Saturday , December 16 2017

‘I swear by God it is rumor’

Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli Former Minister of Oil
Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli Former Minister of Oil

THE headline of this article is the same as the title of a song of Iraqi-Saudi singer Majid Al-Muhandis. I adore this song but I confess it secretly maybe because its vocabulary is weird.

I do not know why I remembered this song twice this week. The first time when Kuwait’s Ministry of Defense thankfully denied it as ‘tendentious rumor’ spread by someone ‘unfair’ that one of the Kuwaiti fighter pilots had refused to fly sorties in Yemen to bomb the Houthi forces and those loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The aim of this biased person was to spread ‘dirty rumors’ on two issues — first by saying Kuwaiti combat troops are fighting side by side troops of other GCC states in Yemen and this was designed to drag the state in admitting its participation in fighting in that brotherly country.

The second was to look for the belongingness of the pilot who the rumor monger had fabricated in his mind to spread sectarianism among various sects and groups of the Kuwaiti society. However, prompt denial by the authority poured cold water on his plot by denying it altogether.

The other thing that reminded me of my favorite song is an article written by colleague Mohammed Al-Negheimish for the Saudi Arabia’s Al-Sharq Al-Awsat last week.

He wrote, “There are some ‘rumor mongers’ who talk about ‘quitting’ but the intention is to fathom the depth of the surrounding atmosphere and even within the administration itself.

Then, there are governments which spread false news reports that touch the destiny of the majority of the people to measure their reaction before taking a historical decision the consequences of which it fears.

Yet again, there is the ‘fifth column’ of corrupt people who spread rumors to destabilize the internal front of countries, disunite the society, scare people who are secure and provoke suspicions over their deeply-rooted beliefs in the Arab societies, which is a danger in itself.

I think the last description is applicable to the person who spread the rumor of the Kuwaiti pilot in the Yemen war.

Al-Negheimish also mentioned that one of the youths who is obsessed with the social media websites called ‘Rayan Adel’ decided to establish a voluntary account on Twitter called ‘Anti-Rumor Authority’ through which truth will be spread and through a special technical means ensure the accuracy of the video and pictures.

Rayan Adel, I hope could emulate some of our youths who use Twitter, Instagram, Snapshot and WhatsApp to follow the same example. Some of the youths shared a video among other youths that a group of young Frenchmen roam the streets in France in the wake of the terrorist bombing in Paris, to severely strike at the Arabs. However, later it turned out to be it was an old picture which was taken during chaos on a field of sports.

Last week, I personally declined travelling to France because of that despicable video in spite of the fact that it was certainly a rumor, ‘I swear by God …’

E-mail: ali-albaghli@hotmail.com

By Ali Al-Baghli

Former Minister of Oil

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