Is it time to drink poi­son?

‘Govt’s re­ac­tion to the re­port was deaf, dumb and blind’

Arab Times - - LOCAL -

“THE for­mer US Am­bas­sador to Kuwait Mrs Deb­o­rah Kay Jones looked like a field re­searcher, in ad­di­tion to her diplo­matic work, which re­flected her out­stand­ing ac­tiv­ity among the rest of the diplo­matic corps work­ing in the State of Kuwait,” colum­nist Yousuf Al-Zinkawi wrote for Al-Seyas­sah daily.

“More than seven years ago, specif­i­cally at the be­gin­ning of Fe­bru­ary 2010, Am­bas­sador Jones spoke to a group of young Kuwaitis (10 women and 5 men) be­long­ing to lib­eral and conservati­ve streams to be fa­mil­iar about their opin­ions con­cern­ing the kind of coun­try they wanted a decade later, in other words the fu­ture of their coun­try af­ter ten years (in 2020).

“Mrs. Jones then pre­pared a de­tailed re­port on the dreams of Kuwaiti youth and per­son­ally an­a­lyzed the views of these Kuwaitis and sent the re­port to the di­rec­tor of the of­fice of the US Sec­re­tary of State on Fe­bru­ary 15, 2010, dur­ing the same pe­riod when Dr Fahd Al-Rashed wrote his ar­ti­cles on the is­sue of em­bez­zle­ment and loot­ing money from the Pub­lic In­sti­tute for Social Se­cu­rity.

“I do not know if it was un­for­tu­nate for this am­bas­sador, or for­tu­nate for the Kuwaiti of­fi­cials -- or vice versa -- that this se­cret re­port was leaked to the ‘Wik­ileaks’, web­site for the world in gen­eral and Kuwaitis in par­tic­u­lar to dis­cover the se­ri­ous­ness of the opin­ion of the am­bas­sador, who con­firmed that ‘Kuwait is torn be­tween the strong­est coun­tries of the re­gion, namely Iraq, Iran and Saudi Ara­bia, and that these coun­tries have am­bi­tions in Kuwait. There­fore Kuwait will not ‘sur­vive’ beyond 2020, be­cause the ‘peo­ple’ who de­cide the des­tiny of this coun­try are busy loot­ing the wealth as if Kuwait is a ‘tem­po­rary state’.

“The am­bas­sador said in the re­port the Kuwaiti youth said her question should be re-framed to read like this: ‘Will there be a fu­ture for Kuwait as an in­de­pen­dent state in 2020?’ and not ‘What is the fu­ture of Kuwait af­ter 2020’?

“In spite of the se­ri­ous­ness of this re­port be­cause the very se­cu­rity of the State of Kuwait is at stake, the govern­ment which the re­port de­scribed as ‘tem­po­rary’, did not have the cour­tesy to ei­ther protest the contents of the re­port or fol­low it up as if the sub­ject does not con­cern Kuwait nei­ther now nor in fu­ture.

“The govern­ment re­ac­tion to the re­port was deaf, dumb and blind, of a per­son who is un­mind­ful of the sur­round­ing. When I met one of the for­mer min­is­ters to dis­cuss the se­ri­ous­ness of this re­port and the rea­sons for govern­ment si­lence, he said with­out hes­i­ta­tion ‘the govern­ment has no time to re­spond to any­body’.

“I was sur­prised at his strange re­ply. For him the US am­bas­sador was not any­body, and the contents of the re­port are not mere words. None­the­less, he sud­denly changed the topic and dis­tanced him­self from the is­sue be­cause he did not want to be em­bar­rassed. How­ever, he forced me to write a few ar­ti­cles to bring the is­sue to govern­ment no­tice and I sum­ma­rized it as fol­lows:

“Oh, govern­ment, ei­ther this re­port is a pure fab­ri­ca­tion or 100 per­cent true, so our coun­try is tem­po­rary, and in both cases, you should of­fi­cially re­spond to the re­port of the Amer­i­can am­bas­sador to re­as­sure us about the fu­ture of our coun­try. I also said based on these grave facts and af­ter we knew from this re­port that ‘peo­ple (who are re­spon­si­ble to steer the ship to a safe shore) are busy plun­der­ing our wealth as if Kuwait is a tem­po­rary ‘en­tity’.

