April 26, 2004 Special Dispatch No. 701

Editor of Kuwaiti Dailies Ahmad Al-Jarallah's Recent Editorials on the Middle East

April 26, 2004
Kuwait, The Gulf | Special Dispatch No. 701

Ahmad Al-Jarallah, editor of the Kuwaiti dailies Al-Siyassah and Arab Times, has in the past written articles opposing Muslim extremism and praising the U.S. as a positive force in the Middle East. [1] Recently, he wrote a series of articles critical of the Arab League and of Muslim extremists, including domestic Kuwaiti extremists as well as Iranian and Syrian elements which are seeking to undermine the American reconstruction efforts in Iraq.

Arab League Secretary General is Just ' a Highly Placed Employee Getting a Fat Salary'

On March 30, 2004 Ahmad Al-Jarallah published an article critical of the Arab League and its secretary-general, Amr Moussa:

"The problem with Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa is that he thinks too much of himself. He sees himself as the chief of all Arab heads of state and at times considers himself to be the Secretary-General of the UN. There must be something wrong with his psychological personality that makes him act as if he is equal to Arab leaders. This has forced some countries to put him in his place by gently reminding him that he is merely an employee of the Arab League - nothing more, nothing less.

"Given his attitude problems, it was but natural he got angry when Tunis decided to postpone the Arab Summit. His warnings on ominous consequences for the unity of Arabs - and for his job - are byproducts of his anger. His apparent fear for the future of the Arab League is nothing more than the fear that he may lose his job. Otherwise, he has no right to object [to] the decision of Tunis, for by any stretch of imagination he can not be considered the leader of any Arab country…

"The stance of Arabs on the U.S. is neither pragmatic nor wise. They are still living in the Sixties when they threatened to throw Israel into the sea. Moussa is a clone of this breed. The only difference is he is a highly placed employee getting a fat salary. While Moussa doesn't have the fortitude to stand before the media and explain the stand of each Arab country, we differ from him. We admit to our weaknesses. We admit the Arabs have all their priorities wrong and that political issues are overshadowing important economic issues.

"We can be optimistic about the Arab League only when it sets it priorities right and when economic issues are given top priority by Arab regimes. Let the Arab leaders acknowledge the failure of the Arab League which has been destroyed by pointless disputes and the blame games played by its members." [2]

'Syria Should Not Underestimate the Might of the United States'

In an April 20, 2004 article, Al-Jarallah denounced the activities of Iraq's neighbors opposing the U.S. reconstruction effort in Iraq:

"… Despite the toppling of the former Iraqi regime, some of its neighbors are refusing to see the light. They consider the establishment of a free and modern Iraq as a threat and continue to fuel emotions among people to resist the coalition forces. In the name of Jihad these countries have opened their borders so that terrorists can infiltrate into Iraq in the hope they will kick out the United States, just as the Soviets were driven out of Afghanistan.

"The United States, European countries, and wise Arab leaders have advised Syria against the futility of this exercise, but to no avail. All their warnings are falling on the deaf ears of a regime which is unable to reform and move forward. The former Iraqi regime was also stagnant and resisting change. It paid the price by being removed by other countries. Syrian persistence with infiltration operations [into Iraq] will be construed as a declaration of war against the coalition forces. Chairman of U.S. Joint Chiefs-of-Staff General Richard Myers has warned Syria against such operations which could expose Syrians to war and killing as in Iraq.

"Syria's efforts to challenge the U.S. will be of no use, for no other country will support it. The international community is busy seeking stability and security in the Middle East. They are not looking for more problems. Syria should not underestimate the might of the United States and other major powers. It must not lead Syrians into sanctions, boycott, and isolation. Does the Syrian regime really think it can challenge all the powers alone? Syria is declaring war against the coalition forces not knowing the disastrous outcome of this madcap policy. We don't want our Syrian brothers to land in trouble because of the mistakes of this [Syrian] regime.

