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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Oman and RAK face problem while drilling well

By Agencies on Sunday, March 30 , 2008

RAK Petroleum and Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas are evaluating other drilling options for the Al Jariya-1 high impact exploration well, close to the border with Abu Dhabi, said RAK Petroleum.

RAK Petroleum, through its wholly owned subsidiary, RAK Petroleum Oman Limited, is operator of Block 31 in Oman, where it is drilling the Al Jariya-1 well, which is located at Jebel Hafit, close to Oman’s border with Abu Dhabi.

Chief Executive Officer Peter Sadler said: “While drilling at a depth of 5,131 metres, we encountered an area of high pressure and the well took an unexpected influx of water and gas.”
He said the resulting high pressure experienced at surface and the hole conduit well have severely complicated rigging operations.

“Proceeding in a steady, safe manner, we are intending to carry out surveys to ascertain the current status of the open section of hole and then formulate a plan to ensure that the zone is isolated in the well,” he added.

Sadler said RAK Petroleum has been examining the rock cuttings from the formation encountered close to the bottom of the hole, along with temperature information just prior to and during the well control incident.

“It is apparent that the formation encountered immediately prior to the well control incident is a limestone unit of Campanian age,” he noted, adding that the finding contrasts with the first reservoir objective, the Natih formation, which is a shelf carbonate of Cenomanian age, about seven million years older.”

The company said it estimated the Natih to be between 20 metres and 180 metres [with a best estimate of 50 metres] deeper than the deepest point currently reached.

According to the company, Shuaiba (Thamama) is anticipated to lie another 200 metres down and separated than the top of the Natih. The source of the formation fluids that flowed to surface is uncertain.

Temperature information is not conclusive but the fluids could originate from the limestone stringer encountered, or slightly deeper if a fault had been intersected.

In order to drill deeper than the current level, Sadler said the company will, at the least, have to abandon the existing section of open hole below 4,591 metres and sidetrack from inside the existing casing. RAK Petroleum is drawing up plans in conjunction with Omani Oil and Gas Ministry and Indago Petroleum Limited, which holds an approximate 50 per cent interest in Block 31. RAK Petroleum, holds the rest.
Last Update at 8:56 am on March 30, 2008,
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Friday, March 28, 2008

الطيران العماني يخطط لمضاعفة عدد مسافريه

قال الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة الطيران العماني ان الشركة تخطط لمضاعفة عدد مسافريها الى ثلاثة ملايين بحلول العام 2009 مقارنة مع العام الماضي بعد إضافة محطات جديدة بالشرق الأوسط وآسيا، وقال زياد الحرمي لرويترز على هامش مؤتمر صحفي "لدينا هدف للوصول الى ثلاثة ملايين مسافر في 2009"، وأضاف أن الشركة تعتزم تدشين رحلات الى دمشق وصنعاء ومدينتي كاليكوت وبنجالور بالهند بحلول يونيو حزيران، وتابع أن الناقلة تتوقع نقل 2.4 مليون شخص هذا العام مقارنة مع 1.5 مليون العام الماضي.
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Oman Shipping fleet expansion

Eric WatkinsSenior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 27 -- Oman's state-owned Oman Shipping Co. (OSC) plans to spend $4 billion in the next 3-4 years to expand its fleet as part of the country's latest effort to upgrade its oil industry.

OSC Chief Financial Officer Kuldeep Mathur said the expansion will facilitate exports of the country's crude and products in response to expected future demand.

The expansion planned by OSC, whose stakeholders are the Ministry of Finance and Oman Oil Co., is part of the sultanate's broader vision to upgrade shipping and chartering and enable it to depend less on leased vessels.

Oman, like other Persian Gulf states, also is trying to diversify its economy away from oil, which generates almost half its gross domestic product, because production is declining. An expanded fleet can transport Omani hydrocarbons or can be chartered out.

Part of OSCs multibillion dollar expansion includes a recent order to build 10 very large crude carriers, five with South Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. and five with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co.

OSC also is in discussions with the National Iranian Tanker Co. to secure a long-term charter contract for at least five of the supertankers.

