Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Arab Dictators: Why Are They Hiding the Newest Truth?

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Jordanian citizens learned about the real circumstances in which the intelligence officer was killed from foreign media outlets, first and foremost Al-Jazeera.

It was the first time they were told that the Jordanian General Intelligence Department was working closely with the CIA against Al-Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalist groups.

The revelations have since embarrassed the Jordanian authorities, whose spokesmen and media continue their attempts to conceal or downplay the role their security forces are playing in the fight against Muslim terrorists in different parts of the world.

In announcing the death of General Intelligence officer Captain Sharif Ali bin Zeid, the Jordanian government said that he was on a "humanitarian mission" in Afghanistan. The officer was killed together with seven CIA employees when a Jordanian citizen blew himself up in the eastern Afghan province ofKhost.

The suicide bomber, identified as Hammam Khalil al-Balawi, had duped the Jordanian authorities into thinking that he had important information that could lead them and the CIA to Al-Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Why are most of the Arab dictators afraid or reluctant to publicly admit that their countries are at war with Al-Qaeda and other Islamic fundamentalist groups?

Failure to acknowledge that they are part of this war underscores the state of fear and denial that the Arab dictatorships continue to live in with regards to the threat from Islamic radicals. These rulers and their governments, the majority of whom are unelected, are actually afraid of the Arab and Islamic masses.

They are afraid of exposing their connection to the US because, for decades, these dictatorships have been telling the masses that Israel and the US are their real enemies, and not Al-Qaeda and the terrorists who have hijacked Islam.

Additionally, these dictatorships are afraid of being accused by Arabs and Muslims of participating in a "war of Crusaders and infidels" against Islam. This is because the majority of the Arab and Islamic regimes have been telling their constituents that this is actually a war waged by the West against Islam.

There is also no reason why the US should be helping these regimes in concealing the truth. The battle against Al-Qaeda and Islamic terror groups cannot be won as long as Washington's allies in the Arab and Islamic world continue to hide the truth from their people.

It is time for these dictatorships to stop their double talk and to openly admit that moderate Muslims are at war with a tiny minority of thugs and murderers who have hijacked their religion.

The Jordanians are not alone in trying to hide the fact that their security services are actively involved in the war against Islamic fundamentalism.

The Palestinian Authority, whose security forces are waging a war on Hamas supporters and extremists in the West Bank, has also been doing its utmost to hide its security coordination with Israel.

In fact, the Palestinian Authority continues to insist that it never helped Israel during the last war in the Gaza Strip although Israeli security officials have confirmed that such assistance had been provided.

Moreover, the Palestinian Authority maintains that the massive crackdown that its forces have been waging against Hamas in the West Bank over the past few years is solely directed against "criminals" and "outlaws."

Similarly, the Saudis, Egyptians, Moroccans and Yemenis have also been very reluctant to expose their close ties with the CIA and other Western intelligence agencies involved in the battle against Islamic fundamentalism.

Forces belonging to these countries have been involved in the fight against radical Islam on various fronts such as the border between Afghanistan andPakistan and the one between Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

Hudson New York

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