing, I would like to add that I feel compelled to share my opinion, as someone who has lived through WWII, other wars and hard times, as my duty towards the younger generations, who are easily engulfed in all kinds of movements.

Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana

Jewish Brigade sleeve patch WWII

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Barbara Walter Is Flattering Obama while Diminishing Bush and Clinton

Posted by Emile Tubiana on May 7, 2011

For many years I admired you when you were with the famous Ted Koppel.
All the credit you received at that time had diminished day by day until the time you politicized  the entire military episode about Obama giving the order to kill. As reported also by the Media Research Center, “On Wednesday’s The View, ABC’s Barbara Walters slobbered over the ‘courage, and the guts, and the coolness’ of President Obama in ordering the assassination of terrorist Osama bin Laden. ‘It was enormously, enormously courageous,’ she said of the president’s decision to commence the mission to kill or capture the al Qaeda leader.
‘President Bush tried, President Clinton tried, but Barack Obama was the one who had the courage and the guts and the coolness,’ Walters said of the mission before being drowned out in applause from the audience.”
I thought you are in love of our president. As you serve the public, you should bring the facts and not your admiration. Particularly knowing that Obama didn’t succeed to help either the economy or the gas prices, just before the summer, or most importantly, to reduce the unemployment, which went through the roof. Obama went to get credit when he visit the largest barrack of the US army in the United States. You know why? Because the army is the only community that does not feel the heat of Obama’s policy and that has to be neutral and greet him as their commander in chief. He is counting on the army to help him get another term in the next election.
Giving compliments to our president is OK, but not when you try to diminish the other presidents as you said, “President Bush tried, President Clinton tried, but Barack Obama was the one who had the courage and the guts and the coolness.”
Ms Walters, do your job as you used to do it with Ted Koppel and leave the politics outside your job.
The real heroes of this action are the seals and their commanders like the hero of the Entebbe Raid Rescue Mission where the brother of Benjamin Netanyahu, Colonel Yonatan Netanyahu lead 29 commandos who succeeded to bring back the passengers of Air France but he lost his life in that mission.
Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana

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La révolution libyenne va-t-elle prendre une autre tournure?

Posted by Emile Tubiana on March 27, 2011

Will the Libyan revolution take another turn? (French)- Analysis

La révolution libyenne va-t-elle prendre une autre tournure?

Même si l’Occident  avait joué un  rôle jusqu’à présent, personne n’était en mesure de définir qui sont ces êtres humains que Kadhafi voulait massacrer et s’ils étaient des simples manifestants. Si oui, comment se fait-il que le quatrième jour ils avait déjà des armes comme mitrailleuses, des RPG lance grenades et autres.

Certaines informations de la presse américaine disaient que les USA et la France avaient livré des armes aux rebelles depuis plus de quelques mois. Donc l’intention était bien de préparer la révolte. Le terrain n’était pas mûr pour créer une révolte légitime mais l’Ouest poussait quand-même cette aventure. Malgré que Kadhafi n’était pas aimé par l’Occident et le Monde Arabe, les manifestations qui avaient duré trois jours consécutifs avaient alerté Kadhafi, qui ne voulait pas subir le sort de Moubarak. L’excuse qu’on avait présentée à l’ONU était que Kadhafi était sur le coup de massacrer ses habitants. Cette excuse était peut-être fausse, mais elle avait donné une certaine crédibilité à ces arguments et une urgence pour accélérer le début de l’attaque des forces « alliées ».

Les guides de ces manifestants ont eux-mêmes créé des confusions et des malentendus. Les  personnes qui avaient initié ces manifestations et se conduisaient  avec entêtement avec un dictateur, voulaient continuer les manifestions comme s’en avait été le cas en Egypte, c’est-à-dire plus les manifestations dureraient  plus grande la chance que Kadhafi finirait par céder.