International pressure and the implementation of broad-based sanctions on Iran, led by the US, have made it difficult for the Islamic Republic to access funding from financial institutions for the construction of VLCCs.

"Yes, we are discussing the option with [Iran], along with others, but we are not decided yet," Mathur said.

Last May, Japan's Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd. and OSC formed a 50-50 joint venture to build a 110,000 ton capacity products tanker that primarily will carry gasoline, diesel fuel, and jet fuel to China, Europe, and the US.

Sasebo Heavy Industries Co. will build the carrier at a cost of about ¥8 billion, and the Japanese firm also will begin operating it as early as 2009.

The agreement marks the fifth ship that Mitsui OSK and OSC will jointly own for hauling crude and petroleum products produced in Oman.

In June 2006 the two firms launched two companies (one for an LR2-type product tanker, another for an LPG carrier), while in June 2005 they started two others, one for a VLCC and another for an LR1-type product tanker.

Contact Eric Watkins at
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Thursday, March 27, 2008

'Mad Buffalo' cheese disease

Eric Reguly, today at 1:52 PM EDT

Italy has its own version of Mad Cow disease. It hasn't got a name yet, but you could call it Mad Buffalo disease. Buffalo milk, not cow's milk, is used to make Italy's finest mozzarella, the rubbery, and expensive, porcelain-white cheese used in pizza and lasagna. Some of the buffalo milk is contaminated with dioxin and sales of mozzarella are down between 30 and 50 per cent. Japan and South Korea this week banned mozzarella imports.

No one I know is buying buffalo mozzarella, most of which comes from the Campania region around garbage-clogged Naples. The Italians are furious. Not only is mozzarella a dietary staple, it is a symbol of Italy's glorious food culture. Shame on mozzarella translates into shame on Italy.
The Italians blame the Neapolitan Mafia, known as the Camorra, for the mozzarella crisis. They are probably right. The run-off from the Camorra's illegal toxic dumps in Campania has no doubt contaminated the land and the water in some parts of the region. Dioxins are a known carcinogenic (though there are many types of dioxin, ranging from the relatively benign to the outright deadly). Dozens of buffalo herds have been quarantined because of higher-than-normal dioxin levels have been found in the animals' milk. Italy has some 250,000 buffalo whose milk is devoted to mozzarella production.

This being Italy, it's extremely hard for consumers to judge the true health risks. Unbiased opinions are rare and spin is rife. The Italian government today essentially told everyone to relax. Agriculture minister Paulo De Castro slammed what he called “the negative campaign that risks having an important economic and social impact on all products from Campania.”

Note that the minister didn't go so far as to say all buffalo mozzarella is safe. Meanwhile the Italian Confederation of Farmers said the mozzarella panic is not justified because the contamination affects only a tiny portion of the mozzarella farms. But the European Commission is erring on the side of caution. On Tuesday it asked for assurances from the Italian health and food authorities that the mozzarella is safe. It wants an answer by tomorrow.

The tragedy of the mozzarella mess is that everyone saw it coming and almost nothing was done about it. It's been an open secret for years that the Camorra hass been dumping thousands of truck loads of toxic waste on farms (some of which they probably own), in rivers and in caves in Campania. Two years ago Italian author Roberto Saviano wrote a book, called “Gomorra,” about the Camorra's stranglehold on the Neapolitan economy. Several chapters were devoted to the toxic waste racket.

Mr. Saviano said the problem began in earnest in the 1990s, when the Camorra cleverly solved northern Italy's shortage of dumps and incinerator capacity by trucking the waste south and stuffing it into already-packed landfills and unlicensed sites. One cavern was found brimming with the equivalent of 28,000 truckloads of trash.

Because the Mob charges close to market rates to pick up the waste but dumps it for next to nothing, the profits are lavish. "We're talking about six billion euros in two years," Mr. Saviano said in an interview by email in February (he lives under police protection because of the mob death threats against him and rarely gives face-to-face interviews). "Farmlands bought at extremely low prices are transformed into illegal dumping grounds. Putting their own men into the local administration, the Camorra enters the waste business at all levels. … The type of garbage dumped includes everything: barrels of paint, printer toner, human skeletons, cloths used for cleaning cow udders, zinc, arsenic and the residue of industrial chemicals."

