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Extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of
generosity on their part.
Second Letter to the Corinthians 08/01-09/: "We want you to know, brothers
and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of
Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and
their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their
part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means,
and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of
sharing in this ministry to the saints and this, not merely as we expected;
they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, so
that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he
should also complete this generous undertaking among you. Now as you excel
in everything in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in
our love for you so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.
I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your
love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our
Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became
poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich."
Latest LCCC Bulletin analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources
published on April 09-10/18
Now is the time to hit Assad hard,
not withdraw/Faisal J. Abbas/Arab News/April 09/18
Iran’s sophisticated interventions in Bahrain/Dr. Majid Rafizadeh/Arab
Egyptian economy torn between thinkers and doers/Mohammed Nosseir/Arab
Time to curb the ‘devil of Damascus’/Siraj Wahab/Arab News/April 09/18
Europe's Civilizational Exhaustion/Giulio Meotti/Gatestone Institute/April
Iran's Nobel Laureate is Done with Reform. She Wants Regime Change/Eli
Save Your Grandchildren, Don’t Avenge Your Ancestors/Ghassan Charbel/Asharq
Al Awsat/April 09/18
Spies Tracking Our Phones? Don't Be So Shocked/Stephen Carter/Bloomberg
View/April 09, 2018/
Titles For Latest LCCC Lebanese Related News published on April 09-10/18
Aoun Says Relations with Saudi Arabia
Back to Normal
Report: CEDRE Auditor Says Lebanon Troubled with 'Corruption'
Army Says Israeli Warplanes Breach Lebanese Airspace
3 Days of Israeli Overflights Spark Concern in Akkar, Baalbek-Hermel
Israel Resumes Cement Wall Construction along Lebanon Border
Salameh: Keserwan Will Not Provide
Cover for Your Illegitimate Arms
Hariri: Certain electoral lists in Beirut carry the motto of Martyr Hariri
with the aim of dispersing votes in favor of Hezbollah
Saudi Culture Minister announces his country's participation in Cannes Film
Khalifeh presides over Liver and Pancreas Diseases Conference
Intensive enemy flights over Nabatieh, Iqlim alTuffah
Geagea calls on Security Council to end war in Syria
Berri, Steininger meet in Ein Tineh
Titles For Latest
LCCC Bulletin For Miscellaneous Reports And News published on April 09-10/18
France Says Did Not Bomb Syrian Air
Trump Says 'Major Decisions' Coming on Syria in '24-48 Hours'
U.S. Asks U.N. Council to Set Up New Syria Chemical Attacks Probe
'I Don't Rule Anything Out', Says Mattis on Syria Military Action
Iran's Rouhani Says US 'Will Regret It' If It Violates Nuke Deal
Syria Accuses Israel of Striking Military Airport
Iranians Reportedly Among 14 Dead in Syria Missile Strike, Israel Blamed
OPCW Probes Douma Chemical Attack as West Works on Response
Canada condemns reported chemical attack in eastern Ghouta
Russian military: Israeli war planes carried out Syria strikes
UK urges ‘strong’ response to alleged Syria chemical attack
Moscow says will support companies hit by new US sanctions: agencies
Saudi crown prince meets French PM in Paris
Students, Teachers Rush Back to Class in Deir Ezzor
Iranian Rial in a Downward Spiral as Fear Rises on Return of Sanctions
Israel Strikes Gaza as ICC Says War Crimes May be Prosecuted
Egyptian Army Says it Killed 4 Takfiris in Sinai
Leading Muslim Brotherhood Figure Becomes Head of Libya’s HCS
Lebanese Related News published
on April 09-10/18
Aoun Says Relations
with Saudi Arabia Back to Normal
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat/Monday, 9 April, 2018/Lebanese President Michel
Aoun has stressed that relations with Saudi Arabia were back to normal,
saying the funds and loans secured by Lebanon at the CEDRE conference held
in Paris last week will help the country’s economy. In a meeting with
journalists from several French news outlets on Sunday, Aoun said that the
Saudi contribution at the CEDRE conference is a sign of rapprochement
between the two countries. “We now have bigger confidence in relations with
Saudi Arabia because they are back to normal,” the president told the
reporters at Baabda Palace. Asked about promises made by Lebanon to carry
out reforms, he said the country can overcome some difficulties in the
implementation of projects. “As for fighting corruption, it is much more
difficult because it spans several sectors,” Aoun stated. “Some influential
figures continue to protect corrupt individuals. So at first those involved
in corruption should be held accountable.”International donors pledged on
Friday more than $11 billion in low-interest loans and aid for Lebanon at
the Paris conference. Lebanon for its part promised a string of reforms
including tougher measures to fight corruption. The conference was
aimed at giving Lebanon a boost as it prepares for its first general
elections in almost a decade in May. Aoun stressed that the parliament would
witness changes during next month’s elections because the new electoral law
allows both the minority and the majority to be represented. Asked about
repeated calls made by Lebanese officials for the return of Syrian refugees
to their home country, the president said that the displaced can go back to
Syria after military confrontations have been limited to small pockets.
“Bashar Assad is currently the president of his country,” Aoun said. “We
must engage with the existing government - we have no other option,” he
stated, responding to a question about Assad’s political future.
Report: CEDRE Auditor
Says Lebanon Troubled with 'Corruption'
Naharnet/April 09/18/An official French auditor of the Paris I, II and III
conferences on Lebanon, who also took part in the latest CEDRE conference,
said Lebanon is plagued with “unprecedented corruption” describing its
public debt as a “cancerous situation,” the Kuwaiti al-Anbaa daily reported
on Monday. The daily quoted the auditor, whose remarks were leaked, who said
the preparatory committee for CEDRE Conference asked him, as a
representative of the IMF, to give it his trust. But he replied saying “I
find it difficult to give you the blind trust, noting that this is the first
time in French history that the French government is setting up an
international donation platform a few days before the general elections in
the recipient country.”“There is unprecedented corruption in Lebanon,” he
Since 1999, France has provided “in vain” the Lebanese government with the
necessary recommendations to reduce public debt compared to other countries.
“No better description of this situation than a cancerous situation,” the
observer noted. “I worked in Tanzania, Botswana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast, as
well as in 25 other African countries, and found that the only country close
to Lebanon was Botswana, and to a lesser extent Zimbabwe, despite the
intellectual and cultural capabilities in Lebanon today,” he stated.
Army Says Israeli Warplanes Breach Lebanese Airspace
Naharnet/April 09/18/The Army Command-Orientation Directorate said on Monday
that four Israeli warplanes have breached Lebanon's airspace.
According to the army’s statement, the warplanes violated the Lebanese
airspace at 3:25 a.m. flying over the sea to the west of Jounieh, adding
that they had flown east over the city of Baalbek and then left the
country’s airspace at 3:35 a.m.
Syrian state media had said that a number of missiles have struck Monday at
dawn the Tayfur airport base in the central province of Homs killing and
wounding several. Lebanon’s airspace and territorial waters have been
constantly breached by Israeli enemy.
3 Days of Israeli Overflights Spark Concern in Akkar,
Naharnet/April 09/18/Israeli spy drones overflew the Akkar and Baalbek-Hermel
provinces for a third consecutive day on Sunday, sparking concerns among
residents, the National News Agency said. “For three days now, Israeli
reconnaissance drones have been flying round-the-clock at medium altitude
over the overlapping mountainous regions between the Akkar and Baalbek-Hermel
provinces,” NNA said.
“The ceaseless hovering sounds are irritating the residents of the
mountainous villages and towns,” the agency added. Defense Minister Yaacoub
Sarraf, who hails from Akkar, meanwhile strongly condemned what he called
“Israel's blatant insolence represented in its continuous violation of all
international conventions.”Israel “is seeking to sabotage security and
stability in Lebanon through all means,” Sarraf warned. He said the Israeli
overflights are “condemned and rejected,” holding the Israeli government
responsible for “any hostile act it may commit against any Lebanese
region.”The minister also called on the international community to “stand by
Lebanon to rein in the Israeli arrogance,” cautioning that Israel's actions
“contradict with and threaten all international efforts to protect this
stability” in Lebanon.
Israel Resumes Cement Wall Construction along Lebanon Border
Naharnet/April 09/18/Israel has resumed the construction of a controversial
cement separation wall between Lebanon's southern border and occupied
Palestine amid tight Lebanese and Israeli security measures, the National
News Agency reported Monday. NNA said the construction was taking place on
“non-conflict” border zones near Kfarkila-Oudaish highway in Marjayoun. On
Sunday, Israel had placed 24 cement blocks, each 6m long and 1.2m wide. It
stopped building works in the afternoon before resuming it Monday. New
threats emerged between Lebanon and Israel over several issues, including
the wall the Jewish state is building along the border that Beirut says may
jut into Lebanese territories, as well as plans for oil and gas exploration
in the Mediterranean.
