Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search


Ramzy Baroud: Ample Hope for a Year to Come

New Year’s Ruminations: Ample Hope for a Year to Come

By Ramzy Baroud

It’s an old habit with me to sign off my messages in the days preceding the New Year by expressing: ''I pray that the coming year will bring peace and justice to our troubled world.'' Despite disappointing experiences, I persist, because hope is essential. It is like air and water.

I look at Iraq and cannot help but appreciate the human tenacity. 2004 was a calamitous year for the Iraqi people. Their death toll is climbing despite the promised security; their fate remains chained to an American tank and “administered” by the pronouncements of a cruel American war general.

Yet, amidst the chaos, mass funerals and blown-up homes, I gaze at Fallujah and carry on with my wish that “the coming year will bring peace and justice to our troubled world.”

At first glance, the happenings in Palestine seem evocative of hopelessness and despair: An Israeli wall continues to swallow the remains of the state Palestinians hope to attain. The livelihood of Palestinian farmers is squandered with every new and mammoth section of the wall, which Israel erects on their land. Death among Palestinians, especially children, breaks new records every day. Yet one reads in the American media that it is all the fault of the victim and that Israel wishes to make peace. The problem, we are told, lies in the Palestinian political culture. Only democracy and transparent semi-presidential elections can bring peace and an end to the conflict.

Palestinians should elect a president for a shadowy political body that neither has the legitimacy nor the territorial sovereignty to carry out the will of the people. Although it defies all logic, we are expected to believe that democracy under military occupation is possible. What is more, it is a splendid opportunity for peace.

But with every uprooted tree, there is a farmer holding tightly to its roots; with every inch of confiscated land, there is an old man kneeling to the ground, sticking his fingers deep into the soil and refusing to part; with every fallen child, there is another child coloring a flag. Just when Ariel Sharon hoped that his policies had forever silenced every call for peace and reconciliation, Arabs, Jews and volunteers from all over the globe like Rachel Corrie flocked to Palestine, shielding school children with their bare chests, defying curfews and chanting for peace and justice.

Because of this and more, I am hopeful.

I am hopeful because the rules of the game are changing.

Wars that were designated to ravish and destroy a land and its people are espousing unity and igniting an awakening among the forces of good all over the world. The corporate media’s attempt to dictate the discourse is increasingly challenged by our desire to confront the lies of the spin-doctors, the warmongers and the like. With the violations of women’s rights, children’s rights, and labor rights, there is an equally robust desire to restore them.

Is it not enough that when Venezuelans restored their elected popular President Hugo Chaves to power after the failed attempt to sabotage the country’s democracy, many raised Palestinian flags while celebrating his return? Is it not enough that during the funeral of President Yasser Arafat, flags representing countries all over the world wavered in solidarity beside the hundreds of Palestinian flags?

True, there is an abundance of reasons that would justify our sense of anguish and fear as we cast our eyes toward 2005, but there is certainly ample hope to carry us through the turmoil and trial of another year. And so with confidence I will proclaim it once again;

“I pray that the coming year will bring peace and justice to our troubled world.”


— Ramzy Baroud is a veteran Arab-American journalist and editor in chief of and head of Research & Studies Department at English.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Werewolf: Living With Rio’s Olympic Ruins

Mariana Cavalcanti Critics of the Olympic project can point a discernible pattern in the delivery of Olympics-related urban interventions: the belated but rushed inaugurations of faulty and/or unfinished infrastructures... More>>

Live Blog On Now: Open Source//Open Society Conference

The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a 2 day event taking place on 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington… Scoop is hosting a live blog summarising the key points of this exciting conference. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The Politicising Of The War On Drugs In Sport

It hasn’t been much fun at all to see how “war on drugs in sport” has become a proxy version of the Cold War, fixated on Russia. This weekend’s banning of the Russian long jumper Darya Klishina took that fixation to fresh extremes. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Kevin Rudd’s Failed UN Secretary General Bid

Few sights are sadder in international diplomacy than seeing an aging figure desperate for honours. In a desperate effort to net them, he scurries around, cultivating, prodding, wishing to be noted. Finally, such an honour is netted, in all likelihood just to shut that overly keen individual up. More>>

Open Source / Open Society: The Scoop Foundation - An Open Model For NZ Media

Access to accurate, relevant and timely information is a crucial aspect of an open and transparent society. However, in our digital society information is in a state of flux with every aspect of its creation, delivery and consumption undergoing profound redefinition... More>>

Keeping Out The Vote: Gordon Campbell On The US Elections

I’ll focus here on just two ways that dis-enfranchisement is currently occurring in the US: (a) by the rigging of the boundary lines for voter districts and (b) by demanding elaborate photo IDs before people are allowed to cast their vote. More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Being Black Palestinian - Solidarity As A Welcome Pathology

It should come as no surprise that the loudest international solidarity that accompanied the continued spate of the killing of Black Americans comes from Palestine; that books have already been written and published by Palestinians about the plight of their Black brethren. In fact, that solidarity is mutual. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news