The authorities finally caught on in 2002, when the first of the "eco-Mafia" trials began. But the problem persists. In a 2006 study of 196 municipalities in the region, the World Health Organization found "significant excesses" — up to 12 per cent higher than the national average — for stomach, liver, kidney, lung and pancreatic cancer. In the town of Acerra, about 20 kilometres northeast of Naples, sheep are dying because of high levels of toxicity found in the land. Many thousands of buffalo have been slaughtered.

In spite of the effort by the mozzarella makers and the government to remove some of the fear factor, the truth is the dioxin contamination could be widespread in Campania, thanks to the toxic dumps. If so the mozzarella crisis will take months, perhaps years, go go away. Fancy pizza with cheddar instead؟

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Oman Aviation Services improves IT operations

WEBWIRE – Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Oman Aviation Services (OAS), the parent company of Oman Air, is to invest $4.2 million over four years in major IT improvements at Muscat International Airport, following 22% growth in passengers travelling on the national airline last year.
The investment programme agreed with SITA, the aviation IT specialist, will cover all essential airport operations including check-in, flight boarding and baggage management, and will benefit all airlines using the Gulf gateway. The move also follows the creation of a new corporate identity for the national airline as it transforms itself into a world-class competitor. Last year Oman Air carried over 1,500,000 passengers to and from Muscat.
The four-year program will be fully operational in three months when it will meet all passenger check-in and boarding needs while ensuring complete passenger-bag reconciliation at all times for all airlines using the Gulf gateway airport. Habib Bhacker Habib, Head of IT, Oman Aviation Services, said: “The Omani Aviation sector has undergone significant changes over the last few years at both the airport and airline level. SITA meets our needs today but it also has the industry expertise to provide us with cutting-edge IT solutions that will enable us to continue to deliver to high standards going into the future and to maximise use of shared infrastructure, for example through the SITA Airport Hub initiative which allows all airlines based here to reduce costs through the shared-use of communications systems.” SITA will both install and maintain AirportConnect Open, its latest generation IATA compliant common use passenger processing system that supports CUTE, dedicated, and web applications on the same common use workstations; SITA BagManager for baggage reconciliation; and PassengerHandler, a common software language facility designed for airline and handling agent staff to process passengers at the check-in counter more efficiently. Hani El Assaad, SITA’s Regional Vice-President, Middle East & Turkey, said: ‘”These solutions are designed to help optimize resources by reducing flight delays, increasing passenger satisfaction and lowering baggage-handling costs. We are extremely pleased to be working with OAS and we look forward to building a close on-going relationship.” SITA’s AirportConnect Open platform will operate on 30 workstations.
The common use check-in platform will enable every desk to be connected to each airline’s departure control system, helping to maximize the use of the airport’s resources. SITA currently manages some 30,000 CUTE workstations for 285 customers in more than 200 airport locations worldwide, checking-in an estimated 580 million passengers a year.
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القمة العربية في سوريا