Salameh: Keserwan Will Not Provide Cover for Your Illegitimate Arms
Kataeb.org/ Monday 09th April 2018/Members of the "Decision Is Ours" list,
which is backed by the Kataeb party in the Keserwan-Jbeil district, on
Monday put forth their programs and aspirations, as they urged change in the
upcoming parliamentary polls. The slate line-up includes the Kataeb's
candidate Chaker Salameh, former Minister Farid Haykal Khazen, Yolande
Khoury, as well as MPs Gilberte Zouein and Youssef Khalil who are all
running for the Maronite seats in Keserwan. In Jbeil, former MP Fares Souaid
and Jean Hawwat are running for the Maronite seats, whereas Mustapha Al-Husseini
is the list's candidate for the Shiite seat. Kataeb's candidate in Keserwan
Chaker Salameh said that the "Decision Is Ours" list is sending a stern
message to all the strangers who use the Maronites' stronghold to enter
politics, adding that Keserwan does not deserve to be a waste dump. "Keserwan
will not provide a cover for your illegitimate arms. Those who couldn't
infiltrate into this area throughout history, will not be allowed to do so
today," he affirmed.
“Our electoral battle has become all about ethics as we are standing against
partitioning and shady deals being sealed at the expense of Keserwan,”
Salameh asserted. “We are standing in the face of those who abused our trust
and failed to honor their pledges.”“Let's work hand in hand so that we would
become the majority and let them stand alone. Be the pulse of revolution and
change,” Salameh addressed voters. Former Minister Farid Haykal Khazen
stressed that the dignity of the voters in Keserwan and Jbeil cannot be
bought by anyone, saying that it is time to make the change that all the
Lebanese are aspiring for. “After 9 years, we can firmly say that today we
have a chance to renew the political class by holding to account those who
failed to assume their responsibilities and assign the task to those who
stood by the people and shared their concerns,” Khazen said.
“There's a chance to clean our area from pollution, improve roads, boost
development, as well as to protect workers, farmers, students and teachers.
There is a chance to solve traffic congestion ordeal after so many promises
had been reneged on over the past 13 years."
“This is the list of honorable people who have stood by your side when the
state abandoned you,” he said. “You hold the decision against those who
confiscated your choice. You hold the decision against corruption, shady
deals, and unjust enrichment," Khazen stressed. “The decision will be ours
once you decide to build a country of civilization and accountability,
rather than a state of brokers and partitioning; a reformist state, not one
where we vainly speak about reforms."
Veteran TV presenter and journalist Yolande Khoury blasted those responsible
for plundering Lebanon and turning it into a country that is on the verge of
bankruptcy and collapse, deploring the outrageous level of corruption
plaguing the state institutions as the public debt is reaching an alarming
“I am not running for the polls so as to achieve personal gains or reach
more fame, but to stand in the face of those who impoverished this country
and its people," she stressed. MP Gilberte Zouein pledged to work on
building the state where justice would prevail, vowing to defend the rights
of women and children as well as to establish developmental projects in
Keserwan. “The law cannot be enforced without an independent judicial
authority. It is time to focus all efforts on that matter in order to make a
real change,” Zouein said. MP Youssef Khalil, who is also running for
another term, couldn't attend the event because he had undergone a surgery.
Former MP Fares Souaid outlined the guidelines agreed on by all the list's
candidates, stressing full commitment to the Constitution and unwavering
determination to enforce the state’s sovereignty on all the Lebanese
territory by according a full power to the army and security forces only.
The candidates also agreed on the need to adopt administrative
decentralization, as well as to fight corruption and squandering in defense
of the citizens' rights.
The second candidate for the Maronite seat in Jbeil, Jean Hawwat, called for
building a civil state that fully abides by the Constitution, adding that
politicians must all remain in the service of the citizens. “We have the
required knowledge, experience, wisdom and determination to move forward,
improve and protect this country and its values,” Hawwat affirmed.For his
part, the candidate for the Shiite seat in Jbeil, Mustapha Al-Husseini, said
that it is time to draw an end to the rift and discord that the district's
representatives had sown among people, adding that parliamentary seats are
intended to fortify coexistence, not dashing it.
Hariri: Certain electoral lists in Beirut carry the
motto of Martyr Hariri with the aim of dispersing votes in favor of
Mon 09 Apr 2018/NNA - Prime Minister Saad Hariri indicated
Monday that certain competitive electoral lists are carrying the motto of
Martyr PM Rafic Hariri with the actual aim of scattering the votes in favor
of Hezbollah's list, and seizing the decision of Beirut. Speaking at a
brunch organized by the "Great Salaheddine" Association this morning, in
presence of a crowd of Beiruti families and members of the Future electoral
list, Hariri said, "I am sure that with your heavy voting for the Future
Movement, their plans and projects will fail." Hariri called for a high
turnout in the forthcoming parliamentary elecitons, saying, "As you know,
these elections will be held on the basis of the new vote law...It is the
duty of each and every one of you to vote and not to be complacent and
lenient." "The more you raise the voting turnout, the more you maintain
Beirut's decision," stressed Hariri. "I have always focused on maintaining
stability, and at the same time seeking to advance the economic situation,"
he went on. "In this context, we embarked on the Cedar Conference which will
now create employment opportunities for young men and women, if implemented
properly, and there would be a large share for Beirut...We will accord
utmost attention to the capital's needs," Hariri concluded.
Saudi Culture Minister announces his country's
participation in Cannes Film Festival
Mon 09 Apr 2018/NNA - Saudi Arabia will officially partake
for the first time in the Cannes Film Festival by presenting a series of
short films at the Festival opening next month in southern France, Saudi
Culture Minister Awad bin Saleh Al-Awad said.
Khalifeh presides over Liver and Pancreas Diseases
Mon 09 Apr 2018/NNA - The Founding Conference on Diseases and
Surgery of the Liver and Pancreas in the Middle East and North Africa ended
its work sessions on Monday, with focus pinned on a comprehensive plan to
develop research, exchange expertise and update educational programs within
said field. Distinguished Arab and international scientific figures took
part in the Conference, endorsing its presidency to Lebanese Professor, Dr.
Mohamed Jawad Khalifeh. It is worth mentioning that Beirut will witness the
convening of said Conference in 2020, with anticipated wide Arab and
Intensive enemy flights over Nabatieh, Iqlim alTuffah
Mon 09 Apr 2018/NNA - Israeli warplanes have been effecting
intensive high-altitude over-flights covering the regions of Nabatieh and
Iqlim al-Tuffah throughout this afternoon, NNA correspondent in Nabatieh
Geagea calls on Security Council to end war in Syria
Mon 09 Apr 2018/NNA - Lebanese Forces Leader, Samir Geagea,
called on the Security Council to put an end to the Syrian military
operations. "I ask the Security Council to abandon their narrow interests
and take a historic decision under Chapter VII to stop all the military
operations in Syria, in order to carry out the desired political transition
after all that happened," Geagea said in statement on Monday. He appealed to
"the permanent members of the Security Council to feel the magnitude of the
human tragedy witnessed in Syria for seven years now, which has cost more
than half a million lives, millions of displaced people and humanitarian
tragedies reminiscent of the global wars." "Dealing with the Syrian crisis
through television screens and political stances does not commensurate with
the ongoing tragedy," Geagea concluded.
Berri, Steininger meet in Ein Tineh
Mon 09 Apr 2018/NNA - House Speaker Nabih Berri on Monday met with Special
Coordinator-Peace Policy in Middle-East & North Africa at Swiss Federal
Department of Foreign Affairs Roland Steininger, with talks reportedly
dwelling on the current developments in Lebanon and the region. The meeting
took place in presence of Swiss Ambassador to Lebanon, Monika Schmutz Kirgِz.
Bulletin For Miscellaneous Reports And News published
on April 09-10/18
France Says Did Not
Bomb Syrian Air Base
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/April
09/18/France did not carry out a missile strike on a Syrian government air
base early Monday that reportedly killed several people, the French army
said. "It was not us," armed forces spokesman Colonel Patrik Steiger told
AFP. The US also denied staging the strike. Syrian state news agency SANA
said the Tayfur air base was hit by "several missiles" that left a number of
dead and wounded, without giving exact casualty numbers. The Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said "at least 14
fighters" were killed, including Iranian forces allied to the regime of
President Bashar al-Assad. The assault came after the US and France vowed a
"strong, joint response" to a suspected chemical attack at the weekend that
left dozens dead in Syria's rebel-held town of Douma. In a phone call Sunday
US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron
condemned the "horrific" attack and said the Assad regime "must be held
accountable for its continued human rights abuses," according to the White
Trump Says 'Major
Decisions' Coming on Syria in '24-48 Hours'
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/April 09/18/U.S. President Donald Trump said
Monday that "major decisions" would be made on a Syria response in the next
day or two, after warning that Damascus would have a "big price to pay" over
an alleged chemical attack on a rebel-held town. Trump condemned what he
called a "heinous attack on innocent" Syrians in Douma, as he opened a
cabinet meeting at the White House. The suspected gas attack left dozens
dead, according to rescuers and medics. Syria and its ally Russia have
denied any use of chemical weapons. "This is about humanity -- it can't be
allowed to happen," Trump said, adding that decisions would come in the
"next 24-48 hours."