En effet ils avaient pris le risque sans  tenir compte des conséquences. Ils savaient selon les signaux donnes par l’Ouest qu’ils pouvaient le faire avec une bonne chance de réussite. Ce qui importait le plus pour l’Ouest n’était pas le coté humanitaire à protéger les civils, mais plutôt de détruire l’armée de Kadhafi et donner un avantage militaire aux rebelles, pour avoir accès au pétrole et leur permettre une victoire facile tout en donnant une leçon aux monde, qu’il fallait respecter la population humaine.  Le but est de pouvoir plus tard introduire des lois internationales qui obligeraient tous les pays du monde à les suivre.

Les Américains pensaient que cette stratégie leur permettrait de se retirer et de laisser la tâche de finir avec Kadhafi, aux Européens. Dans le fond, je ne pense pas qu’ils croyaient vraiment que la France et l’Angleterre assumeront cette tâche sans les Américains.

Apres tout, les Américains sont membres de l’Otan et ils finiront par reprendre leur tâche et combattre avec les forces de l’Otan, malgré les dires d’Obama qu’il n’userait pas les forces américaines en territoire libyen. Ces déclarations américaines vont être le début de la troisième guerre contre l’Islam. Quant à Kadhafi, il fera exactement comme les Russes devant les forces allemandes, il se retirera dans le désert et finira par reprendre les territoires perdus tactiquement aux rebelles. Je pense comme l’avait dit Kadhafi, que le combat a à peine commencé, car il ne faut pas oublier ses tribus fidèles du désert.

Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana

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I Don’t Believe Revolution Is a Solution

Posted by Emile Tubiana on March 9, 2011

I Don’t Believe Revolution Is a Solution

Our President succeeded in influencing the majority of the American population, since he was elected. Some say they believe that the media and certain elite groups were the backbone of Obama’s presidency. They fought vehemently for him during the election and onward. It is to be recognized that all of Obama’s nice speeches and promises were indeed intended to create enthusiasm and fill the peoples’ minds with dreams that the audience could identify itself with. Who does not love living in peace and sharing the wealth of our a great prosperity and having social justice for all?

Since my youth I heard such beautiful language, which let me dream, until the first German bomb awakened our peaceful town. Who did not dream about peace in his youth?  About brotherhood, about lovely songs we learned in our French school, like this song, “Si tous les gars du monde se donnaient un jour la main et marcheront la main dans la main, le soleil brillera pour demain “ (If all the guys of the world would one day join hands  and walk hand in hand, the sun would shine for tomorrow). These are beautiful words, similar to those that our President uses. But unfortunately we saw in our time, I mean over seventy years ago, instead of peace – Nazism, Communism and WWII. Those who have lived in that era will understand what I am saying. That’s why I believe that in order to reach those beautiful times of which I am writing, we should be careful not to advise other people to make a revolution. If they want a change from one regime to another, they should advance the idea very slowly. In my view, we have to let every country and every people blossom on their own, according to their stage of development, their pace, their way of life, and without any coercion, just like a toddler who is learning to walk by himself.

We should not forget that all human beings are created equal but also that each one is unique and each nation is unique and each nation has its own age, its own customs and its own cycle. In our judgment, we should take into consideration those facts. As Oriental wisdom says, “The one who is not able to honor the stranger and the man of another tribe is not worthy of being called the son of a noble nation.”

Many politicians think that they can perform miracles without having at least a comfortable majority of people with them.  I didn’t vote for Obama but when he succeeded I believed that he would be the president of all Americans. I wished that he would succeed in his tasks for two reasons,
1.  I wanted that our nation would succeed too.
2.  I wanted that Obama would succeed as he is a member of a minority, just as we are all part of minorities.

Obama is using his intelligence and school knowledge, but in a different direction, which we all have not expected. In fact Obama is the one who had caused the creation of the Tea Party movement, as he was not listening to the people.

The November election had proved it, despite the fact that he is a nice person, a persuasive man, and he is mastering the language with great talent and intonation. I recognize that he expresses himself with magnificent words. He reminds me of a few leaders in history who succeeded to change the world and awaken many forces, innate in the human being. Some performed marvels and others have created disaster, even if in their mind they wanted to change the world for the better. I should not forget that Obama succeeded to divide not only the American people, but also the Jewish people and their families.

