Analysis, Side Feature

Views on the News – 2 Feb 2020


  • Global Dissatisfaction with Democracy has Reached a Record High, Research Claims
  • Trump Releases Long-Awaited Middle-East Peace Plan
  • Pakistan, US Stand Firm for Afghan Peace
  • Muslim Rulers Blame Each Other for Not Speaking against Trump’s Plan
  • Coronavirus: Chinese Communist Party Complicates Disease Management Again

Global Dissatisfaction with Democracy has Reached a Record High, Research Claims

The world is unhappier with democracy than ever, new research has claimed. In a report published Wednesday, researchers from Cambridge University analyzed the political sentiment of more than 4 million people, using data from survey projects that covered 154 countries between 1995 and 2020. The proportion of people who said they were dissatisfied with democracy over the last year hit 57.5%, according to the report, with researchers saying 2019 marked “the highest level of democratic discontent” on record. Authors noted that over the last 25 years, the number of individuals dissatisfied with democratic politics around the world rose from a third to more than half. Shifts in satisfaction levels were often a response to “objective circumstances and events” such as economic shocks and corruption scandals, the report said. Following the financial crisis in 2008, for example, global dissatisfaction with the functioning of democracy jumped by around 6.5%. Many large democracies, including the U.S., Australia, U.K. and Brazil, were now at their highest-ever level of dissatisfaction with democracy. According to the report, the U.S. in particular had seen a “dramatic and unexpected” decline in satisfaction with democracy. When the surveys began in 1995, more than 75% of U.S. citizens were satisfied with American democracy. The first big knock came with the financial crisis, the report showed, and satisfaction has continued to deteriorate year-on-year ever since. Fewer than 50% of Americans are now content with democracy in their country, marking the first time on record that a majority of U.S. citizens were dissatisfied with their system of government. “Such levels of democratic dissatisfaction would not be unusual elsewhere,” the report said. “But for the United States, it marks an ‘end of exceptionalism’ — a profound shift in America’s view of itself, and therefore, of its place in the world.” [Source: CNBC]

The global elite for decades has usurped the democratic process to pass legislation at the expense of the masses. This fraud has contributed to the masses in the West feeling disenfranchised from the democratic process.


Trump Releases Long-Awaited Middle-East Peace Plan

US President Donald Trump has presented his long-awaited Middle East peace plan, promising to keep Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital. He proposed an independent Palestinian state and the recognition of Israeli sovereignty over West Bank settlements. Standing alongside Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, Mr Trump said his proposals “could be the last opportunity” for Palestinians. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the plans as a “conspiracy”. “I say to Trump and Netanyahu: Jerusalem is not for sale, all our rights are not for sale and are not for bargain. And your deal, the conspiracy, will not pass,” he said in a televised address from Ramallah in the West Bank. The blueprint, which aims to solve one of the world’s longest-running conflicts, was drafted under the stewardship of President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Thousands of Palestinians protested in the Gaza Strip earlier on Tuesday, while the Israeli military deployed reinforcements in the occupied West Bank. The joint announcement came as both Mr Trump and Mr Netanyahu faced political challenges at home. Mr Trump is the subject of an impeachment trial in the US Senate while the Israeli PM on Tuesday dropped his bid for immunity on corruption charges. Both men deny any wrongdoing. David Friedman, the US ambassador to Israel, said that the timing of the announcement was not tied to any political development, adding it had been “fully baked” for some time. Meanwhile, reports said Mr Netanyahu was planning to press ahead with annexing 30% of the occupied West Bank, with a cabinet vote due on Sunday. More than 400,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements. Those settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this. Mr Friedman said Israel did “not have to wait at all” to move ahead with annexation. “Today, Israel takes a big step towards peace,” Mr Trump told officials and reporters at the White House. “My vision presents a win-win opportunity for both sides, a realistic two-state solution that resolves the risk of Palestinian statehood to Israel’s security.” While President Trump is offering the Palestinians a state it would be a much truncated one. No Jewish settlers will be uprooted and Israeli sovereignty will apparently be extended to the settlement blocs and the Jordan Valley. The Palestinians might have a capital in the East Jerusalem suburbs. This “take it or leave it offer” will appall many long-standing students of the region. The question now is not so much what benefit this deal might bring but how much damage it may do by over-turning Palestinian aspirations. [Source: BBC News]

Trump’s peace plan comes as no surprise. However, what is surprising is the lame response of the Ummah. It knows that its leadership has sold out, but remains silent at Trump’s announcement. Thereby providing further encouragement for Trump to take action that is more drastic elsewhere in the Muslim world.


