Is it time to drink poison?
‘Govt’s reaction to the report was deaf, dumb and blind’
“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