“Be­fore they have time to loot the last penny from the State Trea­sury, the govern­ment must be concerned about pro­tect­ing its ci­ti­zens and give ev­ery Kuwaiti one mil­lion di­nars, which will to­tal no more than 1.5 billion di­nars, be­fore the money no longer be­longs to all Kuwaitis.

“Just less than two months ago, a video of our es­teemed MP Shuaib Al-Muwaizri ap­peared on var­i­ous social me­dia out­lets (What­sApp, Facebook, YouYube and oth­ers) in which he said Kuwait ‘will not sur­vive’ beyond 2018.

“In mid-March 2017, Al-Muwaizri told the Na­tional Assem­bly the State of Kuwait is on the verge of bank­ruptcy and that the Kuwaiti govern­ment will find it dif­fi­cult to pay the salaries of its staff by the end of 2018 be­cause of ram­pant cor­rup­tion in all govern­ment in­sti­tu­tions and he gave the same speech dur­ing a pub­lic sym­po­sium.

“In spite of the se­ri­ous­ness of this state­ment which was made in the Parliament in front of the min­is­ters, the govern­ment again acted as if it was deaf, dumb and blind and did not un­der­stand any­thing.

“One week ago, one of the min­is­ters was in­ter­viewed by a for­eign mag­a­zine. The mag­a­zine pub­lished the ar­ti­cle un­der the head­line which spelled the minister’s fears about the fate of Kuwait in terms of sus­tain­abil­ity.

“Al­though the head­line of the ar­ti­cle did not re­flect the real opin­ion of the minister, the govern­ment again pre­ferred to re­main mum and did not say a word ei­ther through an of­fi­cial spokesman or oth­er­wise to deny what had been pub­lished by the news agen­cies.

“In other words, for the third time the govern­ment had pre­ferred to say, ‘No com­ment’ by play­ing ‘deaf, dumb and blind and does not un­der­stand any­thing’.

“We all know and God knows that the US re­port, the speech in the Parliament and the of­fi­cial state­ment have the same mean­ing be­cause of our read­ing of the govern­ment si­lence that Kuwait ac­tu­ally is a tem­po­rary ‘abode’ and the govern­ment has noth­ing to give its ci­ti­zens.

“So I ask this govern­ment: ‘Why do you not act like the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, who, along with all those who were with him in a Ber­lin hide­out drank poi­son be­cause he and those close to him did not want to see the fall of the Ger­man em­pire in the hands of the en­e­mies.”



“Through­out his­tory there has been op­po­si­tion to the regime or the govern­ment, whether be­cause of the to­tal­i­tar­ian rule of the for­mer, or oc­cu­pa­tion of the ter­ri­tory by the op­po­si­tion, or due to the in­ap­pro­pri­ate govern­ment man­age­ment, or abus­ing the free­doms and tam­per­ing with and wast­ing pub­lic money,” colum­nist Dr Nayef Al-Ad­wani wrote for Al-Sha­hed daily.

“The above rea­sons have caused an im­bal­ance in the po­lit­i­cal equa­tion be­tween the govern­ment and the peo­ple. When the peo­ple lose their rights, they tend to de­fend these rights and wave the op­po­si­tion ban­ner in var­i­ous ways, start­ing with de­mon­stra­tions or civil dis­obe­di­ence and adding fuel to fire by call­ing on the peo­ple to take to the street to ex­pose the govern­ment abuses and short­com­ings at the do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional level by us­ing all pos­si­ble le­git­i­mate means and me­dia to put pres­sure on the govern­ment to re­turn to the right track.

“The op­po­si­tion is usu­ally led by the MPs, be­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the peo­ple and per­sons who are well aware of all the secrets. The op­po­si­tion may also be led by the ed­u­cated elite, or en­light­ened busi­ness­men, or or­ga­ni­za­tions of pub­lic in­ter­est. The op­po­si­tion it­self is a le­git­i­mate right, and the caliphs and princes had al­ways taken into con­sid­er­a­tion the views of the op­po­nents as long as it is in the in­ter­est of the coun­try and the peo­ple, and do not con­flict with the reli­gious con­stants.