زاهر بن حارث المحروقي

كاتب عماني


في أحد منتديات الحوار طرح موضوع غياب بعض القادة العرب عن حضور القمم العربية وكان السؤال المطروح هو لماذا لا يحضر جلالة السلطان المعظم القمم العربية ويكتفي فقط بحضور قمم مجلس التعاون ؟ وقد شاركت في هذا الحوار وأبديت رأيي في المسألة حسب فهمي ، لكن هناك من لم يتقنع بل كان هناك من يريد أن يقلل من شأن السلطنة . قلت في ذلك الحوار- ولعل البعض يذكره الآن - قلت إن السلطنة تساهم مساهمة فعالة في جامعة الدول العربية ولم تتخل عن دفع حصتها المقررة أبدا كما فعلت بعض الدول العربية الغنية ،وإن السلطنة ملتزمة بحضور القمم بأعلى تمثيل لها ولم تغب أبدا ، بل إن السلطنة حضرت قمة بغداد عام 1979 التي اتخذت قرار مقاطعة مصر ونقل جامعة الدول العربية من القاهرة إلى تونس ، رغم اعتراض السلطنة على ذلك ولم تقطع علاقتها مع مصر كما فعل الآخرون ، واللافت للنظر أن هناك من ساعد الرئيس السادات على اتصالاته مع اليهود ، فإذا هم كانوا أول من قاطع مصر ، وهذا يدل على استقلالية القرار العماني . وقلت للمتحاورين لقد حضر زعماؤكم القمم العربية السابقة فماذا فعلوا ؟ وهل استطاعوا أن يحلوا قضية العرب الأساسية وهي قضية فلسطين ؟ وعندما أخذ الحوار منحنى آخر قلت لهم إن جلالة السلطان المعظم حضر القمة العربية في الجزائر عام 1973 وكان ذلك أول ظهور عربي له ، وقد استمع في تلك القمة إلى الكثير من الكلمات الأقرب إلى الإنشاء فقط ، وعندما جاء دوره للكلام – كما روى هو نفسه لسليم اللوزي رئيس تحرير مجلة الحوادث الراحل – سأل أشقاءه من القادة العرب : هل بإمكانكم محاربة إسرائيل ؟ قالوا لا ، فسألهم هل لديكم خطة بديلة عن الحرب قالوا لا فقال لهم إذن أنتم تضيعون وقتكم ووقت شعوبكم سدى. لقد قرأت هذا الكلام منذ سنوات طويلة وقد علق في ذهني واسترجعته عندما كنت أكتب في منتديات الحوار بعد أن تأكدت من سلامة ذلك القول ، فالعرب لا هم قادرون على الحرب ضد إسرائيل ولا هم يملكون البديل عن ذلك ، بمعنى أنهم فشلوا في الحرب كما فشلوا في السلام ، وغاية ما وصلوا إليه هو الاستسلام .


إن الشعوب العربية أصبحت لا تتفاعل مع القمم العربية ولا مع قراراتها ولا تكلف نفسها عناء المتابعة لأنها فقدت الثقة في هذه القمم ولم تعد تعطيها حتى القدر القليل من الاهتمام وهي – أي الشعوب - في رأيي المتواضع معذورة في ذلك ، لأن ما شاهده المواطنون العرب عن القمم السابقة وصل إلى حد الندرة أو النكتة . فعلاوة على أن القمم لا تخرج بأي نتائج ، انتشر شريط فيديو طول الوطن العربي وعرضه شاهد فيه المواطنون العرب كيف تضارب بعض القادة بالصحون ، و شاهدوا في بعض القمم عاهلا عربيا يتهم الآخر ويسأله من جابك إلى الحكم ؟ كما شاهدوا آخرا يلعن شوارب الآخر على الهواء مباشرة ، وواحدا يقول لآخر الكذب (باين)من عيونك ، فكيف يمكن أن يكون شعور الشعوب وموقفهم ؟ وهذا يذكرني بموقف حدث لابني محمد عندما شارك في مركز صيفي فإذا أحد المدرسين يضحك على مدرس آخر لأن النادي الرياضي الذي يشجعه الأول فاز على النادي الذي يشجعه الثاني ، فإذا بالمدرس الثاني يضرب الأول أمام مرآى الصغار ، فعاد ابني وليس له حديث لمدة أسبوع أو أكثر إلا هذا الموضوع الذي شغله كثيرا ، ويحكي لنا الموقف بطريقة تمثيلية لأن ذلك كان غريبا على منطقه ، وهو فعلا غريب لأنه تصرف يصدر ممن يفترض فيه القدوة . بعد حديثي ذلك في المنتدى الحواري حدث شيئان لهما دلالة أيضا ، الشيء الأول هو أن يقوم رئيس دولة عربية بقراءة البيان الختامي قبل انعقاد القمة العربية على الهواء مباشرة عبر قناة الجزيرة ، مما أدى إلى إحراق القمة قبل انعقادها ، ومما أدى إلى التساؤل ، هل هذه هي القمم العربية ، وهل هذه هي الآلية التي تدار بها شؤون الأمة ، وهل هؤلاء هم الموكلون باتخاذ قرارات الحرب والسلم ؟! أما الشيء الثاني هو قمة بيروت العربية عام 2002 والتي تم فيها نقل جميع وقائعها على الهواء مباشرة ، وكأننا كنا نتابع ندوة ، مما أدى إلى مزيد من علامات الاستفهام والتساؤل !! وبذلك قد وفر منظمو المؤتمر للإسرائيليين عناء التجسس ، وهم الذين سبق لهم وأن حضروا بعض القمم العربية بآلاتهم وتسجيلاتهم ، هذا إذا استثنينا حضور أفرادهم متمثلين في عملاء رسميين ، والموضوع منشور في مجلة وجهات نظر بالتفصيل ، وقد صدر بعد ذلك في كتاب تحت عنوان ( كلام في السياسة ) للأستاذ محمد حسنين هيكل .