If we continue mixing ourselves in any revolution, we identify ourselves with one side or with the other and would create at the same time friends and enemies. But in my view, we should help both sides with humanitarian aid, as we don’t know what is best for everyone. I still believe that these revolutions were not spontaneous, but even if they were, no one has a guarantee that they will succeed.  Only time will tell.

Furthermore they cause the death of many people and suffering for the wounded and the displaced, without mentioning the material destructions. Just by seeing the thousands of refugees from many poor African countries, who lost their jobs, heading towards Tunisia, one has to wonder what will become of them. They were peacefully working in Libya and had their livelihood there. Who is responsible for that? It took thirty years with Mubarak, with Khadafi and with all those leaders to maintain a peaceful Middle East, despite some incidents, and the entire world was enjoying a steady oil supply. Now everything is in question.

The case of Tunisia is very unique as the population has been educated and prepared for many years to act in a peaceful and intelligent way. The strong tourism influx has also contributed to a constant exchange of ideas and culture. I believe that the Tunisians are able to solve their problems on their own by creating a balanced, non extremist government, maybe even creating a secular country.

Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana

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Democracy

Posted by Emile Tubiana on March 2, 2011

Democracy
When I saw what happened in the Arab World, it seems that President Obama wants to teach these countries democracy, while here in the United States we are not sure if we have the right kind of democracy. What do we want to propagate? The Athenian democracy?  The Indian democracy? Or a democracy which evolved in the Arab countries? Have we been elected to impose our democracy and our way of life on other countries?

What do we call democracy? Even the Bible teaches us about a kind of democracy by having the prophet Samuel gather the heads of the Israelite tribes to debate and to make important decisions, like choosing the king. Today you can find the same tribal structure in every Arab country. Even General Petraeus understood that the structure, democracy took on in the Middle East is different, and he used it wisely. Even Alexander the Great of Macedonia understood that it was in his best interest not to change the local regime of the places he conquered.  By wanting to bring so-called “help” to the Arab countries we are in fact destabilizing the Arab World. Is this the kind of change our people had voted for?

It took time and experience to create and to apply the art of democracy.  The cost of democracy is different in every country. We just have to look at the countries which succeeded in implementing democracy, by counting the time it took them to evolve.  We can notice that every revolution killed innocent people and left many wounded and created years of animosity without counting the economical damage. Can we pretend to be the best democracy in the world? Some say yes and some say no. Sometimes I wonder if President Obama has been elected to lead the world? Meanwhile we are hardly able to balance our budget.

Every state is struggling to balance their own budget and I see that every group is tearing apart the state to get its interest first, without regard for the others. Now we want to teach the Arab states our democracy and we are conducting ourselves as if we were the elected masters of the world by interfering with other people’s systems. We go even further by wanting to dictate to others how to proceed and how to manufacture a revolution and to chase their leaders from their countries, even those who have maintained stability and were considered to be friends of the United States for years, with the pretext of helping them create a democracy – without even having any valid candidate on hand, who would have the knowledge of the ways of democracy and the ability to create the appropriate  institutions.

We are trying to condemn Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi while ironically, at the same time, the United Nation’s “Human Rights Council is poised to adopt a report chock-full of praise for Libya’s human rights record.”

When reading this line it is hard for a human being not to be confused.  Let other nations develop their own capacity according to their way of life in their own countries.

Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana

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Is the Position Obama Took During the Recent Revolt in Egypt Helpful or Detrimental to the Middle East and to the United States?

Posted by Emile Tubiana on February 14, 2011

Is the Position Obama Took During the Recent Revolt in Egypt Helpful or Detrimental to the Middle East and to the United States?
We just witnessed and learned of one of the methods for changing a regime. But will the revolt eventually lead towards democracy – or theocracy – or a new dictatorship or maybe a kingdom, or colonialism? “Peaceful” as it has been called, the revolution showed such will and vehemence to stick to the goal which seems to have established beforehand and it is hard to believe that it was all spontaneous.