“The op­po­si­tion may clash with an au­thor­i­tar­ian dic­ta­tor who at­tacks and crushes them, throws their sym­bols in de­ten­tion camps, or phys­i­cally ter­mi­nates them.

“The prin­ci­ples of the op­po­si­tion are the same in all forms, that is to say to claim the le­git­i­mate rights of the na­tion, away from seek­ing to achieve per­sonal gains, char­ac­ter­ized by stead­fast­ness on com­mit­ment to prin­ci­ples de­spite the size of sac­ri­fices, an op­po­si­tion that does not trem­ble, bow down, or drool by po­si­tions or prom­ises of wealth.

“Man­dela, who spent 27 years in prison, re­mained stead­fast to his po­si­tion un­til his coun­try was lib­er­ated from apartheid and went on to be­come the pres­i­dent of his coun­try and the same can be said of Ahmed Ben Bella of Al­ge­ria and Ahmed Yassin of Pales­tine, and oth­ers who are known to have not shied away from their be­liefs.

“In Kuwait, the op­po­si­tion was as solid as a rock un­til we were given the Con­sti­tu­tion, democ­racy, na­tion­al­iza­tion of oil, social se­cu­rity, and all the projects we en­joy. The op­po­si­tion was led by Dr Ahmed Khatib, who did well, left pol­i­tics calmly, with­out los­ing any­one, gain­ing il­le­gal money, or bow­ing to govern­ment.

“What calls it­self the op­po­si­tion of the masses or op­po­si­tion of the Al-Erada Square is the one that gives false vows, ex­ag­ger­ates and threat­ens, but in re­al­ity it changes its po­si­tions like a chameleon to suit the sit­u­a­tions, cir­cum­stances and their tem­per­a­ments and makes com­pro­mises with power bro­kers be­hind closed doors.

“It is a fragile ‘paper tiger’ op­po­si­tion which fluc­tu­ates with pas­sions, in­ter­ests and chang­ing at­ti­tudes ac­cord­ing to the sur­round­ing en­vi­ron­ment. It is an op­po­si­tion that ma­nip­u­lates the dreams and hopes of the masses who ac­tu­ally get cheated by their loud voices and rhetoric with­out re­al­iz­ing their real in­ten­tions. They get the shock of their lives when they get to know the truth.”

“In the Min­istries Com­plex, Govern­ment Mall or ser­vice-ori­ented in­sti­tu­tions such as the Gen­eral Traf­fic De­part­ment and Res­i­dency Af­fairs De­part­ment, you will ex­pect to see a vis­i­tor who leaves these places sat­is­fied”, Talal Al-Saeed wrote for Al-Seyas­sah daily.

“How­ever, you end up see­ing all vis­i­tors frustrated, ex­cept peo­ple who have in­flu­ence (wasta) or a rel­a­tive in the de­part­ment! The rest of the peo­ple there will be seen com­plain­ing and ag­i­tat­ing so much that the pop­u­lar state­ment com­ing out of their mouths will be, “Al­lah Almighty is suf­fi­cient for me, Most Ex­cel­lent is He in whom I trust”. They say this against those who blocks or thwarts peo­ple’s in­ter­ests or shuts the door to his of­fice while he is in­side un­der the pre­text of hold­ing a meet­ing. This is in ad­di­tion to sev­eral other flimsy ex­cuses.

“It is very rare to see a vis­i­tor who has a trans­ac­tion to ac­com­plish in a gov­ern­men­tal of­fice and leaves the place sat­is­fied. It is un­for­tu­nate that com­pli­ca­tions and bu­reau­cracy have been planted in us from other re­gions, while we adopted it bet­ter than the coun­try of ori­gin. The use of in­flu­ence, hege­mony and bribery are now badly wide­spread in our so­ci­ety such that God-fear­ing em­ploy­ees are no longer found in of­fices, ex­cept only few that Al­lah Almighty blesses.”