U.S. Asks U.N. Council to Set Up New Syria Chemical Attacks Probe
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/April 09/18/The United States on Monday asked
the U.N. Security Council to set up a new independent inquiry of chemical
weapons attacks in Syria following alleged toxic gas use in a rebel-held
town that killed at least 48 people. Washington circulated a draft
resolution to the council that would establish the U.N. panel to identify
those responsible for poisonous chemicals attacks, according to the text
obtained by AFP. Nine countries including the United States have called for
an emergency meeting on Syria that will begin at 3:00 pm (1900 GMT) to
discuss a response to the attack in Douma. Rescuers and medics in Douma say
at least 48 people died after a "poisonous chlorine gas attack" late on
Saturday in Douma, the last rebel-held pocket of Eastern Ghouta. The
proposed U.S. measure was similar to one presented by the United States in
March, which Russia then rejected, and it remained unlikely that the new
text would win Moscow's support. The renewed U.S. push to establish the
United Nations Independent Mechanism of Investigation (UNIMI) comes after
Russia killed off a previous U.N.-led probe in November by vetoing the
renewal of its mandate.
Under the current draft resolution, UNIMI would be established for one year
and work with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)
to identify perpetrators of the chemical attacks. The council would ask U.N.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to outline within 30 days the operation
of the panel "based on the principles of impartiality, independence and
professionalism," according to the draft text. In January, Russia presented
its own draft resolution setting up a new panel, but Western powers said
Moscow's proposal would give the Syrian government an upper hand over any
investigation of attacks on its territory. As the United States pushed for a
new U.N. inquiry, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Matthis warned that Washington
does not "rule out anything", suggesting military action was possible in
response to the alleged chemical attack.
President Donald Trump -- who last year launched a missile strike on a
regime base after another alleged chemical attack -- warned after the latest
accusations that there would be a "big price to pay." Russia and Syria have
denied using chemical weapons.
'I Don't Rule Anything Out', Says Mattis on Syria
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/April 09/18/U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis
on Monday pointed toward Russia's role in a suspected poison gas attack on
the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma, and said he would not rule out a
military response. Russia was supposed to guarantee the disposal of Syria's
stockpile of chemical weapons in September 2013, but President Bashar
al-Assad's regime is suspected of conducting repeated gas attacks since
then. "The first thing we have to look at is why are chemical weapons still
being used at all when Russia was the framework guarantor of removing all
the chemical weapons," Mattis said at the Pentagon in a meeting with his
Qatari counterpart. "Working with our allies and our partners from NATO to
Qatar and elsewhere, we are going to address this issue ... I don't rule out
anything right now." Syria has been accused multiple times of using toxic
weapons including sarin gas in the country's seven-year war, which has
killed more than 350,000 people. Backed by Moscow, Assad has waged a
seven-week assault on Ghouta that has killed more than 1,700 civilians and
left Islamist rebels cornered in their last holdout of Douma, Ghouta's
largest town. Dozens of people died April 4, 2017 after regime warplanes
struck the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib, with medical sources
reporting patients suffering from symptoms consistent with a chemical
attack. In retaliation for that attack, U.S. President Donald Trump
unleashed strikes by Tomahawk missiles against the regime's Shayrat airbase
overnight April 6-7.
Iran's Rouhani Says US 'Will Regret It' If It Violates Nuke Deal
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/April 09/18/Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
said Monday that the United States would regret violating the nuclear deal,
and that Iran would respond in "less than a week" if that happened. "We will
not be the first to violate the accord but they should definitely know that
they will regret it if they violate it," Rouhani told a conference to mark
National Nuclear Technology Day in Tehran. "We are much more prepared than
they think, and they will see that if they violate this accord, within a
week, less than a week, they will see the result."
Syria Accuses Israel of Striking Military Airport
Agence France Presse/Naharnet/April 09/18/Syria accused Israel on Monday of
carrying out deadly bombing raids on a military airbase in the country's
centre, state news agency SANA reported. "The Israeli attack on the T-4
airport was carried out with F-15 aircraft that fired several missiles from
above Lebanese territory," SANA said, citing a military source. It had
reported just before dawn that "several missiles" had hit T-4, which lies in
central Syria and is also known as the Tiyas air base. A military
spokeswoman for Israel declined to comment on Monday. SANA had initially
reported the strike as a "suspected US attack" but later withdrew all
references to the United States. It said the attack had left dead and
wounded but did not give casualty figures. The Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights, which monitors the country's conflict, said 14 fighters had been
killed, including at least three Syrian officers and Iranian forces. Forces
from regime backers Russia and Iran, as well as fighters from the Lebanese
Hezbollah militia, are known to have a presence at the base, said
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman. Israel has repeatedly warned it will
not accept its arch-foe Tehran entrenching itself militarily in Syria and
has bombed Iranian targets there. In February, it accused Iranian forces at
the T-4 base of sending a drone into Israeli territory. After bombing
Iranian units in Syria in retaliation, an Israel F-16 was shot down by
Syrian anti-aircraft fire in one of the conflict's most notable escalations.
Israel then carried out what it called "large-scale" raids on Syrian air
defence systems and Iranian targets, which reportedly included T-4.
Among 14 Dead in Syria Missile Strike, Israel Blamed
9 April, 2018/Russia and Syrian forces blamed Israel for a pre-dawn attack
Monday on the Tayfur air base in central Syria, saying Israeli fighter jets
launched missiles from Lebanon's airspace, reportedly leaving 14 people,
including Iranians, dead. Russia's Defense Ministry said two Israeli
aircraft targeted the T4 air base in Homs province, firing eight missiles.
It said Syria shot down five of them while the other three landed in the
western part of the base. Syrian regime media quoted an unnamed military
official as saying that Israeli F-15 warplanes fired several missiles at T4.
It gave no further details. Israel's foreign ministry had no comment when
asked about the accusations. Since 2012, Israel has struck inside Syria some
100 times, hitting suspected weapons' convoys destined for Lebanon's
Iran-backed “Hezbollah,” which has been fighting alongside Syrian regime
forces. Most recently, Israel hit the same T4 base in February, after it
said an Iranian drone that had violated Israeli airspace took off from the
base. Earlier on Monday, Syria's regime media said the attack was likely "an
American aggression," but the Pentagon said the United States had not
launched the strikes. France also denied that it had carried out such an
attack. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 14 died,
including Iranians and also three Syrian officers. Rami Abdurrahman, the
Observatory's chief, said the assault targeted a mobile air defense unit and
some buildings inside the air base. He added that it also hit posts outside
the base used by the Iranians and Iran-backed fighters. The missile attack
followed a suspected poison gas attack on Saturday on the last remaining
foothold for Syrian rebels in the eastern suburbs of Damascus. At least 40
people were killed in the assault on Douma, including families found in
their homes and shelters, opposition activists and local rescuers said.
OPCW Probes Douma
Chemical Attack as West Works on Response
Asharq Al-Awsat/Monday, 9 April, 2018 /The Organization for the Prohibition
of Chemical Weapons is investigating reports of a suspected chemical weapons
attack on the Syrian rebel-held town of Douma, its head said Monday as the
United States and European countries blamed the regime of Bashar Assad.
The organization "made a preliminary analysis of the reports of the alleged
use of chemical weapons immediately after they were issued," said director
general Ahmet Uzumcu. More information was being gathered "to establish
whether chemical weapons were used," he added. The suspected chemical
attacks over the weekend killed at least 60 people and wounded more than
1,000, a Syria medical relief group said on Monday. The death toll is likely
to rise, according to the Union of Medical Care Organizations, a coalition
of international aid agencies that funds hospitals in Syria and which is
partly based in Paris. "The numbers keep rising as relief workers struggle
to gain access to the subterranean areas where gas has entered and hundreds
of families had sought refuge," the group said in a statement. US President
Donald Trump on Sunday blamed Syrian regime forces for what he called a
"mindless CHEMICAL attack."
He said there would be a "big price to pay".But Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov snapped back at Trump, saying allegations that the Syrian
regime carried out the attack are a provocation. Russian specialists found
no trace of chemical attack in Douma, Lavrov said. The Russian army had
earlier accused Israel of carrying out deadly missile strikes on the central
Syrian airbase of Tayfur from Lebanon before dawn on Monday. Lavrov
described the strike as a “very dangerous development.”French President
Emmanuel Macron and Trump agreed in a phone call that chemical weapons had
been used in Douma, the French presidency said in a statement early on
Monday. They "exchanged their information and analysis confirming the use of
chemical weapons," it said. "All responsibilities in this area must be
clearly established," added the statement. Prime Minister Theresa May's
spokesman also said Britain is working with its allies to agree a joint
response to the attack. In a separate statement, Britain's Foreign Office
said a full range of options should be on the table in response to the
attack. As for Germany, it said the circumstances pointed to the Syrian
regime. "The government condemns this new use of poison gas in the strongest
terms," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a news conference.
"The regime's actions are abhorrent.""Those responsible for the use of
poison gas ... must be held to account," he added. "With this use of poison
gas, the circumstances point to Assad regime's responsibility." The European
Union also squarely blamed the regime. EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said
that over the weekend and early Monday as the reports came in of another
atrocity in Syria, the EU "learned from several sources" to shape its
conviction "that it is the Syrian regime which is responsible" when it comes
to the suspected chemical attack.
reported chemical attack in eastern Ghouta
April 8, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued
the following statement:
“Canada is appalled by the reported use of chemical weapons against people
in eastern Ghouta, in Syria, on April 7, 2018, resulting in dozens of
fatalities. Our hearts go out to those who have lost family and loved ones.