"The only right thing for the Syrian regime to do would be to abide by international demands. It must change, even if the change is at the cost of its own existence. We know it would be hard for the regime to take this advice. But it should do so in the interest of its people. After all, we don't want the Baghdad nightmare in Damascus." [3]

The Kuwaiti Government Must Stand Against Muslim Extremists

In an April 15, 2004 article, Ahmad Al-Jarallah took to task Kuwaiti Muslim extremists, and called on the government to aggressively oppose them:

"We should not be deceived by radicals who are planning to mold Kuwaiti society according to their beliefs. The Salaf movement of Kuwait - whose members think they constitute the majority in Kuwait - has recently expressed its support for Muqtada Al-Sadr and his so-called 'Al-Mahdi Army' in Najaf, Karbala, and Nassiriya. They even demanded the government sever Kuwait's diplomatic ties with Washington. Ironically, one of the leaders was at a loss for words when a TV reporter asked him, 'What will you do if the government ignores your demand? Are you planning to go any further than making demands?'

"One doesn't really know what the Salafists want. Do they want Saddam back in the saddle in Iraq? Do they want more mass graves and Kuwaiti martyrs buried in unknown graves?

"The Salaf movement reminds us of some Islamists who during the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait, demanded the formation of an Arab Islamic Army to take over the country after the Iraqi army pulled out. They were hoping to gain control of Kuwait. At that time they tried to exploit the occupation. Now they are planning to declare Fallujah the capital of 'Jihad' using the current circumstances in Iraq as an excuse.

"It is clear they want to prevent the establishment of a new Iraq. What is happening now in Iraq is due to the interference in its internal affairs by its neighbors who are sending terrorists to Fallujah to destabilize Iraq. Add to this is the newly-formed Al-Mahdi Army, headed by Muqtada Al-Sadr, which reportedly comprises of remnants of the former regime.

"The question is, who is supporting this army? And why do the Salafists want to blame the country which liberated Iraq from the hold of a sadist dictator? If some countries want to reap the benefits of the liberation of Iraq, they shouldn't do so at Kuwait's expense. These countries shouldn't use Salafists - who have appointed themselves representatives of Kuwait - to weaken the security of the country. If we look around the globe we can see terrorists attacking Saudi Arabia and Spain, threatening Britain and Germany, spreading death and mayhem all over the world. Who is funding and supporting these terrorist operations?

"We don't want local agents of these operations to bring any of it to our door steps. We are not against the Iraqi people. We are only against terrorists who are aiming to snuff out the lives of Iraqis and destabilize Iraq.

"Kuwait's democracy protects the rights of citizens to freely express their opinion. The Salafists - who are nothing more than a minuscule component of Kuwait society - don't represent [Kuwait] or Kuwait's policies. They only see an opportunity to put the government under pressure.

"But the government should not succumb to such pressure tactics. It should use the might of the legal apparatus to stamp out such undesirable demands to give citizens a sense of security and protection… We don't want any Emirate of Jihad and most certainly we don't want the Al-Mahdi Army to march on our streets. These are the demands of citizens and the government must act accordingly." [4]

[1] See Assassination Attempt on Editor of Kuwaiti Dailies – Allegations of Syrian Involvement, December 18, 2003, 'Assassination Attempt on Editor of Kuwaiti Dailies-Allegations of Syrian Involvement;' Editor of Kuwaiti Daily: 'The U.S. is not going to Quit… It will Convert Poles of Jihadi Flags into Arrows to Pierce the Hearts of Terrorists', December 10, 2003, "Editor of Kuwaiti Daily: 'The U.S is Not Going to Quit… It will Convert Poles of Jihadi Flags into Arrows to Pierce the Hearts of Terrorists;'" Editor of Kuwaiti Daily: Syria's Secret Service is Behind the 'Iraqi Resistance', December 5, 2003, 'Editor of Kuwaiti Daily: Syria's Secret Service is Behind the Iraqi Resistance;' Editor of the Kuwaiti Daily Al-Siyassa: The New Iraq Will Be 'the Beacon of Freedom, Democracy, and Respect to Human Rights in the Middle East', November 10, 2003, "Editor of Kuwaiti Daily Al-Siyassa: The New Iraq will be 'the Beacon of Freedom, Democracy and Respect to Human Rights in the Middle East;" Kuwaiti Paper Criticizes Syria: Assad's Regime More Criminal than Saddam's Regime, April 22, 2003, 'Kuwaiti Paper Criticizes Syria: Assad's Regime More Criminal than Saddam's Regime.'

[2] Arab Times (Kuwait), March 30, 2004.

[3] Arab Times (Kuwait), April 20, 2004.

[4] Arab Times (Kuwait), April 15, 2004.

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