مع نهاية هذا الشهر تستضيف سوريا القمة العربية رقم 20 ، وقد شهدت هذه القمة شدا وجذبا حول انعقادها أو عدمه وحول حضور القادة أو غيابهم ، وقد كان العرب فيما مضى يتفقون على أن لا يتفقوا والآن أصبحوا حتى هذا الاتفاق لا يستطيعون إليه سبيلا ، كانت القمم تعقد ولا يتم الاتفاق على شيء والآن الاتفاق على عقد القمة نفسه أصبح مشكلة . لا يخفى ما تتعرض له سوريا الآن من تهديدات ومخاطر ، فهناك الآن حملة مكثفة ضد سوريا تخطت مجرد التهديد إلى الفعل حيث أضافت الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية عددا من العقوبات المالية الجديدة على سوريا , وفرضت تفتيش كل السفن الخارجة من المياه الإقليمية السورية بل وقامت بإرسال سفنها الحربية قبالة الساحل اللبناني كبادرة تم تفسيرها أنها تستهدف الحكومة السورية مباشرة ،وأدرجت وزارة الخارجية الأمريكية سوريا ضمن لائحتها السوداء لأسوأ منتهكي حقوق الإنسان بدلا من الصين ، وجمدت أمريكا ودائع أربعة من المواطنين السوريين ، كل ذلك بسبب ذريعة الدور الذي تقوم به سوريا في لبنان وتأييدها المطلق لحزب الله وللمقاومة الفلسطينية ، ولعلاقاتها الجيدة مع إيران ، بل ولعدم استسلامها لإسرائيل وتوقيع معاهدة سلام معها ، وتتهم أمريكا سوريا بالتطرف والإرهاب وإقامة محور مع إيران وتمارس الضغوط في كل الاتجاهات لمحاصرة سوريا إقليميا وعربيا ودوليا ، فعلى العرب أن ينتبهوا إلى ذلك ، لأن أمريكا ستكون الرابح الأكبر إذا ما تحقق هدف عرقلة القمة العربية المقبلة أو حتى إذا انخفض مستوى التمثيل فيها وخرجت بقرارات هزيلة مثل سابقاتها ، وقد دعت أمريكا علنا بالتريث قبل حضور القمة وهي دعوة تعني عدم المشاركة فيها ، وبكل أسف نقول إن العرب لم يعد لديهم القدرة على تحديد موقف معين حتى يعرفوا أن هذا الموقف يرضي أمريكا أولا . هناك مخطط معلن يهدف إلى عزل سوريا سياسيا واقتصاديا حتى ترضخ للمطالب الأمريكية والإسرائيلية ، وبالتأكيد هذا العزل لا يتوافق مع أي نجاح قد تحققه سوريا في القمة العربية المقبلة لذا كان لا بد من تقزيم القمة وتقزيم الدور السوري . إن أمريكا تحمّل سوريا مسؤولية أزمة الرئاسة اللبنانية ، وقد تساءل الأستاذ محمود بكري في جريدة الأسبوع المصرية أين كان الذين يتحدثون عن شرط انتخاب الرئيس اللبناني لحضور القمة أين كانوا يوم منعت إسرائيل الرئيس ياسر عرفات من المشاركة في قمة بيروت والذي كان محاصرا في مقاطعته في رام الله بعد أن رفضت إسرائيل مشاركته في القمة ؟ وتساءل لماذا تنعقد القمم العربية في ظل غياب الرئيس الصومالي منذ فترة طويلة نظرا لأوضاع بلاده المهترئة ؟ يقول الأستاذ محمود بكري في جريدة الأسبوع المصرية عدد 1/3/2008 إن سوريا أيدت كل المواقف التي تبعث على الاستقرار في لبنان وبذلت ما تستطيع من جهد وسحبت قواتها من لبنان ورفعت يدها عنه رغم أن لبنان يرتبط ارتباطا مباشرا وجذريا بالأمن السوري ، وبالرغم من ذلك لا تزال أمريكا - ومعها بعض العرب - تمارس ما تستطيع من ضغوط ، والعنوان العريض لكل ضغوطها هو ( تركيع سوريا ). إن النظام الرسمي العربي في هذه القمة عليه أن يتخذ قرارات حاسمة ، لأن الشعوب العربية تريد أن تعرف رأسها من رجلها ، وهذا من أبسط حقوقها ، فهل من العدل أن تتهم سوريا برعاية الإرهاب والولايات المتحدة الأمريكية تعيث فسادا في العراق وأفغانستان ؟ وهل يمكن أن تتهم سوريا برعاية الإرهاب وإسرائيل تتصرف في الفلسطينيين كما تشاء وكيف تشاء ؟ وبعد ذلك نسمع من يقول إن السلام هو خيار إستراتيجي ؟! وهل العالم لا يعرف الآن أن يفرق بين المقاومة المشروعة وبين الإرهاب الغير مشروع ؟ وهل المطلوب من سوريا أن تستسلم وتتسلم الجولان ، مقابل تخليها عن دعم المقاومة المشروعة ؟ إننا نتمنى بالفعل أن تكون هذه القمة قمة مختلفة وتخرج بقرارات تخدم مصلحة الأمة وتبتعد عن الشعارات الزائفة التي مل منها المواطن العربي ، والمسؤولية تقع على الجميع لا على سوريا وحدها .