“The repeated and morally reprehensible use of chemical weapons by the Assad
regime in the past has been confirmed by independent international
investigators. It is part of a deliberate strategy to terrorize local
populations and force them into submission. Canada condemns the Assad
regime—and its backers, Russia and Iran—for its repeated, gross violations
of human rights and continued, deliberate targeting of civilians. “Canada
expresses its admiration for the medical workers and other organizations,
including the White Helmets, who have been working tirelessly to save the
lives of those affected. Our most sincere condolences go to the families of
the deceased. “Chemical weapons attacks are a war crime. Canada, alongside
its international partners, will pursue accountability for these atrocities
by all available means. Those responsible must be brought to justice, and
the massacre of innocent civilians must end.”
Israeli war planes carried out Syria strikes
Reuters/April 09, 2018/MOSCOW: The Russian military said on Monday that two
Israeli F-15 war planes had carried out strikes on a Syrian air base on
Sunday, the Interfax news agency reported. Interfax cited the Russian
Defence Ministry as saying the Israeli war planes had carried out the
strikes from Lebanese air space, and that Syrian air defence systems had
shot down five of eight missiles fired. Asked about the Russian statement,
an Israeli military spokesman said he had no immediate comment. Syrian state
TV said on Monday the United States was suspected of striking an air base
hours after US President Donald Trump warned of a "big price to pay" as aid
groups said dozens of people were killed by poison gas in a rebel-held town.
UK urges ‘strong’ response to alleged Syria chemical
AFP/April 09, 2018/LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Monday
called for a “strong and robust international response” to an alleged poison
gas attack on a rebel-held town near Damascus. Speaking with his French
counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian on the phone, Johnson “underlined the urgent
need to investigate what had happened in Douma and to ensure a strong and
robust international response,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
"They agreed that today's meeting of the United Nations Security Council in
New York would be an important next step in determining the international
response and that a full range of options should be on the table," it added.
He also said Britain was not involved in overnight air strikes on a Syrian
air base. Russian and Syrian military have blamed those strikes on Israeli
war planes. "If there is clear verified evidence of the use of chemical
weapons and a proposal for action where the UK would be useful, then we will
look at the range of options," the spokesman said.
Moscow says will support companies hit by new US
AFP/April 09, 2018/MOSCOW: Moscow will provide support for
Russian companies hit by fresh US sanctions, news agencies quoted the
country’s deputy prime minister as saying Monday.“We take great care with
our leading companies... In the current situation, as their position becomes
more difficult, we will offer them this support,” Arkady Dvorkovich was
quoted as saying.
Saudi crown prince
meets French PM in Paris
Arab News/April 09, 2018/DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin
Salman met with France’s Prime Minister Edouard Phillippe in Paris on
Monday, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported
Students, Teachers Rush Back to Class in Deir Ezzor
Deir Ezzor (Syria) - Asharq Al-Awsat/Monday, 9 April, 2018/Since ISIS
militants have been ousted from eastern Syria’s Deir Ezzor city and nearby
territory in late 2017, teachers and pupils alike have rushed back to the
classroom. At 13, Mohammad al-Ragheb shyly admits that he does not know how
to read or write, having spent the years under ISIS rein outside of school.
"I should be in eighth grade now, but I wasn't able to go to school," he
tells AFP. He now sits excitedly in a crisp classroom, awaiting his lesson.
ISIS overran large swathes of Syria in 2014, with the militants opening
their own schools, banning music and the arts. Schoolteacher Ahlam says the
militants tried to recruit her to teach in one of their schools . She
refused, opting to teach her children in secret at home and eking out a
living from an orchard she tended to with her husband, an agricultural
engineer. "I thought there would no longer be a future for our children --
no schooling, no rights," recalls Ahlam. "But thank God, the children are
studying, so they can at least read and write," she tells AFP, her hair
covered by a blue headscarf. According to Deir Ezzor's education
directorate, the fighting in the region meant some 200,000 students went
without proper schooling for five years, with around 5,000 teachers out of
work. Now, the directorate says, dozens of schools have reopened and around
45,000 students are back in school. Some 6,000 students are also resuming
their studies at the Euphrates University in Deir Ezzor, capital of the
province of the same name. Its main buildings lie in a western part of the
city that remained under Syrian regime control but was under siege for years
by ISIS militants holding the rest. But some of the faculties -- such as
those of medicine and agriculture -- lie in areas that were seized by the
militants. Student Mona al-Nasser, now 24, was getting ready to graduate
when ISIS swept across the desert province in 2014. Their advance
trapped her under militant reign in her hometown of Mayadeen, 50 kilometers
away. "All I wanted to do was study. I'm so happy to be back today, and I
hope those other days never return," says Nasser. Amina, 23, has traveled to
her class all the way from Raqqa -- more than 130 kilometers to the west. "I
was besieged in Raqqa for three years and could not resume my studies. I was
in my second year," she tells AFP. "It was a very difficult period. I tried
as hard as I could to leave Raqqa, but I needed a miracle."Now that Amina is
back in school, she has picked up where she left off as a sophomore. "It
feels so wonderful to be back in class, because that's what determines your
future in the end," she says. Even as ISIS lost its military grip on Deir
Ezzor, the militants left unexploded mines and sand berms all across the
city and its entrances, barring the way for students and residents in
general. Still, Umm Bilal says, home is home. "Sitting amidst the
destruction is beautiful, because your house is your property. No one can
make you leave," she says.
Iranian Rial in a
Downward Spiral as Fear Rises on Return of Sanctions
Tehran – Asharq Al-Awsat/Monday, 9 April, 2018/The Iranian rial recorded on
Sunday a new drop against the dollar amid rising fears of a return of
economic sanctions. Three weeks from now, US President Donald Trump will be
presenting a final position on the nuclear deal. The failure of the nuclear
deal between Iran and the world powers, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
Action, JCPOA, to achieve its highly expected objectives is upsetting to the
Iranian people. Trump said in January that “disastrous flaws” in the
agreement had to be fixed or Iran would face a US exit. Since last year, the
central bank has allowed the rial to depreciate gradually to compensate for
Iran’s high inflation and to help to make exports more competitive. But the
drop has accelerated in the past few months, creating a problem for
authorities who contained a wave of popular protests against economic
hardship and corruption in December and January. In Iran, the term toman is
used to refer to their currency in unofficial conversations. Each toman is
10 rials, therefore, the dollar is now 5,200 tomans. Khomeini is pictured on
the toman, just as George Washington is on the dollar. The price of the
dollar rose to 5,800 tomans, registering a whopping increase of 700 tomans
in Tehran’s banking markets. On the other hand, the dollar in black markets
increased 6,000 tomans, an even more dashing 14% increase within 24 hours,
the first increase of this size under the reformist President Hassan
Rouhani’s watch. Prospects are grim for a long-term picture showing that the
crisis deeply rooted and will not easily be resolved. No more than 21 days
into 2018 dollar rates rose 25 percent, recording a 1,200 increase against
dollar. But over the past six months, the dollar has increased by 2,200
tomans, equivalent to 45 percent. Since Rouhani's presidency kickoff in
2013, Iranian Rial rates rose up to 70 percent. Many people are using social
media to express their fury over what they are calling Rouhani’s campaign of
“deceit and lies”. Price hikes have reflected negatively on Iranians leaving
them lined up in long ques in front of exchange markets to secure dollars
amid growing doubts around the future of the economy with the threat of
return to sanctions. Fears of a turbulent economy resurfaced despite
reassurances promised by Rouhani. The government hasn’t been fixed around
speculations on price hikes over the past few days and said prices are
false, in implicit defense of the need for higher prices. Exchange rate
increases are expected to bring home profits for the Iranian government
treasury. Parliamentarians on Sunday put Economy Minister Masoud Karbasian
and head of the Central Bank up for questioning on the deterioration of
Iranian currency prices.
Israel Strikes Gaza as ICC Says War Crimes May be
Asharq Al-Awsat/Monday, 9 April, 2018/Israeli fighter jets carried out raids
on the Gaza Strip on Monday, a day after the prosecutor of the International
Criminal Court said the Palestinian territories were subject to a
preliminary examination by her office and she was monitoring events there
closely. The Israeli army said Monday that it targeted a Hamas "military
target" in northern Gaza. Palestinian security sources in Gaza said the
Israeli strikes hit a base in Jabalia belonging to Ezzedine al-Qassam
Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, and farmland near Beit Lahia, causing damages
but no injuries. The Israeli strike came a day after suspects crossed the
northern Gaza border fence, leaving "explosive devices" that were found by
the army. The border fence between the Palestinian enclave and Israel has
become the backdrop of mass Gaza demonstrations that lead to deadly clashes.
On Monday, the Gaza health ministry said Marwan Qudeih, 45, who was wounded
by Israeli fire east of Khan Yunis on March 30, died of his wounds. His
death brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces since then
to 31. Rights groups have harshly criticised Israeli soldiers' actions, and
Palestinians say protesters are being shot while posing no threat to troops.