In reality what we saw was a small group of people who enflamed maybe less than 2% of the population of 82 million who persevered for 18 days and nights, creating an appearance of a majority of the total population. They have succeeded in forcing a powerful leader to leave Cairo, albeit without officially resigning as a president or signing any document in this regard. The military knows this fact very well as Mubarak is the head of the army, which so far remained loyal to him.

No one can tell which regime is the best for the human being. It depends whom you speak with. By looking everywhere in our world we can find different regimes. Every regime seems to be able to work with many other systems unless it is currently considered to be an enemy and even so, individuals and even companies find the way to circumvent the official position and to penetrate the enemy markets.

During WWII the Germans made a deal with the Soviet Union even as it was an enemy. Today, are we not doing business with China, which is not a democratic country nor an ally but a totalitarian regime?  Necessity obliges every country to do business with different regimes as long as possible. Merchants and countries will always find a modus vivendi which defines the flexibility of commerce.

In reference to Egypt, suddenly the West and in particularly the United States have openly encouraged the Egyptians in their struggle to change Mubarak – with no new leader in view to replace this president –  unless the protesters know their new leader and keep silence in order not to put him in danger. The US could not have openly pushed Mubarak to resign unless they knew who could be the next candidate and next regime. It is hard to believe that the Egyptian people gambled to remove Mubarak as president without knowing whom they preferred to be their next one. Mubarak was a general from the same army which enjoys high regards among the population.  From now to September many events could take us by surprise. Only then we may know the true story.

We complain about the thirty years Mubarak stayed in power. But beforehand, neither the United States nor the European allied has ever complained about it. Everyone felt comfortable doing business with a military dictatorship regime. I wonder how the entire world didn’t know about what was going on in Egypt.

We should not forget that the United States is the one that encouraged Israel to sign the peace treaty with the Egyptian military machine. The irony is that even the Nobel Peace Prize committee had embraced the government of Egypt and awarded jointly to Mohamed Anwar al-Sadat and Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize. At that time, no one complained about the government system.

Not every democracy is equal to the other. I believe that democracy depends on the people, their culture and their way of life.  If in September the Egyptian people will elect a democratic system as their form of government, it is hard to imagine that the Egyptians will accept certain principles coming from Western cultures, that we take for granted, such as: “Men and women are created equal,” “Freedom of religion” as we see it here in the United States, and many other rules. The Egyptian democracy will look completely different from those we have in the United States or in Europe.  Most Egyptians have spent the major part of their time in their country, under a different regime and far away from our culture and the way of life we are used to.

It is odd that the truth was hidden from the world, or that the lies were so persistent that they covered the truth. Sooner or later, the truth will emerge, as the Arabs use to say,   ”The truth will emerge like olive oil on top of water.”  I believe that many people wish to have a democracy in their country but we should be very careful not to repeat the same mistake, by doing what we did to Egypt. I am reminded of what the Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said, “When you speak about ‘prompt,’ ‘immediate,’ ‘now,’ as if you were imposing on a great country like Egypt, a great friend that has always maintained the best of relationships with the United States, you are imposing your will on him.”

After all, we are not the masters of the world to take the right of interfering in other countries’ business, nor to threaten allies with withholding the help that we are giving them, as we heard it repeatedly from our officials, as such words can touch the dignity of the people and turn them against us. Allies like the Saudis will now be cautious and distrustful towards us, and rightly so. It was disturbing to read that the Saudis will open the door to Iran, as a reaction to our treatment of Mubarak. If we seek to continue the friendship with the Arabs, we should be aware that dignity is their first priority and even if they dislike their leader, they feel indirectly insulted as we are touching their national Arab pride.

Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana

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Are We Out of Our Mind to Risk Egypt?

Posted by Emile Tubiana on February 11, 2011

Are We Out of Our Mind to Risk Egypt?

Having watched the interview between President Obama and Bill O’Reilly the other day, I couldn’t help describing what I saw. In my view it was relevant for a president of a huge country of 300 million people – a continent in itself.

The president seemed relaxed and as one anchor put it nicely, “he is very charming and a lovable person.”  But for a president of such a great country like the United States, who has a lot of responsibility towards the world, I felt that he is not aware of what is going on in the world, and particularly in Tunisia and in Egypt. Or maybe he is just very astute to play all of us who are watching him at this interview.