يقول الحسن البصري لو كان لي دعوة مستجابة عند الله لوهبتها للحكام ، لأن في صلاح الحاكم صلاح وخير كثير يعود إلى الرعية ، ونحن ندعو الله أن يوفق القادة العرب لما يحبه ويرضاه ، وأن يرزقهم البطانة الصالحة التي تعينهم على الخير وأن يريهم الحق حقا ويرزقهم اتباعه ، وأن يريهم الباطل باطلا ويرزقهم اجتنابه ، وأن ينصر بهم الحق ، وينصر الحق بهم ، وأن يرقق قلوبهم لشعوبهم وللفلسطينيين وأن يضع نصب أعينهم مصالح شعوبهم ، وأن يعينهم في قمتهم المقبلة ، إنه ولي ذلك والقادر عليه .

منقولة من جريدة الشبيبة العمانية 25 مارس 2008م

Monday, March 17, 2008

United Arab Emirates and Oman boycott Danish products

Dubai (PTI): Supermarkets in the UAE and Oman have stopped selling Danish products to protest against the new publication in Denmark of a controversial newspaper cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed.

In the UAE, the Union Co-operative Society in Dubai has withdrawn all Danish products from its shelves as a mark of protest against the resurfacing of the blasphemous cartoon controversy, representatives of the various branches of the Society in the emirate said Monday.

The recent republication of the 2005 offensive cartoons by several Danish newspapers has sparked a series of protests and anger among Muslims around the world.
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Thursday, March 6, 2008

A second fixed line telecom and a third mobile phone licenses in Oman

As part of opening up its telecommunications sector, Oman has invited applications for a second fixed-line telecom license and a third mobile phone license, Reuters has reported. Telecom companies have time till April 1, 2008 to apply.
The Oman Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has said: "The TRA invites telecom companies to submit proposals to set up mobile and fixed-line telephone services in Oman that will lead to a license as operators."
The fixed-line market in Oman so far had a single player in Omantel, which lost its mobile phone monopoly in 2005 with the advent of Nawras.
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The Gaza Carnage

By Mohammed Said al Mahruqy
Omani Writer

I don’t know how much television coverage of the carnage that is taking place in Gaza now is seen in USA. The Israelis are behaving, like unruly devils, killing indiscriminately and in the most brutal and inhuman manner. Their behavior is very much comparable to that of Nazi Germany, regardless of what western politicians think or want to believe. It is inhuman, atrocious, diabolical and completely unacceptable to any human being except for sadists, the mentally retarded or those who suffer from extreme compassion deficiency!