On Sunday, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she was opening a
preliminary probe to determine whether there was enough evidence to launch a
full-blown investigation into any alleged crimes. "Any person who incites or
engages in acts of violence including by ordering, requesting, encouraging
or contributing in any other manner to the commission of crimes within ICC's
jurisdiction is liable to prosecution before the Court," Bensouda said.
Egyptian Army Says it Killed 4 Takfiris in Sinai
Cairo - Asharq Al-Awsat/Monday, 9 April, 2018 /Egypt’s army said on Sunday
it killed four takfiris in Sinai and arrested over 250 wanted criminals and
suspects in security operations over the past few days. The air force killed
a number of takfiris after taregting two terrorist hideouts in north Sinai,
the army said in a statement. Another militant, who was found to be in
possession of large sums of money and illegal narcotics, was also killed,
said army spokesman Tamer al-Rifai. In total, more than 100 militants and at
least 22 soldiers have been killed since the launch of the operation "Sinai
2018," according to official figures. In his statement on Sunday, Rifai
stressed that Egyptian forces destroyed and seized 46 vehicles of different
types and 114 motorcycles "used by terrorists" without license plates. As
for the terrorist bases, the spokesman said that 386 hideouts and weapons
depots have been destroyed. Rifai added that the army engineering unit
disposed of 30 explosive devices planted to target Egyptian forces in their
area of operations. They also destroyed a number of tunnels in the vicinity
of Rafah city, while 250 wanted criminals and suspects were arrested. The
operations carried out by the army are highly supported by the president and
government. Egypt is fighting an ISIS affiliate militant group in the
northern Sinai Peninsula, known as “Sinai State”, that has been targeting
the army, police and civilians since 2013 and has launched attacks in
several parts of the country. Egypt is also fighting a smaller terrorist
organization belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, which authorities consider
a terrorist organization. The military spokesman addressed the living
conditions in North Sinai and announced that the armed forces continue to
send food aid to the area to alleviate the suffering of the residents. Rifai
pointed out that the naval forces continue to secure maritime routes,
protect strategic areas and cut terrorists’ sea supply lines. The coast
guards also continue to organize joint patrols with the police.
Leading Muslim Brotherhood Figure Becomes Head of
Cairo - Khalid Mahmoud/Abdulrahman Swehli. Asharq Al-Awsat/Monday, 9 April,
2018 /Khalid al-Mishri, a leading figure in the Justice and Construction
Party of the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, won the position of the head of
the High Council of State (HCS), replacing Abdulrahman al-Swehli. Mishri won
64 votes - while 45 went for Swehli, who is the founder of HCS and its head
for two consecutive years - in the second round of elections that took place
in Tripoli on Saturday. Mohamed Maazeb and Abdulla Juwan were the two other
candidates competing for the post. Swehli was tipped to be re-elected after
winning the first round by 37 votes while Mishri came second with 36, Juwan
26 and Maazeb with 17 votes out of 122. Naji Mukhtar was also elected as
first deputy president of the HCS while Fawzi Aqab was elected as second
deputy. Mishri, 51, is considered one of the most prominent opponents of
head of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Khalifa Haftar and of the Karama
Operation, which has been launched against extremist groups in the country,
especially in the eastern region. He was a member of the outgoing General
National Congress (parliament), the chairman of its finance committee and a
member of the national security committee.The elections were held at a time
of a state of shock in Libya following the discovery of the remains of three
young children of the same family who were kidnapped in 2015 while heading
to school near the capital. The children, who came from the family of al-Shershari,
a Libyan businessman, were found killed in Abu Issa area between Sorman and
al-Zawiya in western Libya after they were abducted for ransom in December
2015. The kidnappers had demanded 20 million Libyan dinars from the father
of the three children for their release. The remains of the children, who
were seven, nine, and 13-years-old when they were kidnapped, were found
buried in a forest south of the city of Sorman and taken to the city's
Latest LCCC Bulletin
analysis & editorials from miscellaneous sources published on April 09-10/18
the time to hit Assad hard, not withdraw
Faisal J. Abbas/Arab News/April 09/18
US President Donald Trump has made it clear that, with Daesh defeated, he
wants to end the US military presence in Syria and bring his soldiers home.
The horrific chemical gas attack on Douma is an indication of how important
it is that, rather than withdraw, America re-engage in Syria.
Despite the denials from Damascus, there can be no doubt who did this. The
only people who have what was required to carry out such a monstrous attack
— the capability, the chemical weapons arsenal, the callous disregard for
civilian life — are the Assad regime. They have done it before. And unless
they are stopped, they will do it again.
It has become evident that the only language the Assad regime understands is
the language of force. In August 2012, Barack Obama said the use of chemical
weapons in Syria would be “a red line.” A year later, when Bashar Assad
attacked his own people with sarin gas, that “red line” was forgotten.
Today, the people of Douma are paying the price for a US president’s
It has become evident that the only language the Assad regime understands is
the language of force.
owever, who can forget the shock and awe when, in response to Assad’s
chemical weapons attack in Idlib in April last year, President Trump ordered
cruise missile strikes on the Syrian air base from where the attack was
The Douma outrage cannot be read as anything but a response to the US
announcement of withdrawal. It sends a clear sign to the international
community of what kind of future awaits Syria — just when we all thought
things could not become any worse.
Indeed, such a vacuum would no doubt be viewed as an opportunity by the
malign powers at work in this region, chief among them Iran.
Douma should ring alarm bells in Washington; far from withdrawal, what is
required is greater engagement. If America takes that path, it can be sure
that the whole world, including Saudi Arabia and its allies, will follow.
• Twitter: @FaisalJAbbas
Iran’s sophisticated interventions in Bahrain
Dr. Majid Rafizadeh/Arab News/April 09/18
The Iranian regime’s meddlesome footprints are ubiquitous in the region,
including in Bahrain, and the latest developments indicate that Tehran is
intensifying its efforts to intervene more extensively in the Gulf state’s
Four decades of experience have made the Iranian regime skilled at employing
a multi-dimensional strategy to influence and intervene in other nations’
domestic politics. When it comes to Bahrain, Iranian leaders are
increasingly targeting the country on three fronts simultaneously.
On the economic front, the Iranian regime attempts to chart illicit paths by
exploiting Bahrain’s financial system. For example, most recently, Bahrain’s
Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa pointed out that the government
had detected the Iranian-linked Future Bank was operating a covert
corruption scheme in Bahrain. Such a multibillion-dollar operation could
have severe repercussions.
The Iranian regime probably uses such illegal financial activities to skirt
sanctions, as well as sponsor terrorism, proxies, lobbyists and spies in
other countries. This assists the Iranian leaders in employing sophisticated
methods such as wire-stripping in order to avoid leaving any tracks behind,
as well as concealing where payments and transfers have originated from or
been deposited to. It was recently revealed that Iran’s Bank Melli
instructed Future Bank officials on what specifically not to do when routing
money through the US.
On the political front, Iran utilizes both soft and hard power. Tehran
promotes the narratives of those individuals or groups that aggressively
oppose the Bahraini government.
In addition, militarily speaking, the Iranian regime is increasingly
supporting belligerent militant groups with weapons, organizational skills,
intelligence and training. Most recently, Bahraini security forces arrested
more than 100 people on charges of terrorism and plotting attacks on
government officials. Bahrain accused them of being part of a network that
was founded by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. This was not the
first time Iran has been caught supporting terror cells in Bahrain. In the
last two years, Bahraini officials have detected or dismantled several
Iran-backed groups that were planning, or had already carried out, attacks
in the island kingdom.
The West ought to more robustly support Bahrain in its efforts to counter
Iran’s meddling and violation of international laws.
The regime is using the same ideological and religious modus operandi it
employed in Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon. Iranian leaders are attempting to
exploit Bahrain’s Shiite population and religious leaders in an effort to
control Manama. From Tehran’s perspective, this would help it to strengthen
the Shiite axis and tip the regional balance of power against the Sunnis and
Some Iranian officials and IRGC commanders even believethat Bahrain ought to
be one of Iran’s provinces. It is therefore not unrealistic to argue that
Tehran would ideally desire to set up a Shiite theocracy in Bahrain similar
to Iran’s clerical establishment. But, if this turns out to be too
far-fetched for Tehran, the Iranian regime would be satisfied with turning
Manama into a Beirut, Baghdad or Sanaa, where it can exert more influence.
These developments should not only be alarming to Manama, but also to the
US, as its Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain. Iran is attempting to scuttle
the mission of Washington’s Fifth Fleet and the objectives of US foreign
policy in countering Tehran’s militaristic activities, confronting the
regime’s naval provocations, and ensuring stability, peace and security in
the Gulf. By trying to destabilize Bahrain, empowering the Iran-backed
militias and terrorist groups, targeting the US Navy, making the country
unstable, and raising the US Navy’s costs and expenses, the Iranian regime
is trying to pressure the US into withdrawing its Fifth Fleet.
