These are the portions of the USG Open Source Center roundup of Arab satellite channels' talk shows during the past week that concern subjects other than Iraq. Covered are the United Nations and its legitimacy, an interview with the son of Libyan leader Muammar Qadhdhafi, Western arms sales to the Middle east, the Lebanese political crisis, the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, and Islamic theology. For the Iraq portions, see Informed Comment.
Weekly Roundup of Pan-Arab TVs Talk Shows 5-11 Aug Corrected version; replacing text; changing Subject Qatar -- OSC Summary Thursday, August 16, 2007 . . .
Al-Jazirah at 1905 GMT on 7 August carries a new episode of its weekly talk show "The Opposite Direction" moderated by Faysal al-Qasim. The topic of discussion is the United Nations Security Council and the international legitimacy. To discuss this topic, Al-Jazirah hosts in the studio Faysal Jallul writer and researcher, and Akram al-Bunni, writer and human rights activist.
Writer Akram al-Bunni
Commenting on an opinion poll posted on Al-Jazirah Net which showed that 95 percent of participants do not believe that there is international legitimacy; Jallul says that the poll results speak for themselves, adding that the majority of people in the Arab world, Latin America, and Africa currently have no trust in the "so-called international legitimacy."
For his part, Al-Bunni argues that people in other parts of the world believe in international legitimacy as it helped bring an end to their problems. He says that the Arabs' failure to believe in the presence of international legitimacy is mainly attributed to the Arab-Israeli conflict. . .
At 1905 GMT on 8 August Al-Jazirah carries a new episode of its "Without Borders" talk show, moderated by Layla al-Shaykhali. Today's episode hosts Sayf-al-Islam al-Qadhafi, son of Libyan President Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi and director of the Al-Qadhafi Institute for Development.
Al-Qadhafi starts by talking about the Bulgarian nurses issue, saying that his institute was asked by the families of the AIDS children and by the Bulgarian and Libyan governments to intervene in the matter, and maintains that Libya and the families received the best possible deal from the matter as a result of competition between European countries. He says it was the Europeans who controlled the negotiations and offered Libya millions of dollars in addition to a partnership with the European Union and massive aide, and accuses Europe and the United States of blackmailing Libya. He provides background information and details on the Bulgarian nurses' case, and expresses his belief of the nurses' innocence, noting explains that the nurses remained in custody because there were varying theories on the AIDS infections and because the Libyan judiciary was intentionally given false information. He praises Qatar's role in resolving the issue and speaks of a Qatari-French-EU arrangement, but notes that Libya only cares for the end results and is not concerned with details. He defends his exposure of French and British arms deals related to the nurses case, saying that the case was the key to defensive, economic, and political issues of concern to Libya. . .
At 1905 GMT on 10 August Al-Jazirah carries a new episode of its weekly program " More Than One Opinion" moderated by Malik al-Turayki.
The topic of discussion is the question of why do Egypt and the Arab Gulf states continue to buy weapons and spend tens of billions of dollars to buy weapons from the United States instead of investing the money in economic development.
The guests of the program are Lieutenant General Salah Salim, strategic analyst in Cairo; Brian Katulis, researcher at the Center for American Progress in Washington; and Iranian political analyst Ali Nuri Zada in the studio.
Salim says the open objective of the arms deals is to realize a strategic balance between Iran and the Arab Gulf states and deter the Iranian interference in the region. He says the real reason for these deals is to attach the major Arab countries to the US strategy before a US attack on Iran.
Katulis expresses belief that there is no clear US policy on Iraq, and says that the Bush administration seems not to know what it is doing and rules out the econ omic considerations in the arms deals. Zada says the different viewpoints within the US Administration is something new. He says Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE have always been the clients of US weapons. He expresses belief that the economic factor was not the motive behind the arms deals. . .
Al-Jazirah at 1905 GMT on 11 August carries a new episode of its weekly program "Open Dialogue" presented by Ghassan Bin-Jiddu. The program hosts General Michel Awn, leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, in Beirut, to discuss the political situation in Lebanon, the recent by-elections, the role of the church in Lebanon, the possibility of running in the presidential elections, relations with Hizballah, and other issues.
Asked about the recent by-elections in Al-Matn, Awn says it was "a very difficult battle" for his trend, adding that the US Administration threatened to freeze the assets of any Person who wished to support his party. He goes on to say that the some institutions and clergymen in Lebanon worked against his party during the recent by-elections, and that his opponents used the blood of martyr Pierre al-Jumayyil for propaganda purposes during the recent by-elections. Awn also criticize s the use of money by his opponents to buy votes, and the use of media outlets and intimidation against his trend. He goes on to say that Amin al-Jumayyil, who is a leader of a political party and a former president, should quit political life after losing the by-elections in his constituency.