Can anyone imagine that we still have people, in today's world, who think that “A thousand non-Jewish lives are not worth a Jew’s fingernail” Dov Lior, a Jewish Rabbi is one of many Israelis who think so:

Seumas Milne, The Guardian’s columnist, in his article ‘To blame the victims for this killing spree defies both morality and sense’ dated 5th March 2008, writes:

The attempt by western politicians and media to present this week's carnage in the Gaza Strip as a legitimate act of Israeli self-defence - or at best the latest phase of a wearisome conflict between two somehow equivalent sides - has reached Alice-in-Wonderland proportions.

Even animals would feel for the suffering of the children of Gaza. The state of western government’s denial is incomprehensible and absolutely reprehensible!

My heart bleeds and my eyes tear when I see a helicopter, an F16 or a tank attacking civilian buildings in the most densely populated piece of land in the world. Yesterday, a Palestinian was pleading for permission to bury their dead. He said that the world community is propagating the motto of “decent life for human beings” but they (Palestinians) are being denied even the right to a decent burial of their dead! What a pity! And shame on the so called civilized world!

Western politicians, 60 year after World War Two, are still mourning the Holocaust, but are conveniently forgetting the 60 years of continuous Palestinian suffering and abandoning this dispossessed and oppressed people whose plight intensifies by the day. Seumas Milne of UK’s Guardian writes “the US and Europe's response is to blame the principal victims for a crisis it has underwritten at every stage.” He also adds that:

BBC presenters have insisted that Palestinian rockets have been the 'starting point' of the violence, as if the occupation itself did not exist. In the West Bank, from which no rockets are currently fired and where the US-backed administration of Mahmoud Abbas maintains a ceasefire, there have been 480 Israeli military attacks over the past three months and 26 Palestinians killed. By contrast, the rockets from Gaza which are supposed to be the justification for the latest Israeli onslaught have killed a total of 14 people over seven years.

How unjust and cruel.

What is happening in Gaza, with the blessings and total support of USA and its allies as was evident at the Security Council:, invites nothing but more hatred towards the USA.
This is a strategic blunder since a new generation of hardliners is being created across the Muslim world as a result of this totally biased stand. Demonstrations are taking place in the Arab world and those who are demonstrating, from Mauritania to the Gulf, are not old people; they are not vegetable vendors or fishermen; they are university students who are bound to be the leaders of tomorrow’s Arab world!

It boggles my mind when the US asks why they hate us! When a single Israeli soul is lost, the whole western political machine and a large segment of the media mourn and condemn, but when a Palestinian or Lebanese child is killed the excuse is always that Israel has the right to defend itself or that the killing is accidental which is normal in times war. The support is unquestionable and unequivocal. Security Council Draft Resolutions condemning Israel are all the time vetoed by USA because it is alleged that they are “unbalanced”. The fundamental question that is never asked is “who stole whose land?” And “who occupies whose land?” The maps below speak for themselves.

Since 1948 the Middle East has seen nothing but bloodshed and violence as Israel and its neoconservative henchmen keep on inventing wars for the region – Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan; and new ones are currently being brewed against Lebanon, Iran and Syria.

In US elections each and every candidate has a different agenda for almost every issue except one subject which unites them all – Israel!

Would this acceptable if it involved any other racial or religious minority? But, this is USA’s prerogative and had it not been for Israel’s constant rampaging in the Middle East no one would care.

However, the almost blind support that Israel gets, regardless of its actions, is what inflames the people of the Middle East and the Islamic world. I think the time to rein in the Israelis is long overdue.

It must be bourn in mind that when Israel is mentioned it does not mean all Jews. There are respectable Jews who one would bow his head to with respect. These include gentlemen like Uri Avnery, Ilan Pappe and Norman Finkelstein

I pray and hope sense and justice prevail.

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