Pakistan, US Stand Firm for Afghan Peace

Pakistan and the United States yesterday showed optimism about the Afghanistan peace as US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad called on Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa here. Gen Bajwa and Khalilzad discussed the regional peace situation and matters of mutual interest, says a statement issued by the military media wing ISPR. “The US Special Representative appreciated the efforts of Pakistan for peace in the region. They also discussed the Afghan reconciliation process,” it added. Separately, Khalilzad also called on Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi here.“During the meeting, matters pertaining to joint efforts for restoring peace in Afghanistan and current situation in the region came under discussion,” a foreign ministry statement said. “Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad updated Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on the ongoing peace talks with Taliban and lauded the reconciliatory role of Pakistan in that regard,” the statement said. “The two sides agreed to continue consultations to make joint efforts for Afghan peace process,” it added. Qureshi said that Pakistan will continue supporting peace efforts in Afghanistan as a joint responsibility. He said that a peace deal between the US and the Afghan Taliban would pave way for ‘Intra-Afghan Dialogue’ and also prove beneficial for stability in Afghanistan, which will prove useful for peace and stability not only in Afghanistan but the entire region. Pakistan has been working on Afghan peace for years. The US credited Pakistan for imminent peace deal between the US and the Afghan Taliban as Foreign Minister Qureshi recently met his American counterpart Mike Pompeo in Washington. Pompeo had appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for peace in Afghanistan. The meeting came after FM Qureshi announced that the Afghan Taliban were willing to shun violence. “This is a step toward peace agreement in Afghanistan,” he added – indicating a major diplomatic victory for Pakistan. The US and Taliban officials had announced a resumption of official negotiations for the first time since President Donald Trump abruptly halted talks three months ago to end the 18-year war. Last month, Pakistan and the US had shown satisfaction with the recent talks between the US and the Afghan Taliban in Doha, Qatar. Prior to meeting Pompeo, Foreign Minister Qureshi had urged the US for a “responsible” withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and not to repeat the ‘mistake’ of 1980s’ pull out by the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. PM Imran Khan said: “Fortunately, America and Pakistan are on the same page regarding Afghanistan. Talks are being held between their government and Taliban.” As the peace deal between the US and the Taliban becomes obvious, the US has started getting warmer to Pakistan. The Donald Trump administration has approved a resumption of Pakistan’s participation in a coveted US military training and educational program more than a year after it was suspended. [Source:  The Nation]

Rather than joining forces with the Taliban to expel America from the region, Pakistan is putting pressure on the militants to compromise and sign up to America’s peace deal.


Muslim Rulers Blame Each Other for Not Speaking against Trump’s Plan

US President Donald Trump’s Palestine plan has been continually delayed because of Binyamin Netanyahu’s continual failure to form a new government for the occupying Jewish entity. But now Trump is facing his own re-election and so cannot afford to delay any further. The plan is nothing other than formally conceding the entirety of Palestine to the Jewish entity and giving up on any idea of an independent Palestinian state, even one on a small portion of its land. This indeed was the West’s plan from the very start and proves the gross error of accepting the Jewish entity on even a small portion of Muslim land. But even over this most audacious of proposals, Muslim rulers are failing to speak out against America and instead blaming each other, as Turkish President Erdogan decided to do, even though his is one of the few countries to actually have open relations with the Jewish entity. According to Reuters:

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Friday criticized Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab nations for not speaking out against the U.S. Middle East plan which he said endorsed the Israeli annexation of Palestinian lands.

Erdogan, who has positioned himself as a global champion for Muslim causes, said Arab nations’ stance toward Palestinians was pitiable and countries that failed to speak out would be responsible for “grave results”.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Donald Trump proposed creating a demilitarized Palestinian state with borders drawn to meet Israeli security needs, granting U.S. recognition of Israeli settlements on occupied West Bank land and of Jerusalem as Israel’s indivisible capital.

Turkey dismissed the plan as an attempt to steal Palestinian lands and kill off prospects of establishing a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Despite Palestinians’ rejection of the plan and their boycott of Trump, three Gulf Arab states – Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates – attended the White House gathering where Trump announced his plan.