On the US Administration's interference in the recent by-elections in Al-Matn and whether it plays a role in the Lebanese internal conflicts, Awn says that there is "excessive support" by the US Administrations for Siniora's government, and not Lebanon's government. He adds that the Lebanese Constitution, and not the US Administration, decides whether the Lebanese Government is legitimate or not. He goes on to say that the US Administration supports some Christian sides against him because of "his understanding with Hizballah." He says that he is ready to help the United States achieve its interests, but adds that "the US policy threatens our existence.
"On a possible initiative by the Vatican, Awn says that the Vatican closely watches developments in Lebanon, adding that Lebanese politicians should abide by the apostolic nuncio's "spiritual guidance". . .
At 1908 GMT on 9 August Al-Arabiyah carries a new episode of its weekly program "In Plain Arabic" presented by Giselle Khuri. The program hosts Samir Ja'ja, chairman of the Lebanese Forces' Executive Committee leader of the Lebanese Forces Army, to discuss the current political situation in Lebanon following the results of the by-elections and the upcoming presidential elections.
Asked about the reason for having security forces around his home, Ja'ja says that he is "threatened" and might be targeted just like those who were targeted in the past.Asked why he was not killed in jail if he is really targeted, Ja'ja says that had he been killed in jail, it would have been a very clear crime.
Asked about the possibility for running for the post of president in the upcoming presidential elections, Ja'ja says that he will not run for the post of president of the republic. Asked about the 14 March candidate for the presidential elections, Ja'ja says that he thinks that the candidate for the post of president will be announced at the last minute. He adds that it is not necessary to have a certain candidate at present.
Commenting on the fact that Patriarch Sfayr does not prefer to have any former military persons, such as General Awn or General Michel Sulayman-- run for the post of president, Ja'ja says that that he feels that Patriarch Sfayr does not support introducing any amendments to the constitution or having "ex-gen e rals" run for the post of president.
Asked whether Christians will agree on a candidate, Ja'ja says that he supports this idea because Christians are divided between General Awn and Christians from the 14 March forces.
Answering a question, Ja'ja says that President Lahhud, whose term will end on 23 November 2007, does not have the right or the authority to appoint or suggest any person to succeed him in accordance with Article 62 of the Lebanese Constitution. . .
At 1830 GMT on 10 August Al-Arabiyah carries a new episode of its weekly program " Point of Order" presented by Hasan Mu'awwad. The program hosts Salim al-Falahat, controller general of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) group in Jordan, to speak about the MB's withdrawal from the municipal elections in Jordan.
MB Controller General Salim al-Falahat
Asked whether the recent withdrawal from the municipal elections six hours after the beginning of voting was legal, Al-Falahat says that the decision to withdraw from the elections was taken based on the 'huge rigging" that took place in the voting centers. He adds that the withdrawal was not a premeditated decision but was taken following developments in the field. He goes on to say that "rigging is illegal" ands that citizens have the right to participate or not in the elections. Asked why the movement withdrew from the elections six hours after the start of voting although they noticed violations before the day of the elections, Al-Falahat says: "We are realistic and realize to what extent we have integrity and democracy in the third world countries.
"Answering a question, Al-Falahat denies reports that four members from the Islamic Action Front (IAF) did not withdraw from the elections and won. Asked about the MB's relations with HAMAS, Al-Falahat also answers questions on relations with HAMAS, Gaza incidents, and other issues. . .
At 1905 on 5 August Al-Jazirah carries a new episode of its weekly talk show "Life and Religion" moderated today by Uthman Uthman. The episode hosts Dr Fathi Malkawi, executive director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, for a discussion on individual perceptions of the world from political and religious standpoints and the dangers posed by radical archaic perceptions of the world as one consisting of good and evil. Malkawi explains that one's perception of the world is but a response to questions about the creator, his existence, his creations, and the nature of his creations, particularly humans and the meaning of life, and says that this applies to philosophy and extends to a person's perception of their place in the world and their relation to their surroundings. Malkawi goes on to explain how individuals perceptions are formed and the factors contributing to those perceptions, and speaks about the differences in perceptions, be they secular or religious, and the perception that the world consists of Muslims and infidels, explaining that it is not a perception of the world, but is a jurisprudence-based diagnosis of the circumstances experienced by a particular society at a particular period of time.