When it comes to counterterrorism strategies and operations, Bahrain has
been increasingly successful at detecting and dismantling Iranian-backed
cells. Nevertheless, it should be taken into account that Iran’s agenda in
trying to dominate Bahrain is anchored in an extensive long-term plan. The
US and its European allies ought to more robustly support Bahrain in its
efforts to counter Iran’s meddling and violation of international laws. The
military, economic and geopolitical assistance of the Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC) also plays a crucial role in confronting Tehran’s aggressive
*Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political
scientist. He is a leading expert on Iran and US foreign policy, a
businessman and president of the International American Council. He serves
on the boards of the Harvard International Review, the Harvard International
Relations Council and the US-Middle East Chamber for Commerce and Business.
Egyptian economy torn between thinkers and doers
Mohammed Nosseir/Arab News/April 09/18
In the second half of 2013, I was thrilled that a number of famous Egyptian
economists whose work I have been observing and admiring for years were
heading the Egyptian cabinet. Naively, I thought that all the constructive
ideas they had been advocating for years would come true. Then I realized
that being good at teaching theory in a classroom is totally different to
being exposed to real life, where crafting any given policy is a challenge.
This cabinet of academic ministers lasted for less than a year. It was
followed by an action-oriented team, which distances itself from theory and
aspires to implement a large number of projects without subjecting them to
any kind of prior technical validation. The current members of cabinet tend
to believe that the accumulation of projects will create an economic
momentum that will have a positive impact on all citizens — an economic
approach that many renowned international scholars denounce but that our
government insists on applying.
The dilemma in Egypt is that academicians are far too theoretical and doers
are far too impulsive. The former tend to express their knowledge of any
given subject by advancing one theory after another (theories that may
conflict with one another), giving no thought to their effective
application. Meanwhile, action-oriented executives, who believe that all
that matters is project implementation, thoughtlessly put all their energy
into aggressively pushing for the application of their ideas.
For decades, the Egyptian economy has been vacillating between an economy
that is strongly linked to the application of a given economic theory and an
action-oriented government overwhelmingly made up of executives who realize
their success through action. While the fluctuations of the Egyptian economy
are often affected by external factors that have little to do with the
philosophy of the cabinet in power, traditionally, doers in Egypt tend to
undermine theoreticians, who in return often accuse them of having too
narrow a focus.
Disconnect between Egypt's academics and its doers is detrimental to
nation's future economic prosperity.
Egyptian academicians and action-oriented executives represent two
completely different career paths that neither overlap nor share the same
experiences. Citizens who believe that knowledge is the ultimate wealth
concentrate on maximizing their knowledge, while doers are convinced that
actions speak for themselves and believe that moving from one point to
another is an achievement in itself (regardless of whether the move is
necessary or what, if any, value it has).
Many Egyptians argue that the red tape and inflexibility of government
bureaucracy make it very difficult for either academics or doers to apply
real reform. I could have accepted this argument had I observed strong
insistence on the implementation of reform (by any given government). In
Egypt, we hesitate to apply any economic model thoroughly and instead switch
from one idea to another.
We have no single consistent economic policy that functions regardless of
cabinet changes. Appointed ministers always work on coming up with their own
ideas, which are implemented during their terms in office (whose duration
they can’t foretell). What we need in Egypt is an accumulation of knowledge
that is made available to every minister to help him or her craft proper
decisions. However, very few ministers value this kind of comprehensive
knowledge and therefore it does not exist.
Culturally, Egyptian society tends, on all issues, to prefer narrow,
vertical outlooks to a broader, horizontal approach. We have large numbers
of economic experts, but each is well versed in their own very narrow field
of specialization and completely disconnected from reality. Their
intellectual capacity is filled with their desired knowledge, making it
difficult for them to digest new challenges. Our action-oriented executives,
on the other hand, tend to be over-excited about the things that they are
good at doing, without submitting them to any kind of proper evaluation.
Ultimate knowledge without any practical application is of no value, as are
consistent applications that are not based on knowledge. Egypt is in real
need of executives with solid leadership skills who are capable of
connecting the dots between the academicians and the doers, and who can put
the former’s knowledge to good use while knowing how to galvanize the latter
to apply this knowledge. The undermining of both academics and doers is
detrimental to our future economic prosperity.
• Mohammed Nosseir, a liberal politician from Egypt, is a strong advocate of
political participation and economic freedom. Twitter: @MohammedNosseir
Time to curb the ‘devil of Damascus’
Siraj Wahab/Arab News/April 09/18
JEDDAH: The attack was savage, brutal and callous. The response from the
international community was swift, damning — and aimed directly at Syria’s
president Bashar Assad.
As women and children gasped for breath after the Douma chemical gas attack
that killed at least 70 people, world leaders were united in calling for the
Assad regime to be held to account.
US President Donald Trump described Assad as “an animal,” The Turkish leader
Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned “war crimes and crimes against humanity” and
French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said the attack was “a gross
violation of international humanitarian law.”
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said it was “truly horrific to think
that many of the victims were families seeking refuge from airstrikes in
He described the attack as “yet another appalling example of the Assad
regime’s brutality and blatant disregard for both the Syrian people and its
legal obligations not to use chemical weapons.”
UN Secretary-general Antonio Guterres said he was “deeply concerned about
renewed and intensive violence in Douma” and called on all parties to cease
fighting. “It is critical that civilians be protected,” he said. “Any use of
chemical weapons, if confirmed, is abhorrent, and requires a thorough
investigation,” he said. Guterres called on all sides to ensure respect for
international humanitarian and human rights law, including humanitarian
access across Syria to all people in need.
It was in the Arab world, however, that the condemnation was most intense.
Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri, a Saudi political analyst and international relations
scholar in Riyadh, said he was devastated by what he had seen.
“The footage on TV of Syrian children and women in Douma turning blue for
lack of oxygen, writhing in pain and gasping for breath should rattle the
conscience of the world,” he said.
“This is not the first time that Bashar Assad has attacked his own people
with deadly gas. He has done this repeatedly and with impunity. It is as if
he is mocking the international community.”
Condemnation from world leaders was no longer enough and action must be
taken to prevent such attacks, Al-Shehri said.
“We hear words of condemnation from the world community,” he said. “We hear
that Bashar Assad will not go unpunished. We hear that he will be held
accountable for all that he has done.
“All these are mere words. Words are empty if they are not backed by action.
Strong action. Exemplary action. Actions speak louder than words.”
Al-Shehri in particular criticized the international community for failing
to live up to its promises on Syria.
“Not so long ago did we hear Barack Obama calling a chemical attack a ‘red
line’ — and when that line was crossed by Bashar Assad, nothing was done,”
he said. “In the post-Obama period, the Syrian people were promised that
action would be taken.
“It has been seven years since hell was let loose on the Syrian people by
Assad, Russia and Iran. The innocent people of Syria have nothing with which
to defend themselves from these gas attacks, these chemical weapon attacks.
There has to be a solution to this problem. Why is the devil of Damascus
being allowed to continue his rampage?
“Mere condemnation of Russia, Iran and Assad will not suffice. They need to
be stopped. The world community needs to do something, and do some something
Oubai Shahbandar, a Syrian-American analyst and fellow at the New America
Foundation’s International Security Program, also said the attack in Douma
showed that action was needed now.
“This is a chemical attack launched by the Assad regime with the explicit
purpose of killing civilians and terrorizing the populace,” he said.
Images of the bodies of women and children in bunkers, foaming at the mouth,
had been independently verified and “there is no doubt” that their deaths
were caused by a chemical agent, Shahbandar said.
“Chemical-weapon watchdog the OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of
Chemical Weapons) itself blamed Assad for prior use of nerve agents and
other chemical weapons last year, and now in Douma the Assad regime believes
that it can continue to use these horrific weapons of mass destruction with
impunity.” Shahbandar said the administration of US President Donald Trump
needed to act decisively, along with the international community.
“The only real, viable solution to ending Assad’s chemical campaign is the
complete and total neutralization of his chemical-weapon and
ballistic-missile production facilitates — which Iran and Hezbollah have
been actively aiding,” he said. The Syrian scientific research center is the
central organization that Assad uses to make and weaponize chemical weapons,
and unless this center and its affiliated military bases are taken out once
and for all, the Syrian chemical genocide is going to continue unabated,”
Europe's Civilizational Exhaustion
Giulio Meotti/Gatestone Institute/April 09/18
Islam is filling the cultural vacuum of a society with no children and which
believes -- wrongly -- it has no enemies.
In Sweden, by 2050, almost one in three people will be Muslim.
The European mainstream mindset now seems to believe that "evil" comes only from
our own sins: racism, sexism, elitism, xenophobia, homophobia, the guilt of the
heterosexual white Western male -- and never from non-European cultures. Europe
now postulates an infinite idealization of the "other", above all the migrant.
A tiredness seems to be why these countries do not take meaningful measures to
defeat jihadism, such as closing Salafist mosques or expelling radical imams.
Muslim extremists understand this advantage: so long as they avoid another
enormous massacre like 9/11, they will be able to continue taking away human
lives and undermining the West without awakening it from its inertia.
In a prophetic conference held in Vienna on May 7, 1935, the philosopher Edmund
Husserl said, "The greatest danger to Europe is tiredness". Eighty years later,
the same fatigue and passivity still dominate Western European societies.