“The Arab gov­ern­ments con­tinue to come out stronger against ter­ror­ism and this is what we have been hear­ing ev­ery day in the form of Arab govern­ment of­fi­cials is­su­ing state­ments to con­demn ter­ror­ism and ob­ject­ing sup­port for this men­ace be­cause the ter­ror­ists have been do­ing this in the name of Ji­had,” colum­nist Salah Al-Sayer wrote for Al-Anba daily.

“This is es­pe­cially more pro­nounced with the in­ci­dents hap­pen­ing in Europe where in­no­cent civil­ians and po­lice of­fi­cers on duty have be­come vic­tims.

“We also hear of var­i­ous in­tel­li­gence, se­cu­rity and mil­i­tary op­er­a­tives par­tic­i­pat­ing in the war against DAESH. This is not strange about gov­ern­ments which have been tar­geted by the ter­ror­ists.

“Close watch­ers will re­al­ize that ci­ti­zens of ‘sta­ble’ Arab na­tions do not stand against ter­ror­ism. What we see is only the of­fi­cial po­si­tion, but the po­si­tion of ci­ti­zens ex­em­pli­fied by the civil so­ci­eties is al­most in­vis­i­ble ei­ther within the Arab world or in Europe which ex­pe­ri­ence the worst kind of at­tacks, which por­trays Arab Mus­lims as bad.”

“If state of­fi­cials is­sue state­ments with­out thor­ough re­view and agree­ment, its de­mer­its will far out­weigh the mer­its es­pe­cially when the state­ments are lo­cal but will have mas­sive neg­a­tive im­pli­ca­tions on the coun­try when they are is­sued in the in­ter­na­tional me­dia”, Talal Al-Saeed wrote for Al-Seyas­sah daily.

“We re­spect state of­fi­cials who are re­spon­si­ble for their state­ments, but we are not re­spon­si­ble for de­fend­ing the state­ments made by the of­fi­cials in in­ter­na­tional mag­a­zines rather than the lo­cal press, so it will be han­dled as a state­ment heard for the first time. Does it mean that he is in­dus­tri­ous or that it is a state pol­icy?

“The up­roar that fol­lowed the state­ments cred­ited to our Minister of Fi­nance in the for­eign me­dia is un­usual. It seems se­ri­ous, and its ef­fects will re­flect on the fi­nan­cial sta­tus of the coun­try. I will not claim to be a fi­nan­cial ex­pert, be­cause some ex­perts and an­a­lysts have made cer­tain state­ments that even a drunken king would not have made.”

“It is a great and un­prece­dented achieve­ment in our his­tory as we passed the self-suf­fi­ciency stage of cor­rup­tion to en­ter a new phase of ex­port­ing cor­rup­tion,” colum­nist Talal Al-Saeed wrote for Al-Seyas­sah daily.

“Un­for­tu­nately, ex­port of cor­rup­tion came at the ex­pense of the home­land re­sult­ing in the sus­pen­sion of Kuwaiti sports which is not in the in­ter­est of the coun­try. Guam Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Pres­i­dent and FIFA Au­dit Com­mit­tee mem­ber Richard Lai has pleaded guilty of re­ceiv­ing bribes from of­fi­cials to gain in­flu­ence in in­ter­na­tional soc­cer. He ad­mit­ted re­ceiv­ing $850,000 from Kuwaiti of­fi­cials to have more in­flu­ence in the 2014 FIFA elec­tions.

“O, we should have taken ad­van­tage of this in­flu­ence and smart­ness in fa­vor of the home­land or worked to­gether to main­tain Kuwait’s in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions in all lev­els po­lit­i­cal re­la­tions, not just world sports unions. How­ever, it is re­gret­table that we use our in­flu­ence, re­la­tions and money to hit our home­land ac­cord­ing to the con­fes­sion of the per­son who was bribed.

“Here they are ad­mit­ting in pub­lic that we bribed them to prove to the en­tire world that we are good in hit­ting each other by us­ing our money. Cor­rup­tion has gone beyond our ge­o­graph­i­cal borders to reach the in­ter­na­tional as­sem­blies.”

— Com­piled by Ahmed Al-Sha­zli

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