“When we look at the stance of countries in the Muslim world toward this step and the announced text, I pity us. Saudi Arabia mostly, you are silent. When will you speak? The same goes for Oman, Bahrain, the Abu Dhabi leadership,” Erdogan said in comments to members of his ruling party in Ankara.

“They even go and applaud it there. Shame on you,” he added. “Some Arab countries supporting such a plan are betraying Jerusalem, their own peoples and most of all humanity.”

Despite their historic support for Palestinians, some Arab powers have appeared to prioritize close ties with the United States and a shared hostility toward Iran over traditional Arab alliances.

Saudi Arabia expressed appreciation for Trump’s efforts and support for direct peace negotiations under U.S. auspices, although state media reported that King Salman had called the Palestinian president to convey Riyadh’s unwavering support.

Turkey’s ties with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been tense over a host of issues, from the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to rival policies in Libya.

Erdogan said it was “inexplicable” for Palestinians to be pressured into accepting the plan, adding that he would talk later on Friday to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the leader of the Palestinian militant group, Ismail Haniyeh.

Abbas will speak at the United Nations Security Council about the plan.

Muslims will not regain the territories occupied by the disbelievers until they re-establish the righteous Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet ﷺ that shall comprehensively implement Islam, unify Muslim lands and eject the foreign disbeliever from all our lands.


Coronavirus: Chinese Communist Party Complicates Disease Management Again

Inevitably China is a key centre for new virus outbreaks, not because of its large population but because of its disbelieving polytheists’ appalling food and hygiene practices. But what has made this crisis all the more complicated is the authoritarian response of the Chinese government and the Communist Party behind it whose first reaction in such disasters is to conceal them, as elaborated in an article in Project Syndicate:

An outbreak of a new coronavirus that began in the Chinese city of Wuhan has already infected over 4,000 people – mostly in China, but also in several other countries, from Thailand to France to the United States – and killed more than 100. Given China’s history of disease outbreaks – including of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and African swine fever – and officials’ apparent awareness of the need to strengthen their capacity to address “major risks,” how could this happen?

It should be no surprise that history is repeating itself in China. To maintain its authority, the Communist Party of China must keep the public convinced that everything is going according to plan. That means carrying out systemic cover-ups of scandals and deficiencies that may reflect poorly upon the CPC’s leadership, instead of doing what is necessary to respond.

This pathological secrecy hobbles the authorities’ capacity to respond quickly to epidemics. The SARS epidemic of 2002-03 could have been contained much sooner had Chinese officials, including the health minister, not deliberately concealed information from the public. Once proper disease-control and prevention measures were implemented, SARS was contained within months.

Yet China seems not to have learned its lesson. Although there are important differences between today’s coronavirus epidemic and the SARS outbreak – including far greater technological capacity to monitor disease – they may have the CPC’s habit of cover-ups in common.

To be sure, at first glance, China’s government has appeared to be more forthcoming about the latest outbreak. But, although the first case was reported on December 8, the Wuhan municipal health commission didn’t issue an official notice until several weeks later. And, since then, Wuhan officials have downplayed the seriousness of the disease and deliberately sought to suppress news coverage.

That notice maintained that there was no evidence that the new illness could be transmitted among humans, and claimed that no health-care workers had been infected. The commission repeated these claims on January 5, though 59 cases had been confirmed by then. Even after the first death was reported on January 11, the commission continued to insist that there was no evidence that it could be transmitted among humans or that health-care workers had been affected.

But perhaps the most tragic part of this story is that there is little reason to hope that next time will be different. The survival of the one-party state depends on secrecy, media suppression, and constraints on civil liberties. So, even as Chinese President Xi Jinping demands that the government increase its capacity to handle “major risks,” China will continue to undermine its own – and the world’s – safety, in order to bolster the CPC’s authority.

When China’s leaders finally declare victory against the current outbreak, they will undoubtedly credit the CPC’s leadership. But the truth is just the opposite: the party is again responsible for this calamity.

Communism is a failed ideology and so brutal authoritarianism remains the only way for the Chinese Communist Party to retain control of the country. Muslim countries, instead of trying to seek China’s friendship, should be denouncing its party and its practices, not least of the oppressed Muslims whose land of East Turkistan has been forcibly occupied by the Chinese Communist state.