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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The United Arab Emirates and Terrorism

Speaking of Arab investment and the Emirates.... This is from Anne Bayefsky's excellent UN watchdog site Eye on the UN.

March 7, 2006 the UN representative of the United Arab Emirates circulated a letter around the UN with the explicit blessing of the President of the UAE. The letter was given a February 16th publication date but appears to have been held back and distributed for the first time March 7th. It states that the UAE President presided over the Council that produced a document which includes the following refusal to categorically reject terrorism:

    "The Supreme Council reiterated its appeals and support for all regional and international efforts to combat terrorism through the clarification and coordination of positions on a definition of terrorism, distinguishing it from the legitimate right of peoples to oppose occupation without the spilling of innocent blood."

Given the looming U.S. port deal, it is time to ask the President of the UAE, who exactly is "innocent"? Does that include American soldiers in Iraq? Which Israelis do they think they are entitled to blow up?

The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, who produced this document, are all members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) [See Saudi Arabia to Host Major Boycott Promtion Event. CiJ]. On Friday, March 3rd, the OIC scuttled a deal on a UN comprehensive convention against terrorism. The specific point of contention is a definition of terrorism and the aim of the OIC, as is true of the UAE document, is to define terrorism in such a way as to permit killing whomever they believe is not innocent. We see the effects of such a policy every day across the globe. The terrorism treaties of the OIC and the Arab League make the diplomatic double-talk evident. Their definition of terrorism, to which all these states are legal parties, excludes armed struggle for liberation and self-determination. In plain English, that makes Americans and Israelis fair game.


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