It is the sort of exhaustion that we see in Europeans' falling birth rates, the
mushrooming public debt, chaos in the streets, and Europe's refusal to invest
resources in its security and military might. Last month, in a Paris suburb, the
Basilica of Saint Denis, where France's Christian kings are buried, was occupied
by 80 migrants and pro-illegal-immigration activists. The police had to
intervene to free the site.
Pictured: French police eject some of the 80 migrants and
pro-illegal-immigration activists who occupied the Basilica of Saint Denis, on
March 18, 2018. (Image source: Video screenshot, YouTube/Kenyan News & Politics)
Stephen Bullivant, a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St
Mary's University in London, recently published a report, "Europe's Young Adults
"Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone, and probably gone for good – or
at least for the next 100 years," Bullivant said.
According to Bullivant, many young Europeans "will have been baptised and then
never darken the door of a church again. Cultural religious identities just
aren't being passed on from parents to children. It just washes straight off
them... "And we know the Muslim birthrate is higher than the general population,
and they have much higher [religious] retention rates."
Richard Dawkins, an atheist and the author of The God Delusion, responded to the
study's release by tweeting to his millions of Twitter followers:
Before we rejoice at the death throes of the relatively benign Christian
religion, let's not forget Hilaire Belloc's menacing rhyme:
"Always keep a-hold of nurse
For fear of finding something worse."
Dawkins is apparently concerned that that after the demise of Christianity in
Europe, there will not be an atheistic utopia, but a rising Islam.
That is the major point of what Philippe Bénéton in his book The Moral Disorder
of the West ("Le dérèglement moral de l'Occident"): Islam is filling the
cultural vacuum of a society with no children and which believes -- wrongly --
it has no enemies.
According to Radio Sweden, fewer newborns in that country are being baptized due
to the demographic shift. By 2050, almost one in three people in Sweden will be
Muslim, according to a recent Pew report
The European mainstream mindset now seems to believe that "evil" comes only from
our own sins: racism, sexism, elitism, xenophobia, homophobia, the guilt of the
heterosexual white Western male --and never from non-European cultures. So
Europe now postulates an infinite idealization of the "other", above all the
migrant. The heritage and legacy of Western civilization gets sectioned off
piece by piece so that nothing remains; our values are mocked and our survival
instinct is inhibited. It is a process of decomposition that Europe's political
authorities seem to have decided to mediate, as if it were inevitable. Now, the
European Union waits to receive the next surge of migrants, from Africa.
In German Chancellor Angela Merkel's major speech in the Bundestag after the
unprecedentedly long and difficult process of forming a new government, she
struck a conciliatory tone on immigration while offering an inclusive message on
Islam. "With 4.5 million Muslims living with us, their religion, Islam, has also
become a part of Germany", she said.
The most powerful politician in Europe capitulated: she evidently forgot (again)
the difference between the civil rights of individuals, which Muslim citizens
enjoy in Germany, and the sources of a national identity, on which Europe is
based: humanistic, Judeo-Christian values. This realization may why a week
earlier the new German Interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said that "Germany has
been shaped by Christianity" and not by Islam.
Europe's tiredness can also be seen in a generational conflict embodied in the
alarming rise of public debt. In Italy, the political establishment was recently
shaken up by the election of two major populist parties. It is a country with a
public debt of 40,000 euros per capita, and a tax burden equal to 43.3% of GDP.
The average age of the population is the third oldest in the world, together
with one of the lowest birthrates on the planet, one of the lowest retirement
ages in Europe and the highest social security spending-to-GDP ratio in the
Western world. It is also a country where pensions account for one-third of all
public spending and where the percentage of pensioners in proportion to workers
will rise from 37% today to 65% in 2040 (from three workers who support one
pensioner to three workers who support two pensioners).
An Islamist challenge to this tired and decaying society could be a decisive
one. Only Europe's Christian population is barren and aging. The Muslim
population is fertile and young. "In most European countries—including England,
Germany, Italy and Russia, Christian deaths outnumbered Christian births from
2010 to 2015," writes the Wall Street Journal.
Terrorist attacks will continue in Europe. Recently, in Trèbes, southern France,
a jihadist took hostages in a supermarket and claimed allegiance to ISIS. It
seems that Europe's societies consider themselves so strong and their ability to
absorb mass immigration so extensive, that nothing will prevent them from
believing they can assimilate and manage terrorist acts as they have automobile
fatalities or natural disasters. A tiredness also seems to be why these
countries do not take meaningful measures to defeat jihadism, such as closing
Salafist mosques or expelling radical imams.
Muslim extremists understand this advantage: so long as they avoid another
enormous massacre like 9/11, they will be able to continue murdering people and
undermining the West without awakening it from its inertia. The most likely
scenario is that everything will continue: the internal fracture of Europe, two
parallel societies and the debasement of Western culture. Piece by piece,
European society seems to be coming irreparably apart.
**Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and
© 2018 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do
not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No
part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied
or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.
Iran's Nobel Laureate is Done with Reform. She Wants Regime
Eli Lake/Bloomberg/April, 09/18
Shirin Ebadi, Iran's Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights lawyer, has had
enough. For years she represented her country's dissidents in the Republic's
corrupt courts. She spoke out for the rights of women, minorities and students
abroad. But she never called for the end of the regime she was fighting to
reform. Until now. "Reform is useless in Iran," Ebadi told me in an interview
Thursday. "The Iranian people are very dissatisfied with their current
government. They have reached the point and realized this system is not
For Ebadi the means of ending Iranian tyranny should be a UN-monitored
referendum on the constitution that proposes a basic change: the elimination of
the unelected office of supreme leader. The Iranian people, she said, "want to
change our regime, by changing our constitution to a secular constitution based
on the universal declaration of human rights."
Ebadi told me she never believed Rouhani was a reformer. Nonetheless, she also
said she was reluctant to call for the end of the regime, because the 1979
revolution was so traumatic. This is why she says the current uprising has no
single leader. "In the course of the struggle the leaders will emerge," she told
me. "When we have free elections in Iran, the leaders will show themselves."
Ebadi first made her views known in a statement published in February with 13
other dissidents and human rights advocates to call for the referendum. In her
interview with me however she for the first time got more specific about what
Western governments and particularly the Trump administration can do to assist
the Iranian people in their struggle.
To start, she made it clear that she was not calling for a military invasion of
Iran or any kind of US interference with the movement itself. "The regime change
in Iran should take place inside Iran and by the people of Iran," she said. "But
you can help the people of Iran reach their own goal."
To this end, Ebadi had some recommendations. The basic idea is that the West
should implement sanctions that weaken the regime, but do not hurt the people
themselves. For example, Ebadi says the US and European governments should
sanction the Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). This conglomerate controls
the media in Iran, and also manages Iran's external foreign propaganda such as
the English-language PressTV and the Arabic al-Alam.
There are few entities more deserving of censure and sanction. Inside Iran, the
IRIB broadcasts a weekly television show that airs the coerced confessions of
Ebadi said targeting IRIB is a good way of crippling the regime's ability to
attack its opponents and spread its propaganda. The concept is simple. She said
no Western satellite provider should allow IRIB to broadcast its propaganda
Ebadi told me she was wary of reimposing some of the most crippling sanctions
that were lifted in 2016 in the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal. The
secondary sanctions on Iran's central bank, she said, benefitted figures close
to the regime who made a fortune in hiding the money of regime elites.
Meanwhile, average Iranians suffered hyper-inflation.
That said, Ebadi said European businesses were wise to hold off on striking
deals. "They are reluctant to invest in a country with no political stability,"
she said. "How could you trust a government when every day in several corners of
the country people are demonstrating and are unhappy?
For now Ebadi thinks it is important for the US to establish a channel to the
legitimate and independent Iranian opposition. This however is trickier than it
She warned the regime had established all kinds of fake nongovernment
organizations and groups overseas that appear independent, but really do the
One example is a group known as the Organization for Defending Victims of
Violence, which has represented Iranian civil society at the annual meetings of
the UN Human Rights Council. In 2011, the Center for Human Rights in Iran
described it as "an NGO that in spite of its name, has not done anything during
the session to defend the rights of Iranian victims of violence.
Another example Ebadi pointed to was the National Iranian American Council, or
NIAC. NIAC played an important role in advocating for President Barack Obama's
nuclear deal with Iran. Ebadi told me she regrets participating in an event with
NIAC in 2011. "When I analyzed what they say and do," Ebadi said, "I realize
what they say is closer to what the government says than what the people want."
Ebadi said she would support a new organization of Iranian-Americans to support
her country's freedom movement -- "an organization that would be independent
from the Iranian government and the US government."
Ebadi's proposals pose a real challenge for Western liberals who still hope
engaging the regime will lead to reform. Ebadi has lost that hope. " People
spontaneously came out onto the streets in 70 cities and called for a
referendum," she said. "As a human rights defender, I have the duty of helping
our people reach these goals."
That goal is a referendum to reject the rule by a supreme clerical leader. Ebadi
is asking for solidarity. Will Western liberals join her?
Save Your Grandchildren, Don’t Avenge Your Ancestors
Ghassan Charbel/Asharq Al Awsat/April 09/18
On the way from San Francisco to Paris, questions hunt you no matter how hard
you try to escape: When will the Arabs have a modern city which contributes to
shaping their future? When will they have a vibrant city with its economy,
education and services? A city that offers them a normal life, which meets their
needs and respects their humanity?