It seemed to me like he enjoys watching the revolt in those countries like a football game and his sole role is to orchestrate the events like a conductor. I understand that everyone is hoping to change the Arab regimes into democracies. For many this is even a beautiful dream. The question remains, however, what is the cost for such a change? How many human beings and how much destruction this change would entail and how long would it take? Fifty years, hundred years to reach again stability and prosperity for everyone in those countries?  We should not forget that the West has neglected the Arab countries for centuries and that the colonization took advantage of the Arab misery. It is only now that the West started to understand that the situation of the Arabs cannot remain stagnant and may even destroy the development of the West.

I also understand that the young Egyptian generation has proven its case. I am also convinced that not everyone knows the reason of such a protest and its real meaning. No one took responsibility. Until now we don’t know who had initiated this dramatic event and what the result would be. Let’s say that Mubarak would leave his post today. I am not convinced that the Egyptian revolution if it succeeds would satisfy the entire population.

I don’t believe that democracy can solve all the problems that plague Egypt now and transform it into a so-called western-style country, knowing very well that even in the best country in the world democracy could not immediately satisfy its entire population. Taking the United States as an example, one can easily find poverty, run-down neighborhoods, and starving children. Not every democracy possesses natural resources, the needed capital, and the know-how, etc. And even if they have the resources, they need a lot of infrastructure, equipment and knowledgeable people to create a stable and fruitful economy.

Yes, revolutionary people can eradicate an entire generation which oppressed the people, but that cannot create a prosperous and stable middle class from one day to the next. Even when Germany’s reunification took place, they needed a lot of money. West Germany had to make a lot of sacrifices in order to balance their budget and the people from both sides, west and east, had to cope slowly in order to adjust themselves to the new situation.

With all due respect for President Obama and his administration I wonder if they had verified how this huge protest got all started and who is behind it. For an event of such magnitude it would be odd if there had been no planning and no preparation and nobody to lead the people. I was thinking about the article I read in the London Telegraph which said that the United States was behind it. Even if this is hard for me to believe I can imagine that someone or some organization who promotes democracy could have influenced and actively supported the movement.
I understand the development in the Middle East and the Arab countries need for change, but it takes more than a president or a general to transform the unacceptable situation. No one knows if the result of the change would not produce a worse situation.

On Wednesday February 10, I read an article in El Arabiya titled, “Egypt & US swap barbs as tension mounts.” In the article it says, “Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit accused the United States Wednesday of imposing its ‘will’ on its Arab ally, as the White House warned that Cairo had failed to even reach a ‘minimum threshold’ for reform. Egypt’s top diplomat lashed out in a television interview on a day when Washington took a critical line towards Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, who is in charge of a dialogue with opposition groups. And amid warnings by the Egyptian government of a military crackdown on rejuvenated protests, the U.S. government again pleaded with armed forces it helped build with billions of dollars in aid to show restraint.

Abul Gheit condemned U.S. rhetoric on a crisis sparked by days of opposition protests in Egypt, complaining in an interview with America’s PBS television at Washington’s urgent tone.”

Washington’s urgent tone.  “ When you speak about ‘prompt,’ ‘immediate,’ ‘now,’ as if you were imposing on a great country like Egypt, a great friend that has always maintained the best of relationships with the United States, you are imposing your will on him.”    Egypt FM Ahmed Abul Gheit

I wonder if the President of the United States is not about to lose Egypt to other powers and to turn the entire Middle East into a disaster zone that would generate instability and imperil all the moderate Arab rulers who backed the United States for so many years. Is this the way the West wants to teach democracy in the Arab World? We pretend that only the people of Egypt are going to decide their destiny and their future, but we try to impose our will. Losing Egypt will in fact make us lose the entire Middle East. Is this what we try to accomplish?

Lately it was Netanyahu who was told what to do, and now Mubarak, whom the United States is trying to chase out of office without any consideration. I wonder if we had not inflamed the Egyptian young generation and this had lead to violence. Who will take the blame?

Copyright 2011 Emile Tubiana

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