In San Francisco, you feel as though the future of the world is being made here,
with enormous investments, extraordinary fantasies and exceptional abilities to
innovate and develop, as if the people of these giant companies were the poets
of the coming days, making the impossible a reality, broadening the boundaries
of mind and knowledge, and changing the economy, the people’s lives, culture,
and all aspects of life on this planet.
The wars of the future are happening here with ferocity and relentlessness. The
numbers are merciless. You have to succeed. And you have to win. Your failure
means you are out of the race. The failure of your company entails its
disintegration. It is a permanent test for the president and the subordinate.
He, who masters swimming and generating new ideas, can survive the waves. There
is no room for sagginess, laziness and pausing at turning points.
Army generals used to draw the fate of maps and nations. That time has gone. You
are now in the hands of the Silicon Valley generals. Apple, Facebook, Google,
Microsoft, Oracle, and others… Do not try to evade this change by saying that
you are from another world. You are part of the global village, whether you like
it or not. The longer you delay your engagement in the storm of progress, the
more costly the consequences are.
You have no choice but to participate. Every other option means that you become
dependent on the world. You remain on the margin, your economy collapses and
your cities keep aging. It is either that your country gets involved, or
everything in it regresses, including universities, hospitals, the army and the
postal service. You will be completely wrong if you try to take shelter under
the glories of history and sleep its splendors. The winner is the one who writes
the history of the future, not the past.
I am not saying that the journey is easy, and boarding the train will not lead
to ruptures, but we have experiences that we can learn from. Europe has gone
through the same situation that’s now happening in the Middle East: some men
emerged believing to have received a firm mandate from the spirit of the nation
or the depth of history… A mandate without borders that allows them to impose
their color on the Continent, to uphold a nation and to violate another, to
impose the rule of a certain race over other races, to spread a culture and
erase others… A mandate that allows them to remove international borders, to
play with maps and demographic balances, to remake cities and manipulate their
role, history and present time. A mandate based on subordination or suppression
of the other, where coexistence is considered an obstacle or an impossible
Europe has witnessed scenes it had never expected to see. It saw Adolf Hitler
display his pride on the Champs-Elysées avenue. It has seen the Europeans
scramble to be deployed on the barricades of the Spanish Civil War. It saw
convoys of displaced and immigrants, burned neighborhoods, and capitals filled
with fear and rubble. It has witnessed oppression, darkness and horror and the
rupture of countries and families. The Old Continent was the theater that saw
the spark of two world wars, but the guns were silenced in the end. From the
pile of corpses and pools of blood, the Europeans had to conclude what helped to
prevent the tragedy from recurring. They had to decide: either use the truce to
prepare for a new war or use it to arrange conditions for coexistence.
Coexistence does not eliminate differences but prohibits the use of war as a
means of resolving them.
Europe has seen all sorts of wars in the past centuries. It has experienced the
wars of roles and control. It also went through religious and sectarian wars. It
saw the wars of uprooting and erasing features. Following the horrors of two
world wars, Europe understood that the future cannot be built with stones of the
past. If you succumbed to the logic of open revenge, the French-German blood
waterfall would still be pouring. If the memory of the French and British
vessels were still being traded, artillery would still be exchanged, stamped
with sailors’ blood.
Europe was soaked in blood, tears and rubble… A mass of widows, orphans and
people with no source of living... Damaged cities and devastated economies… One
of the harshest feelings was that Europe did not learn from the lessons of World
War I and fell into hell again. Politicians, diplomats and writers had to make a
choice at the turning point. The Europeans chose to distance themselves from the
path that gave rise to the disaster. They chose stability, reconstruction and
coexistence on the Continent and within their countries. Although the Continent
was partitioned by the world of the two camps, the Europeans did not allow
themselves to slip into a war that this time could have destroyed the world, not
Europe has developed the choice of stability to find prosperity. It has turned
the walls of international borders into gates for the passage of people, goods
and ideas. Ideas for the search for economic exchange, political coordination
and cooperation in the face of challenges. Hence, your neighbor is no longer
your enemy, he is your partner, with whom you discuss the expansion of common
areas, not rushing the dates of divorce. Competition replaced fighting,
cooperation replaced discord, and the differences were settled under the
umbrella of concern for stability and aspiration to prosperity. Reasonable
policies have replaced reckless strategies. People with practical minds have
taken the place of those selling illusions.
The only solution is to be part of the world that is heading towards the future…
to learn, train and adapt, to free hands and imaginations, and to enable your
countrymen to benefit from the rewards of great technological developments to
improve your economy, maintain your stability, and create conditions for your
prosperity… to engage, attract expertise and training, and provide the right
environment for investors and tourists alike. The only solution is to have a
plan, to bet on the abilities of the younger generations, and to get them out of
the wars of ancient history and the road to slow destruction.
Do not try to escape the challenges by resorting to the caves of history. Others
have a history that matches or surpasses yours. If they had chosen to surrender
to the past, Vienna would not have been Vienna, Berlin would not have become
Berlin, Paris would not have been Paris… Belonging to the future saves your
history from extinction. It turns your history into the fuel for the locomotive
of progress. Do not delay or hesitate. It is your battle. Your duty is to save
your grandchildren not to avenge your ancestors.
Spies Tracking Our Phones?
Don't Be So Shocked
Stephen Carter/Bloomberg View/April 09, 2018/
The press has been in a lather of late over reports that the Department of
Homeland Security had discovered evidence that cellphone tracking tools were
being used by “unauthorized” parties in and around Washington.
Formally known as International Mobile Subscriber Identity catchers, and often
called stingrays, these devices fool your phone’s baseband into believing it is
in contact with a cell tower. IMSI catchers can use your phone’s signal to track
your movements and contacts. In some cases they might persuade your phone to
turn off its encryption. It’s a powerful, scary technology. Scarier still,
federal officials admit that although they can detect the devices, they can’t
find them. Still, here are three reasons that the excitement over the news from
Washington is a little overdone.
In the first place, the use of IMSI catchers by unauthorized parties isn’t news.
Privacy advocates have long fought to reduce reliance on the devices by law
enforcement, on the ground that they sweep up too much data from those suspected
of nothing. But techies have been warning for years that stingrays could be used
by criminals and foreign governments. A 2014 article in the Harvard Journal of
Law and Technology was succinct: “Hostile foreign intelligence services can and,
almost certainly, are using the technology in this country for espionage.”
In other words, the concern that’s suddenly making headlines has been around for
a while -- so long that entrepreneurs have been developing tools to help us
detect their presence. Remember that IMSI-catchers trap mobile phone signals by
mimicking cell towers. One means for uncovering stingrays, then, is to use
algorithms that identify what would seem to be towers except that they switch
frequency too often or actually change location. Last year, researchers at the
University of Washington announced that they had used exactly these techniques
to uncover hidden IMSI catchers in and around Seattle.
All of which is to say that although it’s useful to have longstanding suspicions
confirmed, the widespread use of stingrays, with or without authorization,
should hardly be considered newsworthy.
In the second place, to borrow from John le Carré, spying is eternal. We
shouldn’t profess such surprise that foreign powers try to use against us the
same tools we would use against them if we didn’t have anything better.
Americans are always shocked to learn that we’re not invulnerable to espionage.
But spying is tit for tat, and the phones to which we as a nation seem addicted
are a natural and tempting target. For our own convenience, we constantly send
vulnerable packets of data into the ether. We should hardly be surprised that
foreign governments (or whoever the unauthorized users are) yield to the
temptation to study what we so casually broadcast.
But in the third place, we should never allow ourselves to forget that lots of
people who don’t happen to be spies are already spying on us. Like our cellphone
carriers. Like just about every website we visit. (Although not all to the same
extent. A 2016 Princeton University study of the 1 million most visited sites
found that news sites tend to be the most intrusive, and sites maintained by
government and educational institutions the least.) True, the data most sites
collect is formally anonymous, but de-anonymizing might not be all that hard,
particularly with social media. In a 2017 paper, researchers from Stanford and
Princeton universities showed how, given 30 anonymized links originating from
Twitter Inc., they could deduce the underlying Twitter account with 50 percent
And that’s before we even get to Facebook Inc. Now, I have zero interest in
kicking a good company when it’s down, so let me start out by saying that users
who are howling about their (anonymyized) data falling into the wrong hands may
not have spent much time perusing Facebook’s terms of service. The challenge for
the privacy-conscious user isn’t third parties; the challenge is Facebook
itself, which exists not to connect you with friends but to package data about
your online activities and use it to sell targeted advertising. Happily, the
company has recently translated the list of what it admittedly collects about
its users from legalese into something approaching English, and anybody with an
account (all 2 billion-plus of us) should take a gander at the remarkable
It’s natural that we worry about digital privacy -- and we do worry about it,
apparently a lot -- but we need to stop acting like babes in the woods. We can’t
go squalling for our parents whenever some new set of prying eyes sets its
sights on our data. Not when we allow all sorts of corporate strangers to
rummage through our digital lives, and rarely raise a peep.